Day At The Track

Good day for Little

09:16 AM 19 Mar 2018 NZDT
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Betterthanbrie,Harness racing
Betterthanbrie winning at Wyndham
Photo Bruce Stewart

Invercargill lawyer Murray Little was in the winners circle twice at the Wyndham harness racing meeting yesterday (Saturday) when two of the horses he owns and bred won their respective races.

Betterthanbrie started the ball rolling in Race Two. She settled in the last group of runners after drawing barrier thirteen and improved three wide on the back of Thisexcusebetterbeit inside the last 700 metres. Driver Dexter Dunn brought the three year old wide into the straight and she let down strongly to beat Thisexcusebetterbeit by a length and a quarter with a half a length back to favourite Semiramide who was late getting clear. 

The Betterthancheddar filly qualified as a two year old from Wayne Adams barn but is now trained by Paul 'Tank' Ellis at Oreti Beach.

"She got a wee injury about four or five months ago. We turned her out and decided to put her on the beach which is quite good because I get to drive her on Saturdays and Sundays," said Little who owns the barn Ellis trains out of.

Betterthanbrie is out of the nine win Holmes Hanover mare Suvarno Hanover which Little owns.

"I've had her (Betterthanbrie) since she was weaned and I'm never going to sell her because she's the only filly I've got out of Suvarno Hanover."

Little got into the family when be bought Mach Varno at the sales.

"Then Ged Mooar rang me and said do you want to buy the mother in foal to Courage Under Fire. I bought her and I've been breeding from her ever since."

The Courage Under Fire colt never raced but the next foal by Bettors Delight named Wannabet won three in New Zealand and another eight in Australia. He's paced a mile there in 1-53.9. Suvarno Hanover's next foal is Betterthanbrie while she also has an American Ideal two year old colt named Wannahavtime.

"He's growing and going to be a big horse so we just tipped him out this week. Kirstin Barclay's got him and he was going really well on his second prep."

Little also sold the mare's yearling colt by He's Watching at the recent Christchurch sale for $18,000.

He thinks there's still improvement in Betterthanbrie judging from the way she's been running on in her previous starts and he says he'd love to start her in Invercargill at the end of next month. 

"I'll talk to Tank but I'd love her to race in the Southland Oaks because her mum won it."

Murray Little with stable helpers                      - Photo Bruce Stewart 

Later in the day the talented Mach's Back returned to the winners circle after a horror run of noughts.

He settled in the last group of horses early. With 1300 metres to run, driver Ricky May sent the four year old forward three wide. He got cover briefly from favourite Come Dance With Me which had followed him up. At the 400 these two horses got down to business and under the urgings of May, Mach's Back proved too good winning by a length and a quarter. The winning time was 2-56.3.

"He had teeth problems and was crossfiring but they've got that sorted out," said Little prior to the win yesterday.

Like Betterthanbrie he also bred Mach's Back which is by Mach Three out of Dream Angel a full-sister to high class mare One Dream which won eighteen races and nearly $900,000.


Bruce Stewart
Southland Harness Racing


Betterthanbrie winning 


Mach's Back winning


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