Christo Bale calls it a day

Back-to-back McKenna Memorial champion Christo Bale has been retired.

The popular 11-time group race finalist injured a back muscle at Warrnambool last night, and given his age it brings down the curtain on what has been a tremendous career.

“He’s well over 3-years-old so it’d be difficult for him to come back at a level that we’re used to seeing him at,” said co-trainer Lisa Delbridge.

He will now transition to the Delbridge family backyard and join some other well known and beloved members of the team.

“He’ll still hang around with the race dogs for a month or so to wind down and then he’ll go into our backyard. He’ll join Penta Allen and Spring Hummer, as long as he behaves himself, which he should,” laughed Delbridge.

She described Christo as one of a kind who conducts himself with class on and off the track.

“He’s quirky and he’s a gentleman. It’s the looks on his face, he’s just different to other dogs – it’s hard to describe.

“At home he’s not an out there dog, he’s a bit of an introvert. If he went to live with someone else I’d be worried about him, not that anyone would treat him any differently but he might fret because he’s been with us for so long.”

Christo Bale has been one of the sport’s most admired sprinters throughout his career. While other greyhounds may have had higher profiles Christo Bale earned his share of fans with his brilliance, versatility and consistency. He won 29, placed in a further 22 and earned a tick under $300,000 in prize money. He competed in 11 group races and is the only greyhound to have won back-to-back McKenna Memorials.

“It’s been an exciting ride but back-to-back McKennas is the highlight. He made so many group finals and always met a Simon Told Helen, Tiggerlong Tonk or Shima Shine but he’d give 110% every time he went around.

“One of the biggest thrills was when he ran down Catch The Thief in Speed Star at The Meadows in sensational time. That was good.”

Lisa Delbridge after Christo's second McKenna triumph
Christo Bale (2) runs down Catch The Thief (1)
Jason Adams
About Jason Adams - Racing Operations Coordinator at Sandown Park. Over 8 years involvement in greyhound racing and one of the sport's biggest and most passionate fans.
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