Day At The Track

Warwick opts for Bettor Not Bitter

04:56 PM 19 Jul 2017 NZST
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Ryan Warwick
Ryan Warwick
Paceway Photography

Ryan Warwick has given punters a massive lead by opting to drive the lightly raced Bettor Not Bitter in preference to standing start specialist Assassinator in the $23,000 Garrard’s Horse & Hound BOTRA Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Five year old Assassinator’s past seven wins have been in stands, with Warwick in the sulky for five of those victories. Assassinator, who boasts a record of 18 wins and 29 placings from 94 starts, and four-year-old Bettor Not Bitter are trained by Greg and Skye Bond, who are seeking their first win in a BOTRA Cup.

Bettor Not Bitter has won at seven of his 26 starts and faces a considerable rise in class in Friday night’s Cup, a stand over 2503m, in which he will start off the front, with Assassinator, to be driven by Ryan Bell, on the 10m mark.

Bettor Not Bitter made his first appearance in a stand when he began smoothly off 20m and mustered great early pace to burst to the front after 550m before bowling along and winning easily by more than four lengths in modest C0 company over 2503m at Gloucester Park last Saturday night, rating 2:1.3 on a very heavy track.

He charged home from the rear to win narrowly from Cest Lheure in a 2185m mobile event at Pinjarra the previous Monday.  Assassinator warmed up for this week’s event with a sound third behind Motu Premier and Always Arjay in a mobile event at Gloucester Park on July 1.

Blythewood trainer Michael Brennan, who was successful in last year’s BOTRA Cup with 5/1 chance Naughty Maravu, holds a strong hand in Friday night’s race with three runners - Im Master Charlie, Jason Rulz and Cut For An Ace.

Michael Grantham had the choice of these three pacers and he has opted to drive Jason Rulz, who has been unplaced at four starts since finishing strongly to win a 2636m stand at Narrogin on May 9. Chris Voak will handle Im Master Charlie and Gary Hall Jnr (who drove Naughty Maravu to victory in last year’s BOTRA Cup) will drive Cut For An Ace.

Im Master Charlie is in good form, with solid placings at his past three starts and he makes good appeal off the front. Chris Voak drove Im Master Charlie when he led for the first 650m and then trailed the pacemaker Naughty Maravu running third to his stablemate in last year’s BOTRA Cup. Im Master Charlie won two stands in New Zealand and has won four stands in WA, with Voak in the sulky for the first two of those wins, in May 2016.

Nine-year-old Cut For An Ace will start off 10m and he impressed last Friday night when he finished determinedly from sixth at the bell to be a close third behind Zach Maguire and Motu Premier.

Five-year-olds Tommy Be Good (20m) and Rycroft (10m) will also be fancied in a very open affair. The Katja Warwick-trained Tommy Be Good is capable of producing a strong finishing burst and many keen students of form will declare him the winner after discovering that his past six runs in stands have produced five wins and a third placing. He will be driven by Stuart McDonald, with Aiden de Campo opting to drive frontmarker and consistent performer Sky Art, who is prepared in Capel by de Campo’s father Andrew.


Ken Casellas

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