• Wednesday, 08 Feb, 2023,
  • by Peter Quilty

Back-to-back ‘Jarick’?

“Lightning never strikes the same place twice” is a hackneyed idiom – and an underlying truth. It’s a one-in-nine-million chance!

However, not in the case of popular Balliang husband-and-wife team Mark and Lisa Delbridge.

‘Team Delbridge’ annexed the 2021 and 2022 editions of the Group 1 Sale Cup with their ‘lightning bolt’, Jarick Bale.

And they’ll be hoping for another ‘lightning phenomenon’ (a back-to-back G1 double) when Jarick Bale contests the $121,500 Sportsbet Rookie Rebel Invitational (600m) – Race 8, 9.03pm – at The Meadows on Saturday night.

“He’s jumping out of his skin. He’s ripping all his bedding apart – it’s a sign he’s ready to go!”

In last year’s Rookie Rebel, Jarick Bale ($4.30) exited box three and semaphored a sensational 34.02sec win – only 0.02sec off the race record, set by Dyna Double One in 2016.

One couldn’t blame the Delbridges for having a premature sense of déjà vu as Jarick Bale (Mar ’19 Allen Deed x Houston Bale) will also jump from the ‘white’ trap in this year’s $75,000 to-the-winner event.

Jarick Bale ($4.50) is on Sportsbet’s third line of betting, behind NSW star French Martini ($3.80) and classy local counterpart Aston Velvet ($4.20).

But the Delbridges aren’t seeing the ‘lightning’ and hearing the ‘thunder’ yet!

Jarick Bale is having his first start since tailing off in the Ray Drew Memorial at Warrnambool on January 7. His previous six starts had yielded four wins (including a second Sale Cup) and two seconds.

“Initially we thought it was a fibula injury,” Lisa said. “But he actually tore his right thigh muscle in two spots. So, we put him out in a yard and just let him do what he wanted.

“He’s had four trials going into the Rookie Rebel. He’s not unfit but lacks a bit of race fitness. However, he’s not far off 100 per cent.”

Lisa added she thought Jarick Bale was going as well as ever after his Sale Cup win on Boxing Day last year prior to his “Warrnambool hiccup”.


And she’s more than happy with the way the Rookie Rebel box draw has panned out.

“We didn’t want to be drawn inside Aston Velvet (Box 2), albeit I think she’s a real danger as is French Martini (Box 1). And the ‘pink’, Punter’s Bandit (Box 8), has a real motor.”

Lisa says Jarick Bale “has had enough of being on the sidelines”.

“He’s jumping out of his skin. He’s ripping all his bedding apart – it’s a sign he’s ready to go! But, who knows, this could be his last start.”

Now a six-time G1 finalist, Jarick Bale has raced on 92 occasions for 36 wins, 19 seconds and nine thirds with $551,293 in prizemoney.

He also finished third in the 2021 G2 McKenna Memorial – won by his older half-brother and kennelmate Christo Bale – and has been runner-up in three G3 finals.

The Delbridges are chasing their fourth piece of Rookie Rebel silverware, having quinellaed the race in 2010 with Flash Of Light and Aint Workin’, and saluting with Dyna Dean in 2018 – their first G1 winner. They also finished third with Cailyn Bale in 2013.

FLASHBACK: JARICK BALE (B3) is only a ‘whisker’ off former superstar DYNA DOUBLE ONE’S race record in last year’s Rookie Rebel.

“It took us nearly 20 years to win a Group 1 and within five years we’ve won six,” Lisa exclaimed.

And now she’s wishing for a ‘lucky seven’.

Pawnote: Night One of the ‘Unmissable’ three-week Australian Cup Carnival also features the G1 Temlee (525m) and G1 Zoom Top (730m) – both also sponsored by Sportsbet.

Peter QuiltyPeter Quilty

Peter Quilty

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.

Up Next

Wow, she’s back for Temlee

Wow She’s Fast primed for Temlee test.