• Thursday, 25 May, 2023,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Boy! What a Showdown

A heavyweight duel between superstars Amron Boy and Kelsey Bale in the $14,250 Group 3 Bill Collins Showdown (515m) will provide a mouth-watering entrée to Friday night’s G1 Sportsbet Sandown Cup main course.

Amron Boy (box 3) is a clear-cut $1.40 favourite over Kelsey Bale (box 1) at $2.90 in Sportsbet’s market on the Showdown (race 7, 9.08pm).

Trained by Jamie and Brooke Ennis, Amron Boy was a brilliant 29.13sec winner of the G1 Harrison-Dawson at Sandown Park last Thursday, while country cups ‘Queen’ Kelsey Bale, prepared by Danny Gibbons, was a luckless third in the G1 Sapphire Crown.

“I’m definitely not going there thinking he’s unbeatable.” – Jamie Ennis

Interestingly, considering the vast gulf in their odds for the $12,000 to-the-winner duel, Kelsey Bale has a clear edge over Amron Boy in their seven head-to-head clashes, finishing ahead of her male rival on five occasions.

However, Amron Boy has the superior record at Sandown, where he’s won eight of his 16 starts over 515m with a scintillating 29.00sec PB, while Kelsey Bale has won six from 21 at the track, with her quickest run 29.35sec.

“It should be a great spectacle and I’m definitely not going there thinking he’s unbeatable,” said Amron Boy’s co-trainer Jamie Ennis.

“Obviously, he’s a good chance, but Kelsey Bale is flying.

WATCH: KELSEY BALE (B5) produced one of the best runs of 2022 when storming home from last to beat AMRON BOY (B3) in the G3 Silver Bullet (525m) at The Meadows on October 31.

“The Showdown format suits Amron Boy, but the way Kelsey Bale has been racing, an unimpeded run is going to suit her too.

“It would’ve been preferable to draw the inside, but if they go into the first turn together, he’ll be pushing her hard against the fence and we’ll see what happens.

“Amron Boy is probably foolproof to run around the 29.10sec mark.

“I think there’s some room for improvement from where he was a month ago. It’s taken a little while to get his back right and he should be a little bit better again this week.

“Has Kelsey Bale got a 29.10sec run in her at Sandown? We probably don’t know yet because she hasn’t had the chance to do it.”

Click HERE for Sportsbet’s Bill Collins Showdown market

The match race format plays to the strengths of both sprinting powerhouses.

However, Friday night will be the first time Kelsey Bale has contested a two-dog event and it’s only the second occasion for Amron Boy; he was beaten a head in an unforgettable clash with champion Wow She’s Fast on Melbourne Cup night.

“The format will suit Kelsey Bale, but Amron Boy is definitely the better dog at Sandown,” said Danny Gibbons.

“But she’s flying at the moment, so he wouldn’t want to do anything wrong.

“Kelsey Bale did an amazing job to run third in the Sapphire last week after she was squashed at the start from box four.

“Kelsey Bale and Amron Boy started off their careers about the same time and I remember talking to Jamie (Ennis) after they raced against each other at their third or fourth starts and we thought they both had big futures.

“It should be a good race, but I think being at Sandown, Amron Boy might get one up on us. I reckon we’ll have to go to The Meadows next time!”

The G1 Brisbane Cup is on the agenda for both Amron Boy and Kelsey Bale, with Amron Boy to be joined by explosive new kennelmate Rejuvenate, brilliant winner of 17 of his 22 starts for owner Paul Brown.

“Obviously, Rejuvenate is a very quick dog – timewise, he’s as quick as what there is – he’s just got to prove it in Group company,” Jamie Ennis said.

The Sandown Cup card also features a second match race, the $16,385 G3 Racecallers Showdown over 595m (race 4, 8.08pm), with Hector Fawley (box 1) $1.30 favourite against NSW visitor Punter’s Bandit (box 3) at $3.50.

Tale Of The Tape


65 starts: 23-17-18
Sandown 515m, 21 starts: 6-6-3, PB: 29.35sec
Group wins: G2 Sandown Laurels, G2 Ballarat Cup, G2 Geelong Cup, G2 Warrnambool Cup, G3 Silver Bullet
Box 1: 8 starts: 3-2-2



44 starts: 17-12-4
Sandown 515m, 16 starts: 8-5-2, PB: 29.00sec
Group wins: G1 Harrison-Dawson, G1 Silver Chief Classic
Box 3: 5 starts: 2-3-0

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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