Bettor Twist "about 90 per cent" for Aussie debut
By Adam Hamilton
Superstar Kiwi filly Bettor Twist will be a tad vulnerable in her Aussie debut at Geelong on Saturday night.
New trainer Nathan Purdon is thrilled with her progress, but adamant Bettor Twist will improve a lot from her run in the strong Allied Express 3YO Fillies’ Classic (2100m) at Geelong.
“The Breeders Crown heats are only two weeks away, so she needs this run,” he said. “She had a couple of trials back in NZ and I gave her a quiet trial at Geelong Monday night, but she’s about 90 per cent. This run will bring her on a lot.
“She’s quite relaxed at home, but you can tell, when it’s time to go, she feels like a really nice horse.”
Bettor Twist hasn’t raced since posting her 12th win and sixth at Group 1 level when she produced a mesmerizing win on Harness Jewels day at Cambridge on June 6.
“There are no easy races for her. This looks a pretty nice batch of fillies here (Victoria) and it’s a strong race this week,” Purdon said.
“Even though Ladies In Red isn’t there, Beach Music isn’t that far behind her and she looks the one for us to beat this week.”
Beach Music won her first three runs this campaign before finishing third to superstar stablemate Ladies In Red in the Victoria Oaks last start.
She’s drawn gate 10, slightly better than Bettor Twist out in barrier 12.
It’s another huge night for Purdon, who also has Amazing Dream and Spellbound racing at Geelong.
Amazing Dream is $1.70 favourite from the pole in the $60,000 Group 2 Geelong Cup (2570m).
It creates the inevitable talk about tactics given the champion mare’s strangely moderate record when leading.
“I think we’ll probably have to go for an all-the-way win,” Purdon said. “The problem in handing-up is there could be two or three lead changes and we could end-up being shuffled right back.
“Anthony will get her out as quickly as she can and I think the longer trip will suit her more than the Victoria Cup.”
Purdon also revealed blood tests showed Amazing Dream was “a tad off” in the Victoria Cup.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but it could explain her being a bit flat on the night,” he said.
“She seems really well and we’ve changed her training around a little bit to try and help her be better in front.”
Purdon seems as excited about Spellbound as he is any horse in his stable.
“She’s so exciting and so fast,” he said. “That was some sort of win first-up last week and I’m sure she’ll be better again.”
Spellbound backs-up at Geelong in the second leg of Victoria’s triple crown for mares’, the $30,000 Angelique Club Pace (2100m).
“I’m sure she’ll be very hard to beat again,” Purdon said. “You always need a bit of luck from the back row and there’s some nice mares in it, but she’s come back better than ever this time in work.”
Spellbound (gate 10) is a $2 favourite from classy local Maajida, who gets the advantage of a front row draw this week, albeit the outside (gate seven). She’s $3.90 second elect.