Rarely does a metropolitan maiden class event attract a great deal of attention. But this is far from the case when New Zealand-bred superstar Bit Of A Legend runs in the $17,500 Lancaster Park Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Already the four-year-old is a genuine champion and is the nominal favourite for the $50,000 Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship, the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic and the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park next month and early in December.
Bit Of A Legend has not raced since he scored an effortless victory in the Breeders Crown for three-year-old colts and geldings at Melton in Victoria on August 18. He also won the two-year-old leg 12 months earlier.
Bit Of A Legend is classes ahead of his 11 rivals in Friday night’s event in which he will be an extremely short-priced favourite. He has had 32 starts for Christchurch trainer Cran Dalgety for 16 wins, ten placings and stakes of $621,918.
Dalgety and the stallion’s regular reinsman Dexter Dunn are still in New Zealand and Auckland trainer Brent Mangos has been looking after Bit Of A Legend at Rob Tomlinson’s Pinjarra property for the past fortnight.
Dalgety is confident of a first-up victory and he said that the horse had come back up really well after a brief spell. “He’s not the sort of horse you need to do a lot of work with to get back to full fitness,” he said.
Mangos is looking forward keenly to driving Bit Of A Legend for the first time on Friday night. “I have only ever watched him,” he said. “He is very good out of the gate and he seems pretty adaptable. This should be a nice race for him.”
Bit Of A Legend had a splendid pipe opener when Kade Howson drove him in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Saturday morning when the horse finished full of running and covered the final 400m in 26.6sec. in finishing a nose second to Dasher VC.
Bit Of A Legend is awkwardly drawn, out wide at No. 6 on the front line in Friday night’s sprint. But he is all class and this should prove to be no disadvantage. The son of Bettors Delight has won at ten of his past 12 starts, with his only defeats in that period being by a head and a half-head.
He rated 1.56.7 and dashed over the final 400m in 26.7sec. when a head second to Border Control in the New Zealand Derby at Addington last April and a half-head second to Border Control in the 1609m Emerald in which he ran the 1609m journey in 1.50.6, with the final 800m in 53.6sec. and the last 400m in 26.6sec.
The Ross Olivieri-trained Kiss Chasey will start from the prized No. 1 barrier and should finish second to Bit Of A Legend. A strong frontrunner, he has started from the No. 1 barrier six times for three wins, one second, one third and one fifth placing.
by Ken Casellas