Christo cuts loose in McKenna

Christo Bale (pictured with Mark and Myles Delbridge) is one of the most exciting greyhounds in the sport and tonight claimed the first big scalp of his career with a stunning win in the McKenna Memorial final.

He began well and settled at the pointy end of the field outside of Last Hurrah. As caller James Van de Maat said he “turned up the heat” down the back straight and extended the margin to five lengths as they hit the line. His time was a race record 33.86.

“We’re very proud. He’s improved with leaps and bounds in the past eight weeks since he came back from illness,” said co-trainer Lisa Delbridge.

“We were worried about True Detective on his inside, but fortunately for us he didn’t begin that well so he (Christo) was able to settle close and in the end prove too strong.”

Throughout his 26 starts Christo’s always shown ability and strength but it’s been his past seven where he’s put it all together. Delbridge said they realised his potential early and had high hopes for what he could achieve.

“We always pre-train them at The Meadows and from very early on he was setting fast times. We knew he was talented though hoped he would go on further to run ‘500’ (metres) and as well produce it in a field.”

Team Delbridge have history in the McKenna having taken out the race a decade ago.

“In 2010 we won it with Flash Of Light and that was the first time it was held over 595m. It’s great to be able to win it again and in honour of such an influential person of the sport.”

Christo Bale is eligible for next week’s heats of the age restricted Maturity series at The Meadows. Following discussion between Mark and Lisa Delbridge tonight it was confirmed Christo will be heading that way.

Click here for tonight’s results

Christo Bale (3) superb in the McKenna
Jason Adams
About Jason Adams - Racing & Communications Officer at Sandown Park. Over 6 years involvement in greyhound racing and one of the sport's biggest and most passionate fans.
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