WHILE Georges Plains trainer Bernie Hewitt has been taking home some of the major spoils with his current stable star College Chapel, it is two of his “lesser lights” that are set to dominate at Penrith tonight.
Hewitt has two genuine improvers ready to contest heats of the Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge at Penrith and both are rated the ones to beat by most of their rivals.
Bettor Sport, listed a $1.50 favourite in the two-year-old colts and geldings’ heat, finished a gallant fifth to potential superstar Centenario in the recent final of the Australian Pacing Gold series at Melton in Victoria.
The son of Sportswriter also contested a heat of the Bathurst Gold Crown where he finished third before finishing a disappointing seventh in the Gold Crown Consolation final.
Still Hewitt could be forgiven for being a little distracted that night as his stable star College Chapel would later give him his first Bathurst Gold Crown.
Bettor Sport has continued to improve and win three wins from just eight starts has landed the perfect draw in gate two for tonight’s assignment and should push on and make the Breeders Challenge semi-finals by scoring here.
Bernie could well be looking to make it a double in the heats when his talented filly Taylors Mill contests the “girls” heat.
A Parkes winner three runs back, Taylors Mill also went around in the Bathurst Gold Tiara series but could only finish fifth to Ally Rogan in her heat after racing without cover for much of the journey.
The filly struck all sorts of trouble at her next start, in the Gold Tiara Silver Consolation, when she copped a check, broke and dropped out of contention before finishing last.
Still she has continued to improve and shapes as a sound each-way prospect tonight after drawing well in gate three for Hewitt.
Her toughest rivals appear to be first-up winner Kept In Play from the James Rattray stable, listed as a $2.25 favourite in early markets.
It’s a mammoth 10-race card at Penrith tonight and former Tasmanian James Rattray, of Beautide fame, has now found a happy home with stables at Exeter and he will mount a concerted attack on a heat of the Harness Breeders NSW Go Girlfriend Series when he sends three horses around in one race.
He has the $1.55 favourite Make Mine Heaven, which he will drive, while his young stablehand Codi Rauchenberger will drive Melanna Beach ($10), while champion reinsman Luke McCarthy will help Rattray out by piloting Guilty Pleasure ($6.50) who is drawn to be competitive in Race Six.