Young trainer Correy Grenfell landed his first ever feature race quinella in the 2020 Triple M Bendigo Cup when Yozo Bale sprung somewhat of an upset in defeating a red hot line up to claim the $50,000 winners purse.
With the betting market dominated by the “big three” in Shima Shine, Hard Style Rico and Grenfell’s kennel star Tiggerlong Tonk a win for a runner outside that trio was to be somewhat of a surprise and surprise is exactly what Yozo did.
The 2020 Cup was no place for the feint hearted as the field of speedsters raced in a tight group for majority of the 425m trip. Many consider track record holder Shima Shine to be the unlucky runner of the Cup and there is no doubt that is the case however nothing can be taken away from the winner as he was forced to work outside the leader and maintain his momentum in the hustle and bustle that comes with racing at the top level.
Friday night’s victory was Yozo Bale’s twelfth from just twenty six starts and he managed to emulate his sire Fernando Bale, winner of the Bendigo Cup in 2015 and gave the Wheeler family an incredible seventh Bendigo Cup adding the 2020 trophy to those won by Lansley Bale (1998), Renzo Bale (2001), Dragway Flex (2006), Airborne Bale (2007), Taipan Bale (2009) and the champ Fernando Bale (20150.
WATCH: Kennel mates Yozo Bale (B4) and Tiggerlong Tonk (B6) in the 2020 Triple M Bendigo Cup final.
Correy and wife Samantha train a team of fitty from their Mount Wallace establishment and after managing to arrange a baby sitter for their young family, Samantha was available to handle and with Correy handling their top pick Tiggerlong Tonk it was Samantha that led in the victor.
“No doubt Tiggerlong Tonk was our main chance going into the race but we certainly didn’t right off Yozo as he is a dog in form and on the way up” said the trainer after the race. “Tiggerlong Tonk got checked at box rise so I looked for Yozo and saw him in front then lost sight of him as they bunched. It wasn’t until halfway up the straight I realised he was the one they were chasing with the other bloke charging home then we got excited”.
Grenfell added “it’s the first time we have qualified two runners for a group race so to do that then quinella the Cup is a great feeling and we are pretty excited right now”.
The big Bendigo Cup night included five other feature races on a huge program of racing. The feature races kicked off with He’s An Ace showing his customary early speed to lead through and claim the Ready 2 Race auction final and $5,000 cheque, making it thirteen wins from 36 starts.
Second up in the features was the inaugural Battler’s Cup and handler Gary Edwards, standing in for son Matthew was extremely excited when Steel Magnolia stormed down the outside to claim the $5,000 prize. The response to the race was such that ten heats were held and Gary was full of praise for the concept. “It’s a terrific concept and thanks to the BGRA and GRV for putting it on and it would be great if there more of them for these types of dogs”.
The GRV Vic Bred Maiden final was taken out in fine style by the Jason Thompson trained Aussie Secret. Defying a betting drift the race favourite showed terrific pace from the middle draw and was impressive in claiming the $7,500 on offer for first.
Up next was the Hip Pocket Bendigo Winter Cup final for the stayers and it was an all the way victory to Easy Choice for Anthony Azzopardi. After leading a sensational field a merry dance in the recent Grays Bendigo Stayers Cup before fading late, Easy Choice appreciated being back in slightly easier company and dominated both her heat and final and bagged $10,000 for connections in doing so.
The Mannings Greyhound Complex Vic Bred final was the last of the features on the night and another greyhound appreciating a drop in class, Origami Angel, was too good for her rivals. Having been placed in a group 1 recently behind Black Opium, winner of the Brisbane Cup on Thursday night, Origami Angel qualified for the final with a battling third in her heat but derived benefit from that run to claim the final.
Despite crowds not being allowed to the track the racing on Friday night was superb and the perfect way to conclude an extended winter carnival of racing.