Coronations are ‘flavour of the month’… And greyhound racing has been caught up in the fervour!
There was plenty of ‘pomp and ceremony’ surrounding the win of Kelsey Bale in the $78,795 Group 2 Sportsbet Warrnambool Cup (450m) on Wednesday night.
‘Country cups royalty’ descended upon Wannon Park in dignified fashion when the Daniel Gibbons-trained sprint monarch took out the $50,000 to-the-winner event.
Kelsey Bale (Jun ’20 Feral Franky x Ethla Allen) also snared a $50,000 bonus for claiming a third country cup in a calendar year, having also won last month’s G2 Geelong Gold Cup and G2 Ballarat Cup – all three within the space of 26 days!
Amazingly, Ferdinand Boy and Typhoon Sammy also achieved the feat in 2021 and 2022 respectively.
“I just prayed she’d get through (the traffic) because I know she’s bloody fast so if there’s nothing in her way, she’s very hard to beat.”
Exiting from box five, Kelsey Bale ($2.10F) jumped well and assumed control rounding the bend before powering away in the home straight to defeat gallant reserve runner Stealth ($5.40) – trained by Jason Thompson – by 3.5L, with Crackerjack Bull ($16.30) a further 0.7L away third in 24.95sec. (Thompson was aiming for an incredible sixth Warrnambool Cup success.)
It was Kelsey Bale’s 23rd win – including six in succession – (with 17 seconds and six thirds) from 63 starts. Her stakes, including the bonus, catapulted to $482,140.
Kelsey Bale became the eighth favourite to win the event during the past 20 years. The most recent winner from the ‘yellow’ alley was Striker Light in 2018.
And she’s the eighth female to snare the race in the past two decades.
“I just prayed she’d get through (the traffic) because I know she’s bloody fast so if there’s nothing in her way, she’s very hard to beat,” an elated Gibbons said.
“We’re going for the Sapphire Crown next week, so hopefully she goes alright in that.”
Indeed, Kelsey Bale’s ‘crowning’ has been an astonishing investiture.
But her anointing is not surprising as she always loomed as a ‘queen in waiting’.
Prior to her country cups three-peat, Kelsey Bale – which broke Warrnambool’s 450m track record in a heat – had finished third to megastar Wow She’s Fast in last year’s G1 Maturity Classic and third – again to Wow She’s Fast – in this year’s G1 Temlee.
She also won last year’s G2 Laurels Classic and G3 Silver Bullet.
Yes, her ‘enthroning’ was duly imminent!
It was a night to remember for Gibbons as he took out the $10,000 to-the-winner Macey’s Bistro Match Race (450m) with Quinlan Bale ($1.80) – a litter brother of Kelsey Bale – which defeated last year’s Warrnambool Cup winner Typhoon Sammy ($1.50F) – prepared by Jason Thompson – by 3.7L in 24.98sec.
The other feature race winners on Warrnambool Cup night were:
Stan Lake Memorial (450m) – PANAMA PEPPER ($9.80) – 25.20sec (T: Matthew Lanigan)
Warrnambool Members Cup Final (390m) – STAR IMPACT ($2.80EF) – 22.23sec (T: Dean Elliot)
WATCH: “It’s three country cups in a row… What a star!” ‘Country cups queen’ KELSEY BALE (B5) rules over reserve runner STEALTH with a right royal victory in the Warrnambool Cup.
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