Bettor Reward Set to Lead
Star reinsman Chris Lewis has fond memories of his brief association with Bettor Reward and he is looking forward to joining forces again with the eight-year-old in the opening event, the Allwood Stud Farm Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“He looks my best drive at the meeting,” he declared after the Clint Hall-trained eight-year-old drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in the $20,000 sprint.
“It’s a good race for him, 1730m and barrier one. Wesley (barrier five) has good gate speed, but one is a good advantage.”
Bettor Reward has raced 51 times for 13 wins and 11 placings, but Lewis has driven him only four times for a second to Three Bears at Bunbury in February 2016, an all-the-way win over The Odd Lover in the Manea Classic at Bunbury the same month, an unplaced run at Gloucester Park in December 2017 and fort an all-the-way win over 2190m at Northam seven starts ago.
Bettor Reward was a winner three starts ago when he was handled by Hall and worked hard in the breeze for much of the way before beating Dominate The Dojo and The War Nurse at a 1.57 rate over 1730m at Gloucester Park on August 9.
At his next two starts, with Hall in the sulky, Bettor Reward started from wide barriers and was unplaced over 2130m
Black Jack Zac (barrier two) and Ardens Concord (three) should appreciate favourable draws, while Wesley (five), You Gotta Have Faith (six), Saleahs Comand (eight) and Hy Leexciting (No. 3 on the back line) will have admirers.
Wesley, to be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green for Bunbury trainer Sarah Wall, possess sparkling gate speed and is overdue for a change of luck after close seconds to Catastrophic Event (over 1609m at Bunbury) and Magestic Prince (over 1684m at Pinjarra). However, Lewis is confident Bettor Reward can hold out the speedy pacer in the early battle for the lead.
Saleahs Comand and Roman Aviator (barrier nine) also possess excellent gate speed, but like Wesley, they face tough tasks to outspeed Bettor Reward after the mobile releases the field.
You Gotta Have Faith, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr for Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop, looks set for a strong return to racing after an absence of almost six months. He impressed in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday morning when he began speedily from barrier four, led for the first 550m and then took the trail behind James Butt before sprinting home strongly to win from that pacer at a 1.57.9 rate, with final quarters of 27.6sec. and 28.3sec.