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Delbridge counting on Christo’s strength

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Christo Bale will run in this Saturday nights Group 1 Maturity at the Meadows. Photo GRV

By Gerard Guthrie

Ballan greyhound trainer Mark Delbridge says Christo Bale’s chances in this Saturday’s Group 1 KCR Pet Transport Maturity Classic (525m) hinge on the powerhouse chaser being close enough to finish over the top of superstar Simon Told Helen.
After a barnstorming 29.73s heat victory, Christo Bale is on the third line of TAB betting at $5, behind $2.10 favourite Simon Told Helen and fastest qualifier Hard Style Rico at $2.70.
“Christo Bale has by far the strongest run-home time in the race and if he’s within two or three lengths of them I can’t see why he can’t run them down,” said Delbridge.
“If he’s close enough it’s just a matter of whether he’s good enough.”
The in-form Christo Bale, a son of 2012 Maturity winner Barcia Bale, will be chasing back-to-back feature victories, after taking out the middle-distance Group 2 McKenna Memorial (595m) at Sandown Park earlier this month.
“I’m happy with box two. He’s drawn where he wants to be, Delbridge said.
“He can’t run the 17.40s or 17.50s up the back that Simon Told Helen and Hard Style Rico ran in their heats, but he broke 12 seconds running home. I’m hoping he’s sitting right on their hammer.”
There’s an excellent chance Christo Bale could add a second Group 1 trophy to their mantelpiece, on Saturday, although it’s unlikely Delbridge’s greyhound racing silverware will ever rival his prized Tonka truck collection.
“I’ve been collecting Tonka trucks since 2005,” Delbridge said.
“I’ve probably got about 3,500. I’m only guessing but they fill two rooms. When I started collecting them I didn’t realise there were so many!” he added with a laugh.

Ballan local Mark Delbridge and his runner Christo Bale
Photo – GRV