Delbridge counting on Ballarat dozen

In-form husband-and-wife training team Mark and Lisa Delbridge look certain to make their presence felt at Ballarat on Saturday night, with GRV’s Watchdog formguide predicting a huge five-winner haul from their 12 starters.

“I hope they’re right!” Mark Delbridge quipped.

It’s been a big week for the Balliang-based Delbridges, with Spring Hummer breaking the Horsham 410m record on Tuesday.

They’re set to continue on their winning way at Ballarat with The Watchdog marking Chopper Bale (race 3), Zipping Burns (race 5), Zipping Imogen (race 7), Winlock Mungo (race 8) and Fortuna Bale (race 11) on top.

Delbridge is particularly upbeat about the prospects of Fortuna Bale, which made a brilliant return from three months on the sidelines on Wednesday with a near-record 17.46s victory over 311m at Cranbourne, and litter brother Chopper Bale.

“I would expect Fortuna Bale to win and break 22 seconds,” Delbridge said bullishly.

“She had three months off after injuring a triangle muscle and was only about a length off the record at Cranbourne at her first run back.

“I also think Chopper Bale will win and break 22 seconds if he doesn’t cramp.

“Chopper Bale has been a frustrating dog to train because he’s only had six starts due to cramping problems, while his sister (Fortuna Bale) has had 21 starts.

“But he can run too. He won a maiden heat and final at Shepparton and ran 21.58s, which isn’t far off the record.”

The Delbridges have an especially strong hand in race 7, with Delbridge identifying Zipping Imogen as the pick of their three contenders.

“Zipping Imogen was a super run at Horsham on Tuesday when she nearly beat Papi Go Fast, which has won seven in a row, and she ran 23.09s herself,” Delbridge said.

“In the same race, Zipping Radar just got beaten at his last start at Ballarat but his problem is that he comes out last.”

Delbridge agrees with The Watchdog that Zipping Burns and Winlock Mungo both have excellent chances in their respective events but cautions the lightly-raced duo both have hurdles to overcome.

“Zipping Burns is having his first start in Victoria but he’s trialled very well over 390m at Ballarat,” said Delbridge.

“But he’s drawn box six and what I’ve seen indicates that he wants the fence.

“Winlock Mungo is going well but he’s only had eight starts and is a Grade 5 and he’s straight into a Mixed 4/5, racing against dogs that have won 10 races.

“I’m not complaining and he’s still every chance of winning the race but it just makes things a bit harder for him.”

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