Day At The Track

Bettathanfast too good in Gore Cup

12:07 AM 30 Dec 2019 NZDT
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Blair Orange getting presented by MLT Board Member Alison Cormack
Blair Orange getting presented by MLT Board Member Alison Cormack
Bruce Stewart Photo

The Countries harness racing leading reinsman Blair Orange was at his best when he drove Bettathanfast to win the $15,000 Mataura Licensing Trust Gore Cup today.

Orange settled the Betterthancheddar four year old seventh early. In trying conditions with 1700 metres to run he took the horse to the front to ensure the race was a true staying test.

At the end of the 2700 metres Bettathanfast held on bravely to beat Lawrence by half a neck with Nota Bene Denario a length and a half back in third.

“Lawrence is a fair horse and you knew he was always going to give you a fright but my horse has just got that will to win.  

You just have to ask him to keep running along. He’s quite laid back but he knows when it’s business time,” said Orange.

Bettathanfast leading from Lawrence with a lap to runPhoto Bruce Stewart

Bettathanfast (inside) holding out LawrencePhoto Bruce Stewart

Returning after win number fivePhoto Bruce Stewart

The winning time on an easy track was 3-29.6 with the last 800 metres run in 58.4.

Orange has won most of the province’s Country Cup races but this was the first time he’s won the Gore Cup.

Trained at West Melton by Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon, Bettathanfast was warmed up by John Morrison prior to the previous race.

“It’s always a thing they’ve done with him. Pre-warmed him so they can get him thinking about his game plan.”

Orange says it’s likely that Bettathanfast will follow the Country Cups path for the rest of the season.

He’s out of the twenty four year old Wingspread mare Fast Winger who has left a string of winners for her Oamaru breeder Ray Beale since 2003.

Fast Wingers best winners have been Armbro Winger (7 wins), Still Laughlin (7 wins) and the ill-fated Almost A Christian (4 wins from just 8 starts).

By Bruce Stewart

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