New Zealand-bred Bettor Reason emerged as a surprise leading candidate for next month's $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship when he scored an upset win in the TABtouch 4YO Championship (2100m) at Gloucester Park last night.
Bettor Reason, starting at $17.60 and skilfully driven in front by reinsman Gary Hall Jr, fought on tenaciously to win from Your Good Fortune and Bronze Seeker.
There was drama at the 300m post when $2.40 favourite Im Victorious broke gait as driver Justin Prentice was extricating him into clear running. He galloped back to finish at the rear.
Hall's father Gary Sr trains Bettor Reason for former WA owner Phil Cook, who lives in New Zealand.
On the strength of last night's win, the bay will almost certainly be solidly supported in Friday week's $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic.
Bettor Reason also could be a significant contender in the Golden Nugget on December 7.
"He's just coming to his peak fitness now," Hall Jr said.
"The horse will be at his best at the right time for the Classic and the Nugget.
"He's got a lot of strength and can find plenty at the finish, going to the line strongly even if we burn early to lead."
Inter Dominion champion Im Themightyquinn cruised to victory in the Racing Radio's Big Breakfast Pace (2506m).
The horse raced closer to the lead than usual.
"The experiment was successful tonight because he settled after being put in a more prominent position than usual," Hall Jr said
Brilliant four-year-old Sensational Gabby scored an impressive front-running victory in a TABtouch Shaun McManus Qualifying Heat over 2100m.
The Greg Schofield-trained mare, a winner at 23 of 27 starts, was unextended by Chris Lewis as she coasted away from her rivals.
Sensational Gabby rated 1:56.1 in beating Argent Treasure by 5.5m, with Im Light Hearted a further two metres back in third place.
Falcons Medley won the TABtouch.mobi Pace (2503m) from a 30m handicap, the gelding's second city win in a week.