Christo Bale Claims Speed Star Thriller

THE Group 3 Speed Star program at The Meadows promised a lot and delivered even more with Christo Bale claiming a gripping win in the 525m event.


16 September 2020

IT’s not dubbed ‘Rapidfire Racing’ for nothing!

The Group 3 Speed Star series – over all three distances (525m, 600m and 725m) at The Meadows – lived up to its hype.

There’s a certain aura about one-on-one match-race contests and although COVID-19 protocols denied on-course tangibility, you could still ‘feel’ the atmosphere.

24 greyhounds, 12 matches and $105,000 in prizemoney… The overall finishing positions in each event (split into four match races) were determined by the individual times recorded.

Probably the match of the night was the square off between Christo Bale ($2.00) and Catch The Thief ($1.80) over 525m.

And it proved the highlight; actually, it was worth bottling!

Trained by Mark Delbridge, Christo Bale nabbed Catch The Thief right on the line in a blistering 29.61sec. Christo Bale paid $4.60 as the overall Speed Star (525m) winner and earned connections $15,000.

Catch The Thief’s trainer Matt Clark said prior to the race: “He’s just starting to hit his straps; this will see where he’s at… He’s a class dog and a different dog on the lure.”

However, Christo Bale belied the tried and tested theory – “go with the leader in match-race conditions”.

Greyhound of the moment Houdini Boy – a greyhound who transcends the sport and has taken the game to the public that don’t follow it week to week – won his 600m match-race.

All eyes were on the clock as the Kelvyn Greenough trained Houdini Boy ($1.15) won the head-to-head over Run Like Jess ($5.50) by 8.67L in an amazing 33.97sec.

It was only one length off Dyna Double One’s 33.91sec track record set in February 2016 and the fourth fastest time ever over 600m at The Meadows. He’s now poised to become the “rock star of the sport”.

Talk about an understatement. Houdin Boy’s handler Darren Pattinson said pre-race: “He’s had to come from well back and put some good times on the board… If he does everything right, he should break 34.20sec.”

Paying $1.60 as the overall Speed Star (600m) winner, Houdini Boy also collected $15,000 in prizemoney.

Staying find Sunset Bourbski was considered the “punt of the night” in the Speed Star (725m). In fact, one punter had $3000 at $1.95 on her to win the overall event.

Trained by Andrea Dailly, Sunset Bourbski ($1.04) looked the epitome of an absolute certainty in her head-to-head against Rock On Jimmy ($11.00). And she didn’t disappoint scoring by 6.25L in a slick 42.44sec.

Subsequently, Sunset Bourbski paid $1.90 as the overall Speed Star (725m) winner and snared a $15,000 booty.