The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Itz Bettor To Win was an emphatic debut winner in Saturday’s $25,000 Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham.
With the aid of the ace barrier draw, driver Blair Orange positioned the brown colt in the trail behind early leader Pulp Fiction.
He then burst up the passing lane in the home stretch to down Say My Name, who was game in defeat after sitting parked, and stablemate Alta Ronaldo, who finished a close-up third.
Itz Bettor To Win, who is by Bettor’s Delight out of a full-sister to top filly Itz Cherry Ripe, paced the mile in a stunning 1-54.3, which equalled the race, track, and Southland record, held by Le Sol, winner of the Kindergarten in 2010.
Itz Bettor To Win was purchased for a six figure sum by prolific Australian harness racing owners Merv & Meg Butterworth after winning a trial impressively for trainer-driver Mark Jones, who then recommended the colt to the Butterworths.
Itz Bettor To Win is the second horse that the Butterworths have purchased off Rob and Norma McMeeking, who also bred the colt. The first one is Itz Dreamin Jonesy who has won six of his ten starts in Australia to date.
Purdon has now trained the winner of six Kindergarten Stakes while Blair Orange has driven three.
Messini, who won the race last year for Purdon, was an impressive winner of race eight, the following event on the 11-race card.
Merv & Meg Butterworth, who also own Arden Rooney who finished second in the Wyndham Cup, were own track to enjoy the winning spoils on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Franco Ledger who won the Wyndham Cup in a track record time of 3-57.0, will now be given a three month spell.
By Mitchell Robertson