Mark and Lisa Delbridge celebrated their greatest moment in greyhound racing when powerhouse youngster Yachi Bale was a barnstorming winner of the $1 million Group 1 Sportsbet Melbourne Cup Final (515m) at Sandown Park on Saturday night.
Yachi Bale, the ‘baby’ of the Melbourne Cup field, was the Delbridges’ first Cup finalist and he produced an unbelievable finishing burst to claim the $650,000 winner’s purse.
“Everybody aspires to win a Melbourne Cup and to actually do it is unbelievable.”
“Unbelievable. It’s terrific,” Mark Delbridge told James Van de Maat on Racing.com’s coverage.
“It’s sensational. I don’t know what to say.
“He got checked at the start but then he possied up good through the first corner. Even at the 595m boxes I thought he’s strong enough to win. He did what he had to do. Beautiful!”
Delbridge admitted the Melbourne Cup hadn’t been on his radar, with his focus on the G1 Silver Chief and G1 Sale Cup, until a discussion with owner/breeder Brendan Wheeler, son of late breeding legend Paul, who passed away in October 2021.
While Yachi Bale was the second fastest heat winner, clocking 29.38sec, the September ’20 son of The Meadows’ track record-holder Allen Deed, started at $9.50 from box 4.
WATCH: YACHI BALE (B4) claimed Melbourne Cup glory for Mark and Lisa Delbridge, storming home to claim an unforgettable 29.21sec victory over FERNANDO MICK (B5) and PLAINTIFF (B1).
Plaintiff held out Fernando Mick ($8.90) to lead and the pair staged a titanic battle well into the home straight, when Yachi Bale, which had been second last at the winning post the first time, came from nowhere to claim one of the most memorable victories in Melbourne Cup history.
Yachi Bale clocked 29.21sec, his ninth win from 22 starts.
“Everyone aspires to win a Melbourne Cup and to actually do it is unbelievable,” Lisa Delbridge told Racing.com.
“Mark was so confident going into this race. I’ve never seen him so confident in my life.
“When he lobbed fourth, I thought he’s a chance of running a place, then at the ‘600’ boxes I started getting excited because I thought he’s coming!
“As soon as he went over the line the waterworks started.”
Lisa paid an emotional tribute to Paul Wheeler, whose wife Jan was trackside to savour the family’s fifth Melbourne Cup victory, following Kantarn Bale (1999), Dyna Tron (2011), Dyna Villa (2014), and Dyna Double One (2015).
“I lost my dad three years ago next month and he’d absolutely love to be here tonight, because he just loved racing,” she said.
“I hope him and Paul are having a few beers up there now!”
Yachi Bale will now head to the heats of the Silver Chief at The Meadows next Saturday night, after which he’ll step up to 650m for the Sale Cup, which the Delbridges won last year with Jarick Bale, which ran a close second in the G3 Sir John Dillon Memorial (595m) earlier on Melbourne Cup night.
The other feature race winners on Melbourne Cup night were:
G1 Sportsbet Bold Trease Final (715m) – STAGGER OUT LEE (T: Jack Strutt)
G3 Sir John Dillon Memorial (595m) – DOOKIE DEVIL (T: Glenn Dainton)
G3 Cup Night Sprint (515m) – HE’S NO SLOUCH (T: Peter Craig)
G3 Provincial Plate Final (515m) – RIVER ROUGH (T: Des Douch)
Listed Cup Night Stayers (715m) – MEPUNGA RUBY (T: Jeff Britton)
Sportsbet Showdown (515m) – WOW SHE’S FAST (T: Jackie Greenough)
GRV Vic Bred Maiden Series Final (515m) – MINTER FROST (Joy Reinke)