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Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing

Bettors Destroya, the $2.40 favourite, was fully extended when seriously challenged for the early lead in the $30,000 group 3 Harry Capararo Westbred Pace for four and five-year-old mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The lead time was covered in a sizzling 35.4sec., with Bettors Destroya defying the spirited early challenge from $11 chance Run For Mercy, who led by a length 200m after the start, but was unable to cross the favourite and then being forced to race in the breeze.

Gary Hall Jnr was able to settle Bettors Destroya, and he rated her perfectly with quarters of 30.4sec., 30.6sec., 29sec. and 30.5sec. The four-year-old led by three lengths at the 400m and was two lengths in front 100m from the post before holding on determinedly to win by a neck from the $7 third fancy Patrikiar, finished strongly after racing three back on the pegs.

Bettors Destroya, trained in Boyanup by Justin Prentice, had been placed at four of her five previous starts, and she rated 1.,57.8 over the 2130m as she improved her record to 20 starts for four wins, nine placings and stakes of $54,477. She was purchased for $70,000 at the 2019 APG Perth yearling sale by a syndicate headed by Gloucester Park Harness Racing’s chief executive Michael Radley and should develop into a quality mare.

“It was good to get this win with her because she is better than what people give her credit for,” said Hall. “She has been a bit hit and miss with her form, and I know that Justin has had a problem in not knowing what the best way is to prepare her for her races. She has been one of the harder ones for him to work out.”

Bettors Destroya is by Bettors Delight and is the sixth foal out of the Northern Luck mare Chemical Romance, who was retired after three unplaced efforts as a two-year-old in 2009. She is a full-sister to Bettor Reward, who has earned $244,065 from 15 wins and 11 placings from 61 starts. Bettors Destroya is also a half-sister to promising three-year-old filly Sovrana, who finished second to Wonderful To Fly in the group 2 Diamond Classic last month.

Chemical Romance’s dam Ferrari Trunkey was a brilliant pacer who was a star performer as a two and three-year-old in 1993 and 1994 before being retired to stud with a record of 39 starts for 22 wins, seven placings and $267,845 in prizemoney.