Bettor Twist wins fans in defeat

By Adam Hamilton

SUPERSTAR Kiwi filly Bettor Twist is winless in two Aussie runs, but she’s building beautifully.

While she dominated at home, Bettor Twist has bumped into a genuinely stellar crop of Aussie fillies for her Breeders Crown raid.

For the second time in as many starts, she was beaten by emerging local Beach Music. On both occasions, Beach Music has drawn better and found the lead, while Bettor Twist has had to sit parked both times.

This time, in a Crown heat at Bendigo last night, she was mightily brave to get within a head of Beach Music in a 1min54.5sec mile rate for 2150m.

They ran home in 54.7 and 26.6sec and Bettor Twist lifted after looking beaten on the final bend to keep closing the gap right to the line.

“We knew she’d improve on what did first-up here and she did,” trainer Nathan Purdon said. “This run will bring her on even more for the semi and final.”

Beach Music’s driver David Moran was thrilled with his filly, but also full of praise for Bettor Twist.

“I think my filly is better rolling along, but it was really Anthony (Butt, driving Bettor Twist) who dictated the pace because I went as quick as I needed to go so he didn’t get too close to us in the run,” he said.

“I was still mindful of giving my filly as easier a run as possible, but Bettor Twist did a huge job to keep coming and get as close as she did in those sorts of times.”

Beach Music was the middle pin of a cleansweep of Crown 3YO fillies’ heat wins for Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin.

Earlier, multiple Group 1 winner Tough Tilly returned from a very minor throat operation to lead throughout in her heat.

It was a walk through the early and middle stages before driver Kate Gath cut her loose for a mesmerizing 25.8sec last quarter to beat stablemate Platinum Sparkle by two metres in a comfortable 1min57.5sec mile rate.

Tough Tilly, who boasts 10 wins and seven seconds from her 20 starts, had the throat operation after being diagnosed with a minor issue after she ran 10th in a Victoria Oaks heat at Bendigo on October 2.

Stewart and Tonkin snared the trifecta in the third heat, but not in the order most expected.

Champion filly Ladies In Red was upstaged by stablemate Joanna, who found the lead and ripped home 26.4sec and held-off Ladies In Red by 1.2m with another 7.5m away to Treachery, who then trailed Joanna, in third spot.

Ladies In Red still smashed the clock coming three-wide from the 350m, but it showed she was not totally invincible.

The other Kiwi raider, Lifes A Beach, ran a terrific fourth after sitting parked throughout for caretakers Andy and Kate Gath.

She showed no real early speed, moved to the “death” seat, but overraced through the middle stages and did a good job to hang-in and finish just 10m from Joanna.

In the colts and geldings series, Victoria Derby winner Act Now produced a mighty staying effort to win his heat in powerhouse style.

Main danger Bettor Call Me led and dictated, while Act Now drew the back row and had to sustain a long run from near the rear in closing splits of 28.7, 26.7 and 27.7sec.

It was a mighty effort to keep coming and win running away in the end by two metres in a 1min54.8sec mile rate.

Stewart and Tonkin made it five wins from the six heats on the night when the injury-plagued Beyond Delight led, dawdled, sprinted home in 26.3sec to beat stablemate Major Moth in a cosy 1min58.1sec mile rate.

Former Kiwi American Dealer sat three pegs, lost touch at the top of the straight, but made some late ground for a well-held third.

In the most open heat, Mick Stanley’s emerging Rock N Roll Doo camped just off the speed and overpowered a very gallant Yambukian, who sat parked, to win by a half-neck in a 1min56sec mile rate and closing splits of 55.9 and 27.1sec.

The Crown semis are at Melton next Saturday night ahead of the stellar Grand Finals night at the same track a week later.

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