Top line-up square off in tonight's Breeders Stakes
By Michael Guerin
The Fahey Fence Hire 50th NZ Breeders Stakes at Addington tonight may not come down to whether Bettor Twist is the best horse in the race.
It may come down to whether she can get to the lead then prove it.
The $100,000 Group One 2600m mobile brings together a plethora of speedster mares like Belle Of Montana, Need You Now, Allamericanlover and to be honest just about every other mare in the race against the equine sledgehammer that is Bettor Twist.
The last time most of these mares met was over 1980m here two weeks ago and the speedsters opted to keep Bettor Twist trapped three wide throughout and as brave as she was that meant a fourth placing for her and a bleeding nose for punters.
But many of the same mares met in the group one Queen Of Hearts at Alexandra Park in December and on that occasion Bettor Twist led and raced clear, with the difference in those two races summing up the great mare’s last 10 starts.
She is so relentless and hard to get past when she leads that she invariably wins, that being the case all three times she has led in her last 10 starts.
But she has won only one of the other seven starts when she was unable to find the marker pegs, with her lack of change up speed meaning she has tended to race parked and be brave but beaten.
Some of those defeats were in Australia, on smaller tracks against a very good filly in Ladies In Red, and Addington’s roomier track still gives Bettor Twist a chance to get that head of steam up coming wide over the last lap but punters considering taking favourite’s odds about her tonight will want to see her in front.
What aids her chances of getting there is a good draw and the 2600m distance which would suggest once the speedsters sort themselves out early most, if not all, would probably choose to hand up to Bettor Twist.
That makes her the horse to beat again but with the double threat of even the smallest chance she could left parked or having a genuinely high class rival like Belle Of Montana or Need You Now sitting on her back means she is no good thing.
Belle Of Montana looms as the biggest danger because she is all but guaranteed being on the marker pegs and if she can hold the lead until Bettor Twist challenges she could get the trail and try the slingshot move that won her the Jewels here two and a half years ago.
But there is enough depth in the race to suggest it could be one of its better editions in recent seasons.
The Breeders Stakes is set to go at 7.49pm at Addington tonight.