A mid-race move by champion New South Wales harness racing reinsman Cameron Hart paved the way for the Jason Grimson-trained Betterzippit (sired by Betterthancheddar) to take out the million-dollar slot race, The Nullarbor at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
After starting from gate four, Hart allowed the Michael Boots-owned gelding to settle back in the field before sending him around the pack with two laps remaining, wresting the lead away from the early pacemaker, fellow Sydneysider Spirit Of St Louis.
Hart then made it a real staying test as he kept the pace on, running the last half in 56.1 seconds and simply running his rivals ragged.
Spirit Of St Louis (Jack Callaghan) did make a race of it, charging at Betterzippit in the run to the line to go down by a head margin, making it a Sydney quinella.
For Grimson and Hart, the win continued their impressive record in feature races.
Speaking after the race, Hart explained just how much of a confidence boost it was as a driver to be aboard Grimson’s horses – knowing full well that they would be spot-on.
For complete Gloucester Park race results, click here.
Hart went on to say that their partnership had become a very special one.
“Jason is just a freak at getting his horses right for these big races,” said Hart.
“I am always confident in knowing that when I go out on one of his horses they will be fit and trained to the minute.
“Then the rest is up to me to ensure that I get them into the best position to win.”
Friday night’s win was also a great result for owner Michael Boots from Leeton.
In recent times, Boots has become one of the most prominent owners in New South Wales and beyond, pouring a lot of time and money into the sport through both buying and breeding horses.
The hard-working Hart travels up to Newcastle this afternoon where he has five drives on an eight-race program.
His best winning chance appears to be the David Waite-trained Highview Saddler in Race 5.
A placegetter at his last two starts at Tabcorp Park Menangle, the gelding drops in grade this afternoon and after drawing gate two, Hart should be able to find a prominent spot near the lead and from there he will be hard to beat.