Bettor Twist likely to head over the ditch

By Michael Guerin

The man behind champion pacing filly Bettor Twist is going to let her stay a three-year-old as long as he can.

And that means don’t expect to see her racing in New Zealand in the first half of next season.

Bettor Twist unsurprisingly put her rivals to the sword in last night’s $120,000 Nevele R Fillies Final at Addington, surging to the lead in the middle stages before racing clear of a brave Off N Gone and Bettor Talk Art in a 1:55 mile rate for the 1980m.

Already the best filly in the country she looks to be getting better and with the step up to 2600m for the New Zealand Oaks next Friday likely to suit her even better that looks at her mercy.

Then comes the challenge of a mile around Cambridge for the Jewels but the way she is racing it would be a brave punter to bet against her as she looks more alert, sharper and is finding the line harder. Put simply, she is too good for her rivals at the moment.

After the Jewels the daughter of Bettors Delight has plenty of options in Australia where, and plenty of people are still getting their heads around this, she will be a three-year-old until January 1 next year because of their change of season.

Breckon, who with his wife Karen, bred her and operates the Breckon Farms -Take Ten syndicate which race Bettor Twist is smart enough to know what that means.

“She really should head to Australia and race there because she will be three for so much longer,” says Breckon.

“We haven’t really discussed it but it makes sense. She could even head to the Queensland carnival but the Oaks races there come very quickly after the Jewels.

“But later in the season she is paid up for the Breeders Crown and there is the Victorian Oaks as well.

“So we will have to work it all out with Hayden (Cullen) but it is pretty obvious she should target those series and races and we should utilise her being three as long as we can.”

That would mean only really missing the Queen of Hearts here in New Zealand as a group one mare's option whereas Bettor Twist would be racing only her own age and sex in Australia, effectively turning her three-year-old season into a 17-month one.

Her group one win continued the remarkable run for Hayden Cullen since he took over the All Stars horses back in January 1 and that was extended when he quinellaed the $200,000 Harness Million for two-year-old male pacers last night as well.

Akuta showed speed and stamina to work twice in the race and then lead the last 900m for driver Blair Orange in the Ian Dobson colours.

He looks to be a horse improving at the right stage of the season and for the moment has top freshman honours over stablemate Cosmic Major, who closed bravely in second in the style of a horse who can win one of the group ones in coming weeks.

While Major Perry was solid in third it is hard to make a case for Cullen’s stable dominance of this crop ending in the next month .
Then his best juveniles have the option of staying here for three-year-old races like the Sires’ Stakes and Harness Millions in the first half of next season or some may head to Australia to take advantage of the same rules Bettor Twist and heading to Australia where they remain juveniles.

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