• Thursday, 31 Aug, 2023,
  • by Peter Quilty

Zip-a-Dee ‘Zoha’

Zoha Bale – rated the ‘next big thing’ in staying ranks – is poised for a breakthrough black type win in the $37,250 Group 3 Top Cat Video Cup (730m) – Race 8, 8.58pm – at The Meadows on Saturday night.

Zoha Bale had no luck in last week’s G1 National Distance Championship but his trainer, Mark Delbridge, is quietly confident the staying revelation “can make amends”.

“He didn’t get a real crack at them in the NDC,” Delbridge said. “He was hampered for most of the trip, but we were still proud of him – particularly the way he ran on.”

“He just needs a clear run but can’t afford to give them too much of a start.”

Zoha Bale has drawn box two, much to Delbridge’s chagrin, in the $25,000 to-the-winner Top Cat Video Cup.

“Since transferring to staying ranks, he keeps drawing inside. But we’d love to see him drawn wide. He jumps okay, but then he drops back approaching the first turn. He just needs a clear run but can’t afford to give them too much of a start.

Moraine Suzie (Box 3) is a classy stayer and has a similar racing pattern to ‘Zoha’, and she runs home just as well as him.

“And you must respect Rob and Tim Britton’s runners. Rob has a way with stayers – and he knows how to win a Top Cat Video Cup!”

In fact, the Britton family will be chasing their fifth Top Cat Video Cup in the past seven years.

A staying training doyen, Rob won the race with Fanta Bale (2017) and Tornado Tears (2018 & 2020).

WATCH: ZOHA BALE (B2) accounts for a star-studded field – including MORAINE SUZIE (B8) and ALFIE MOON (B1) – in the Victorian National Distance final.

His son, Tim, took out last year’s event when First Picked ($13.50) defeated Alfie Moon ($4.70) by one length in 42.74sec.

First Picked (Box 1) – now trained by Rob – is chasing back-to-back wins while Alfie Moon (Box 8) will attempt to go one rung higher on the podium.

Tim, who is also chasing successive victories, will rug Wheel And Go (Box 5) – a litter brother of First Picked – and Dirt Farmer (Box 7) in the ‘straight-out’ $25,000 to-the-winner final.

And the ‘apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ as Erelda Bale – a litter sister of Fanta Bale – is the dam of First Picked and Wheel And Go, while Dirt Farmer is a younger full-brother of Tornado Tears.

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.

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