Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
A whirlwind start and a dawdling early pace paved the way for Bettorstartdreaming’s victory in the 2536m Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Bettorstartdreaming ($2.40) and Sangue Reale ($1.85) dominated betting on the race, and Bettorstartdreaming stole a march on his rival, who was the sole runner on the back line, with a flying start from barrier No. 5.
Bettorstartdreaming drew the No. 7 barrier but came into the No. 5 spot with the scratching of two runners drawn on his inside.
Trainer-reinsman Lindsay Harper said that it was always his plan to set the pace with the speedy New Zealand-bred six-year-old, who went into the race with a losing sequence of nine, which included only two placings.
“His lead form has been very good, but his trailing form has been poor,” said Harper. “I really don’t understand it, because he was versatile in New Zealand where he didn’t have to lead to win over there.
“At the moment it appears that he has to be up in front and we were always going to let loose tonight to try to get to the top. The couple of scratchings helped. I think he has a lot of ability, but his heart and head are not what you would like with a good horse.
“Once we got away with a slow lead time and a 32.3sec. first quarter he was going to be hard to beat.” Bettorstartdreaming ran the final three quarters in 28.9sec., 28.7sec. and 29.2sec. and he won by 2m from Sangue Reale, who fought on determinedly after racing three back on the pegs and then in the breeze.
“When he leads, he looks impressive, and when he doesn’t lead, he’s disappointing,” said Harper.
Bettorstartdreaming raced 18 times in New Zealand for five wins and four placings. He now has won at five of his 35 starts in Western Australia.