Last chance for Canterbury Plains Challenge Series hopefuls

By Mike Love

Betterthandiva is one of a few horses looking to scrape into the final of the Canterbury Plains Challenge Series as the 10th and final heat takes place at Ashburton today.

Orari trainer Lionel Dobbs, with wife Janine, are confident the six year old Betterthancheddar mare will acquit herself well today.

“I think she’s ready for it”, said Janine Dobbs.

“She’s been working really well and she’s come through her last run pretty good. She should be up with them today provided she gets a good run and everything goes to plan.”

Betterthandiva currently sits 15th on the table, with the likes of Kink, Kennedy and Fernz Goldy all looking to secure spots in the top 14 to make the final.

“It would be great (to make the final) Lionel’s been training for a few years now and we haven't had a winner (in the harness code). We do well with the gallopers, but the trotters are a different story.”

Dobbs has had 1 placing from 169 starters to the races in the harness code when Pocket Call ran third back in 2019 at Forbury Park.

“We’ve got a trotter Just Charlie who qualified a couple of weeks ago who will probably race at Timaru (May 26th) and a Sky Major who we like that is just working up nicely. Plus we have 5 gallopers in work, one of which will race next week at Riccarton. It’s a big enough team.”

Betterthandiva has been with Dobbs for her previous six races, which includes three fourths.

“She was a bit crook when we first got her. A bad virus and a respiratory infection. So it’s taken a while to get her back, but she loves life at the moment.”

Betterthandiva will be driven by John Dunn who has a busy book of 8 drives today.

The final will be run at Addington on Friday May 17th for a stake of $30,000 from the 2600m (mobile) while a consolation will be run at Rangiora on May 19th for a stake of $12,500 over the same distance.

Racing commences today from 12:09pm.

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