Phelan enjoying success
NZ HARNESS NEWS
When he got together with a new partner a couple of years ago, Scott Phelan probably didn’t realise the flow on effect it would have for his training career.
Not that Phelan harbors any desire to have more than one or two in work at a time.
But his last three horses have all come from his partner’s father, Robert Anderson, and they’ve all been successful.
Maiden mare Betterthankaty was the latest to join the list when winning convincingly at Alexandra Park on Friday night, overcoming the widest draw to get the spoils over a sprint trip (1700m).
It was just her second start for Phelan and his partner, Emma Anderson, who leases the horse from North Canterbury breeder/owner, Mike Stevens.
She’d been unsuccessful in 16 starts in the South Island but, after an unlucky debut for Phelan with the money on last week, she’s now a race-winner.
“I don’t think you need to put much on to move them in these days,” said Phelan of last week’s big betting shift.
“I thought she was a good chance – better than her form suggested anyway – but it didn’t quite work out.”
There were no such problems this week, Phelan taking luck out of the equation with a potent burst of speed off the gate to lead, then trail.
“That was surprising; I didn’t think she had that much speed, but it’s but good to know it’s there.
“She relaxed well and came home nicely.”
Her form down south had been ok at times – she’d run some nice placings – and Phelan believes she’ll suit Auckland.
“It’s not easy running in those big, 15-horse fields down south all the time.
“Coming up here, she should be able to strike smaller fields and more mobiles, which you’d have to think will only help her.”
Phelan has already worked the oracle with two other Anderson horses in Scoob Operator and Azza, who both won three races for him last year before sales to Australian interests.
But he can’t see Betterthankaty going the same way, mainly because she has a broodmare career ahead of her.
“She’s a half-sister to Cash N Flow and Katy Perry, so unless they got a really good offer, I think they’ll be breeding from her eventually.
“She’s just kept on improving since she got here and I think there’s probably a few more wins in her yet, anyway.”
Phelan, who works from Barry Purdon and before that was at Stonewall Stud, says Betterthankaty is the first by sire Betterthancheddar that he’s had anything to do with.
“Not a one.
“She’s the first I’ve handled.
“He’s by Bettor’s Delight and I can see a bit of that in her.”
The night’s main pace was won by Recco Lover, who peeled off a blistering 54-second half to peg back hot favourite Mach Shard in what was a stirring stretch battle.
And classy trotter Lemond made a winning return, one of two trotting victors on the night for Cambridge horseman Ross Paynter, along with Gershwin.