Irma Bale Shoots For An Unique Sandown – Melbourne Cup Double

Irma Bale Shoots For An Unique Sandown – Melbourne Cup Double

RSN Sandown Cup winner Irma Bale took her first step towards an unprecedented Cups double by winning a TAB Melbourne Cup Prelude at Sandown Park tonight.

The $2.50 favourite began brilliantly from box 8, running a stunning first split of 5.02 seconds to lead clearly through the first turn. From that point she would never be headed, extending her lead to six lengths at the line and stopped the clock in a slick 29.54 seconds.

“She’s just a great chaser,” said Joe Briffa, handling the champ on behalf of trainer Graeme Bate.

“She’s sprinting as well as she ever has and will definitely head towards the Cup now.”

Irma Bale has already raced in a Group final over Sandown Park’s 515m distance, having run fourth in the Group 2 Macro Meats Laurels in December 2011, however it is over the staying distance that Irma Bale has made her name. After winning the nation’s richest staying race, the RSN Sandown Cup, Irma Bale reached a further four Group race finals, running second in four of them.

Bate switched the accomplished stayer back to sprinting after she ran fourth to Bell Haven (herself a brilliant winner of race 4 at Sandown Park over 715m) in the Group 3 Sydney Cup. She resumed her sprinting career with an impressive win at Geelong before wowing the punters with her win tonight.

The win was the 26th of Irma Bale’s career, and the third in six starts over the Sandown Park 515m. She has now own more than $290,000 in prize money.

In 2010, Symmetry contested the RSN Sandown Cup (5th) before going on to contest a TAB Melbourne Cup (2nd), however no greyhound has won the RSN Sandown Cup before going on to compete in greyhound racing’s biggest event.

Roy Galo made a welcome return to form, defeating Macro Meats Shootout nominee General Destini by 2.5 lengths in the fastest time of the night.

Roy Galo ($5.70) began well from the unfancied box 1 and proved too strong for General Destini ($2.20) to land his sixth win at the Lightwood Road circuit. It was Roy Galo’s first win in five starts, and his winning time of 29.46 seconds was his fastest run since running 29.31 at just his third race start.

Vapourish won the night’s opening Prelude for Lindsay Morshead when he defeated Soda Boy by 3.5 lengths in 29.58, Mepunga Melachi won in 29.73 for Joy McDowall, while Coal King continued Jason Thompson’s recent hot streak when he took out the night’s final Prelude in 29.65.

Each TAB Melbourne Cup Prelude winner has now secured its berth in the heats of the TAB Melbourne Cup on Thursday 15 November. The $500,000 Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup final will be run on Thursday 22 November.

Thinking of betting on the 2012 Melbourne Cup? There are $1,150 in Melbourne Cup free bets available through Sportsbet, Iasbet and Sportingbet.

The next feature event at Sandown Park is the Group 3 Macro Meats Shootout. Nominations for the four-dog $50,000 winner-takes-all spectacular close at midday on Monday 29 October with the field to be announced on the Catching Pen on Sky Racing 2 from 7.30pm.

The Macro Meats Shootout, along with the final TAB Melbourne Cup Prelude series, will be run on Thursday 8 November.

The full list of exempt and prequalified 2012 Melbourne Cup greyhounds are:

2012 Melbourne Cup Exemption Races & Qualified Greyhounds

Group 1 Melbourne Cup (2011)Dyna TronAndrea Dailly
Group 1 Hobart Thousand (2011)Dyna TronAndrea Dailly
Group 1 Brisbane Cup (2011)Glen GallonTony Brett
Group 1 Silver ChiefGodsendJason Thompson
Group 1 Perth CupOaks RoadMark Gatt
Group 1 National DerbySure AsSyd Swain
Group 1 National FuturityMidnight CapersRose Pringle
Group 1 TemleeRadley BaleGraeme Bate
Group 1 Australian CupZara ZuluRosie Hulme
Group 1 Golden Easter EggDon’t Knocka HimJason Thompson
Group 1 Sapphire CrownPeggy MayJason Thompson
Group 1 Winter Carnival CupGlen GallonTony Brett
Group 1 Peter Mosman ClassicGarrick BaleAndrea Dailly
Group 1 Maturity ClassicBarcia BaleGraeme Bate
Group 1 National Sprint ChampionshipFabregasDavid Hirst
Group 1 Adelaide CupSpud RegisAndrea Dailly
Group 1 Topgun
Group 1 Vic Peters Classic
Group 2 Ballarat Cup (2011)Up And AwayGraeme Bate
Group 1 Laurels Classic (2011)Stetson DonnaPeter Dundon
Group 2 Cranbourne CupMystic AppleVal Awramenko
Group 2 Warragul CupStaggerGary Selkrig
Group 2 Launceston CupRadley BaleGraeme Bate
Group 2 Horsham CupDyna TronAndrea Dailly
Group 2 Bendigo Gold CupPeggy MayJason Thompson
Group 2 Warrnambool CupDyna BertAndrea Dailly
Group 2 Harrison-DawsonGeneral DestiniNorm Rinaldi
Group 2 Traralgon CupDyna LowellAndrea Dailly
Group 2 Shepparton CupBlackalls BossMichelle Mallia-Magri
Group 2 WA All Stars Sprint
Group 2 Geelong Cup
Group 2 Launching PadFive PawsNorm Rinaldi
Group 2 Ladies BraceletDesalle BaleGraeme Bate
Group 3 Shootout (ALL RUNNERS)
Melbourne Cup Prelude 1Brenna BaleGraeme Bate
Melbourne Cup Prelude 2CzarRobert Britton
Melbourne Cup Prelude 3Big Black MacAndrea Dailly
Melbourne Cup Prelude 4Coolan MissRobert Redenbach
Melbourne Cup Prelude 5Paua Of DarknessKel Greenough
Melbourne Cup Prelude 6General DestiniNorm Rinaldi
Melbourne Cup Prelude 7David BaleGraeme Bate
Melbourne Cup Prelude 8Desalle BaleGraeme Bate
Melbourne Cup Prelude 9Hurunui HitmanStephen McKenna
Melbourne Cup Prelude 10Odie For NowKel Greenough
Melbourne Cup Prelude 11Renegade ChiefKel Greenough
Melbourne Cup Prelude 12VapourashLindsay Morshead
Melbourne Cup Prelude 13Roy GaloStan Ralph
Melbourne Cup Prelude 14Mepunga MelachiJoy Mac Dowall
Melbourne Cup Prelude 15Irma BaleGraeme Bate
Melbourne Cup Prelude 16Coal KingJason Thompson