EVERGREEN BETTOR’S FIRE _ A MONEY MAKING MACHINE
By Jeff Scott
Remarkable 11-year-old former Kentuckiana Lodge pacer Bettor’s Fire is loving the front end on mile dashes in North America.
He racked up his 10th win in 26 starts for the year State-side on Friday (NZ time), taking his yearly earnings over $US171,000.
Bettor’s Fire (Bettor’s Delight-Sparks A Flyin) who also has nine placed efforts for the year, led from the six barrier in a $US20,000 Open Pace at Plainridge Park, Maine, for driver Mitchell Cushing.
He held fellow NZ-bred Rock Diamonds, a stablemate of Bettor’s Fire in the Heidi Gibbs stable, by half a length in 1:51.3 (fifths).
Bettor’s Fire has taken a lifetime best of 1:50.1 (fifth) or 1:50.2 (10ths, for NZ records) on a 1000m track this year.
He had rewarding career in West Australia, also relishing front-running opportunities at Gloucester Park, where he was a multiple Group Two and Three winner, including winning the Group Two 2013 Mount Eden Sprint in a 1:53.8 rate (1780), and two Group Two Bunbury Cups.
He was also second to Im Victorious in the 2014 Group One Fremantle Cup, ran third in a 2016 Inter Dominion Heat and was luckless from a back row draw when sixth in Smolda’s $1.1 million Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final at Gloucester Park in December, 2016.
Bettors Fire, who initially won 11 of 30 NZ starts for the Cran Dalgety stable, has gone on to win 51 races world-wide, for the equivalent of over $NZ1 million.
His combined international earnings stand at $976,417.
Cran and Chrissie Dalgety ae hopeful close relative, improving 3YO filly Dr Susan, will continue to strength with age.
She’s from former Southland Oaks winner and good stable performer Safedra (p3, 1:56.3, 10 wins & $135,577), a half-sister by Mach Three to Bettor’s Fire and other smart winners, (My) Alpha Rock (1:49.5, Aust,17 wins & $A240,614), Art Union (1:55.6, 17 wins & $210,120 including a Victoria Derby Heat), (Dominating) Diomedes (1:57.5, Aust, 12 wins & $87,994), Empyrean (1:56.2, 10 wins & $121,302)
Rock Diamonds (6h Rocknoll Hanover-Dancing Diamonds, by Bettor’s Delight-Asabella), the runner-up to Bettor’s Fire at Maine, has a 1:50 mark, also on a 1000m track, and a strong pedigree page to boot.
He also made his mark in West Australia, winning 16 in Perth before heading to North America, where he’s added another eight wins and taken his earnings to $310,171.
Rock Diamonds was a two-time Group Two winner in WA, including the 2017 50,000 Caduceus Club Classic at Gloucester Park and ran fifth in the 2017 Australasian Breeders Crown 3YO Final at Melton, behind Our Little General, Jillyby Kung Fu, Motu Meteor and Stars Align.
Runner-up Rock Diamonds, bred by Braeden and Caroline Whitelock from their former top filly Dancing Diamonds (1:57.8, nine wins from 21 starts for $343,276) is an older half-brother to 2018 Cambridge Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond winner and 2018 NZ 2YO Paciing Filly of the Year, Princess Tiffany (1:53.4, 16 wins from 23 starts for $771,568).
The family has also starred in WA with Ohokas Bondy (1:53.6), the year younger brother to Dancing Diamonds, bred by Phil Creighton and Stu Gillan, winning 22 races and $A388,148.
Ohokas Bondy made an immediate impact, winning his first 13 one end including the 2010 Group One $125,000 Golden Slipper 2YO Stakes at Gloucester Park at his third start, and later the Group One McInerney Ford 4YO Classic, and Group Two Nights Of Thunder.
Code Red (1:55.1, 12 wins &, $132,639) the first foal from seven-win mare Asabella, also ended up winning in WA, winning six there including the Listed Marathon Handicap after reaching a useful mark in NZ for Ohoka trainer, Peter Bagrie.