• Friday, 21 Apr, 2023,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Kelsey the new cups Queen

Hometown heroine Kelsey Bale crowned herself Victoria’s new country cups ‘Queen’ on Friday night when romping to back-to-back provincial titles in the $116,335 Group 2 Sportsbet Geelong Gold Cup Final (520m).

After a stunning last-to-first victory in the G2 Ballarat Cup, there were no such concerns for Kelsey Bale’s young Avalon trainer Daniel Gibbons and owner/breeder Brendan Wheeler at Geelong.

Drawn in box seven, as was also the case at Ballarat, Kelsey Bale – one of seven finalists trained in the Geelong region – started $3 favourite.

Punters who backed Kelsey Bale were heading for the payout queue on the first turn when she was up running a close second to Storm Stroller ($6.40).

Kelsey Bale took control in the back straight and dashed away with the $75,000 winner’s purse, defeating Storm Stroller by 2.19 lengths in a near-record 29.62sec, with Mepunga Mustang ($9.90) third.

WATCH: Glamour girl KELSEY BALE (B7) claimed back-to-back country cups with a near-record 29.619sec victory in the G2 Geelong Gold Cup Final (520m) on Friday night.

Kelsey Bale’s winning time was only a tenth of a second outside Fernando Express’ course benchmark.

The June ’20 daughter of Feral Franky and Ethla Allen has now won 21 of her 61 starts, her past four in succession.

It’s her fourth Group trophy, her twin country cups titles added to previous victories in the G2 Sandown Laurels and G3 Silver Bullet.

It was a victory for ‘girl power’, with Kelsey Bale the only female finalist, and she became just the second member of the fairer sex to win the Geelong Cup in the past 20 years, joining Shima Song, the mother of former superstar Shima Shine, in 2016.

Kelsey Bale continued the locals’ total domination since the Cup distance was changed to 520m in 2020, following on from Simon Told Helen (2020), Weblec Jet (2021) and Yozo Bale (2022).

Gibbons celebrated a Cup night feature double, with his G1-winning stayer Ariarne Bale, another daughter of Feral Franky, charging home to claim a thrilling victory in the $17,795 Sportsbet Cup Night Distance (680m).

While Paul Bartolo had to settle for second in the main event with Storm Stroller, he received some consolation courtesy of the 29.68sec win of Make No Promise in the $11,500 Gary Brett Memorial Match Race (520m).

The Cup meeting also marked a fitting occasion for 2022 country cups king Typhoon Sammy to make a triumphant return from retirement.

Jason Thompson’s prolific provincial superstar claimed his 44th career victory with a fast 22.23sec 400m success, his 11th win from 13 appearances in the red vest.

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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