Balliang trainer Mark Delbridge is striving for back-to-back victories in the Group 1 RSN Sandown Cup (715m) on May 19.
The brilliant and versatile Jarick Bale is chasing his third G1, having won last year’s Sale Cup (650m) and this year’s Rookie Rebel (600m) – both over the middle distance.
He was the fastest qualifier tonight from five heats, registering a sensational 41.29sec – around 2L off the 41.16sec track record set by Here’s Tears on January 30, 2020.
(fastest to slowest)
- Jarick Bale – 41.29sec
- Untapped – 41.38sec
- Collinda Lady – 41.56sec
- Aston Velvet – 41.58sec
- Orca – 41.65sec
Other highlights to emerge from Thursday night’s heats included:
- Champion Pearcedale trainer Jason Thompson is eyeing his third Sandown Cup after Collinda Lady overcame several blocked rails runs to land her heat in courageous and classy fashion. She is one of six females to reach this year’s final, with the most recent ‘fairer sex’ winner being the immortal Fanta Bale (2017). Thompson has also won with Proven Lethal (2004) and Next Top Model (2010).
- Untapped, trained at Dennington by Dustin Drew, surprised four-time G1 winner Gypsy Wyong, which has also qualified for the final, with a 41.38sec heat win. She’ll now contest her fourth G1 final, having finished third to Jarick Bale in the Sale Cup and third to Gypsy Wyong in this year’s Zoom Top.
- Avalon-based Michelle Mallia will launch a two-pronged challenge in the final after Aston Velvet won her heat, defeating a gallant Collinda Patty, and Golden Quest finished second to Jarick Bale.
- Little-known Traralgon trainer Steve Nagy produced an “upset alert” when Orca ($21.00) just “wouldn’t go away” in accounting for Mepunga Ruby ($1.30F), which was the $4.00 pre-post favourite for the series. However, she has also qualified for the final. Ironically, Orca finished second to Mepunga Ruby in this year’s G1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers (730m) at The Meadows.
Pawnote: The Sandown Cup box draw will be on RSN tomorrow from 10.30am.
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