Harness racing trainer Ross Sugars has a high opinion of his in-form four-year-old Bettor Rock On.
And why shouldn’t he? Since arriving Down Under from New Zealand, the son of Bettors Delight is three from three after two wins at Ballarat and one at Warragul.
Bettor Rock On will contest the first of two heats of the Tabcorp Park Melton Winter Championship over 1720m on Friday night.
At his most recent outing Bettor Rock On sat in the breeze to win at Ballarat over 2200m in a mile rate of 1:58.9, arguably never leaving second gear in defeating Arr En Special by 3.9m.
“Under their handicapping system in New Zealand he was running into the very best too soon,” Sugars said.
“We’re friends with the owners so they sent him over to us and I couldn’t be happier with having him.”
In New Zealand Bettor Rock On was forced to take on the likes of top-class free-for-all gun Franco Nelson. And he wasn’t getting beaten far in those sorts of races.
Bettor Rock On led and won at Warragul two starts back, beating Baccarat by 6.2m. Baccarat has since gone on to win at Kilmore, franking the form.
“He’s such a lovely and relaxed racehorse and he’s very adaptable to circumstances and the tempo of any particular race,” Sugars said.
“He’s also got a very good burst of speed, so there’s no real set running pattern for him, which makes the driver’s life a hell of a lot easier.”
Sugars predicted Bettor Rock On would make a strong country cups horse next season.
“The plan is for him to go right through the grades,” he said.
The Hopetoun Park trainer has La Machane in the Harness Breeders Vic Jane Ellen on Friday night, but he admits defeating New South Welsh star Frith will be a tough task for the mare.
“Last start was a shockingly slowly run race. She went 55.1 for the last half,” he said.
“She’s going really well.
“The bad draw makes it difficult on Friday night. Frith probably leads and history says she’ll be left alone.”
The Sugars stable will also be represented by Illawong Magic in the first race, Mulgrave in the third and Quite A Moment in the seventh. Daylight Dan is an emergency in Race 8.
By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)