• Friday, 29 Apr, 2022,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Gibbons’ ‘Feral’ Sydney foray

Young training couple Daniel and Rebecca Gibbons will produce their first runners in Sydney on Saturday night, as they strive to break a frustrating feature race hoodoo in the Ladies Bracelet and Bob Payne Sprint, both Group 3 events.

The former pro wrestlers have made a huge impression in their relatively short training careers; however, a coveted big race trophy has thus far proven elusive.

The Avalon husband-and-wife team are now heading to Wentworth Park in search of an overdue change of fortune.

Exciting sisters Kelsey Bale and McKeon Bale, together with Ariarne Bale, will line up in the heats of the female-only Ladies Bracelet, while last start G2 Geelong Gold Cup finalist Winnington Bale and Quinlan Bale are engaged in the Bob Payne heats.

“It feels like it’s becoming a bit of a curse at the moment.”

Remarkably, all five were sired by former NSW cult hero Feral Franky.

“We’re really chasing that trophy and sash, to be honest, and it feels like it’s becoming a bit of a curse at the moment,” Daniel said candidly.

“I thought Titan Blazer was a certainty in the (Gary Brett Memorial) Match Race at Geelong last Friday but he was beaten on the line. It was painful.

“I could have run Kelsey Bale in the Warrnambool Cup heats on Thursday – she’s definitely good enough – but I thought the Sydney race would be a bit easier for her.”

WATCH: KELSEY BALE (6) tuned up for Saturday night’s heats of the Group 3 Ladies Bracelet with a runaway 29.73sec Best Of Day victory at The Meadows last Wednesday (April 20).

Kelsey Bale (5 from 13), a scorching last start 29.73sec winner at The Meadows, and her Feral Franky x Ethla Allen sister McKeon Bale (5 from 11), which sped around Sandown Park in 29.28sec last Thursday, will lead the Gibbons’ Sydney raid.

McKeon Bale and Kelsey Bale are both prominent in TAB’s ‘All In’ Ladies Bracelet market, at $5 and $7.50, respectively.

Ariarne Bale is a $51 Bracelet outsider, while Quinlan Bale and Winnington Bale are at $21 and $51 in Bob Payne betting.

All five will be seeing Wentworth Park for the first time, without the benefit of a trial, while ‘visitors’ box draws have made their tasks even more difficult.

Click HERE  for TAB’s latest markets on Ladies Bracelet and Bob Payne heats

McKeon Bale (Box 4), Kelsey Bale (Box 5), Ariarne Bale (Box 6) and Winnington Bale (Box 6), will all have to overcome poor draws, with Quinlan Bale (Box 1) the only ray of light.

“I nearly threw my phone when I got the box draw!” Gibbons said.

“The only one that’s drawn any good is Quinlan Bale and he’s up against Plaintiff (TAB’s $3.70 ‘All In’ Bob Payne favourite).

“It’s their first time at Wentworth Park but I’m pretty sure the Wheelers’ break-in track is a replica of Wentworth Park, so they should be okay, and they’ll be better for the run in the final, if they can get through.

“Hopefully, they’ll get better boxes next week too!

“Kelsey Bale has drawn a terrible box but if she gets clear room in the first five metres, she’ll be nearly impossible to catch.

“She’s very, very fast when she gets on the lure and I’d say she’s probably my best chance, but my worker, Dallan Klemke, who’ll take them up to Sydney, reckons it’s McKeon Bale.

“Kelsey Bale and McKeon Bale are on a par. ‘McKeon’ is a little bit quicker early and ‘Kelsey’ is a bit stronger.”

Gibbons is hoping his fantastic run with the progeny of Feral Franky continues in Sydney and says he has noticed a peculiar trait they have in common.

“They’re just good dogs and they’re all good kennel dogs,” he said.

“It’s a strange thing to notice but they all sit down in their kennels. I’d say 14 of the 17 Feral Frankys we have sit in their kennels.”

McKeon Bale running a Best Of Night 29.28sec at Sandown on April 21.

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

Gerard Guthrie

One of Australia’s leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)

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