Day At The Track

Bettor Joy in box seat at Breeders

09:16 AM 26 Aug 2017 NZST
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More The Better.jpg
More The Better (4) contests the 3-year-old male pace.
Michael Craig Photo

Bettor Joy will be like a three-year-old racing juveniles at Melton tomorrow - literally. The Kiwi filly is an odds-on favourite for her A$285,000 Breeders Crown Final, courtesy of an eye-catching semifinal win last weekend, drawing barrier two and champion reinsman Dexter Dunn returning from the World Drivers Champs to pilot her.

She also has the advantage of having a full season of juvenile racing behind her in New Zealand, turning three on August 1 but then reverting to being a two-year-old when she crossed the Tasman as their harness racing season runs until the end of August - don't ask, the answer is ridiculous.

That weird anomaly means every season Kiwi horses go into the Breeders Crown with an experience edge over their Australian rivals and while the drop back is more of a paper advantage, trainer Cran Dalgety says in the case of Bettor Joy the gap is more real.

"She was a very good juvenile early in the season when she won the big race at Auckland [March] but then she weakened off like a lot of young horses do," explains Dalgety.

"But she has come through that, strengthened up again and feels now like a three-year-old because she has been through her two-year-old growing phase.

"In her work and the way she is racing it really is like she is a three-year-old already."

Dalgety says he will leave the crucial decision on whether Bettor Joy leads or trails Canterbury filly Angel Of Harlem up to Dunn but in a race with some Aussie fillies with big reputations it wouldn't surprise to see Bettor Joy making use of the passing lane.

The other richest final tomorrow sees Auckland pacer King Of Swing in a very similar situation - an impressive semi winner, drawn best of the favourites and with a gun driver in David Butcher.

He has never been further back than second and hasn't had some of the hard racing of his Aussie rivals so can give trainer Ray Green his first really major Australian victory, with the All Stars-trained Sicario the danger as last week's other semi winner.

Our Renezmae (two-year-old trot) and More The Better (three-year-old male pace) are the other New Zealand-trained favourites but Partyon will need to do something special to overcome a second line draw against Aussie arch-rival Petacular, who finally gets a good draw in the big time.

By Michael Guerin

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