Day At The Track

Son of Kenneth J huge in Sapling Stakes

07:51 AM 08 Feb 2015 NZDT
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Col Thomas - Biggest win of his career in last nights Sapling Stakes
Col Thomas - Biggest win of his career in last nights Sapling Stakes

The first of the harness racing features at Menangle for the two year olds this season was held last night with the running of the $40,800 Sapling Stakes.

Queensland visitor Major Buddy was all the rage with punters after a series of outstanding trial runs but he was no match on the night for the locals who really turned it on for so early in the two year old calendar.

As the gate left Gavin Fitzpatrick shot Salty Robyn to the front from barrier two but he was hotly challenged early in the piece by Bettermatch with Steve Maguire in the bike from barrier seven.

These two eyeballed each other for the first 400 in a swift 26.6 before Steve took a hold of Bettormatch and they buttoned off the speed.

Debutante runner Born To Rocknroll with John McCarthy in the bike settled into the one by one after 400 metres from barrier five as Salty Robyn kept up a solid tempo.

A second quarter of  29.8 and a third quarter of 28.3 from Salty Robyn meant the back runners faced mission impossible as they turned for home.

Salty Robyn went for home by two with Bettermatch and Born To Rocknroll coming at him the whole length of the straight and in the shadows of the finishing line Bettormatch stuck his head out for an outstanding win.

A short half head away were both Salty Robyn and Born To Rocknroll who the judge couldn't separate for second.

With the last quarter being run in 28.9, the mile was cut out in a very quick 1:53.6.

For Bettermatch it was his fourth win on end and he remained unbeaten this season.

Trainer Col Thomas had one word to describe the feeling straight after the race.

" Awesome, really awesome, I am really very proud."

" That is the biggest race winner I have ever trained."

"He fired up a bit tonight which is not like him."

"He is a colt but he is so quiet at home he never gets out of second gear," Col said

Col was quick to heap praise on owner Robbie Wakeman who helps him out with his small team.

" Robbie is at home every morning at 6:30 to help me work the team and back at 2:00 in the afternoon to help out again."

"He does most of the work with Bettermatch and deserves a lot of the credit," Col said.

A colt by the ill fated son of Bettor's Delight in Kenneth J, Bettermatch is from the racewinning New Zealand bred  Live Or Die mare in Matchme who is from a half sister to two former topliners in Bolton Byrd and Melton Monarch for noted New Zealand breeder Jim Dalgety.

Bettermatch has two immediate goals in the next few weeks.

" He can come back here in ten days for the Simpson Memorial and then we will head to Bathurst."

"I would really love to win a Group One with him," Col said.

The first three home last night all went super and if that is the standard of two year old racing this season, then we have some great racing to look forward to.

Harnesslink Media


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