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‘Great’ mate!

GRV’s Great 8 Series initiative has won many ‘friends’ in the industry.

And among them is Balliang’s ‘Team Delbridge’.

“It’s great, mate,” quipped Lisa Delbridge, who co-trains with husband Mark.

“Seriously, it’s a fantastic concept… We happened to win a few of them last year.

“And it gives the dogs that are up in grade a chance to get a start… Great prizemoney like this is always welcomed as costs are continually rising. We’ve got to move with the times.”

The Delbridges have Jarick Bale (Box 2) in a $22,000 Great 8 (595m) at Premier Racing at Sandown Park tonight.

“He’s worked out how to race, and he’s become stronger over the latter stages.

They’re using the $15,000 to-the-winner event as a springboard to next week’s heats of the Group 2 McKenna Memorial (595m).

Amazingly, they’ll ultimately be chasing their third successive McKenna Memorial after going back-to-back in 2020-21 with the since retired Christo Bale.

Interestingly, Jarick Bale – a younger half-brother of Christo Bale – finished third in last year’s final.

The dual G1 winner – Sale Cup (650m) and Rookie Rebel (600m) – has gone on to become one of the sport’s most versatile performers – particularly over the middle distance.

He’s also been runner-up in both a G1 Sandown Cup (715m) and G3 Sir John Dillon Memorial (595m). And he was a recent finalist in the $500,000 to-the-winner ‘The 715’ at The Gardens in Newcastle.

Jarick Bale has won 27 races (with 13 seconds and nine thirds) from 71 starts. He’s four from six over 595m at Sandown Park, with a flying 33.77sec PB.

“He’s much more mature than when he contested last year’s McKenna Memorial,” Delbridge said.

“He’s worked out how to race, and he’s become stronger over the latter stages.

“He came down with a virus shortly after ‘The 715’ but has trialled super since.”

TAB has Jarick Bale a $2.20 fixed odds favourite ahead of Aston Ulysses ($4.20), Mepunga Warrior ($5.00) and McCooly’s Lad ($6.50).

This Great 8 is a corker… Don’t miss what promises to be a ‘great’ contest – Race 8, 8.40pm.

WATCH: JARICK BALE (B8) clocks a sizzling 41.29sec Sandown Cup heat win on May 12.

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About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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