A cheap buy indeed!

By Peter Wharton

A horse who changed hands for a meagre $1500 at a Karaka All Aged and Weanling Sale won the inaugural $1million The Nullarbor at Gloucester Park last Friday.

Betterzippit as a weanling

He is the five-year-old Betterthancheddar gelding Betterzippit, who was bred and raised by Alabar Bloodstock NZ and sold to a client of Tamahere horseman Sean McCaffrey.

“He was the last foal from our draft and because several others out of his dam didn’t make a lot of money at the yearling sales we decided to sell him,” Alabar NZ’s general manager Graeme Henley said.

Betterzippit began racing as a three-year-old, winning four races with three placings from 13 starts for $32,135, while at four he won once at Cambridge Raceway and was three times placed from 15 starts earning $20,215.

Sold to prominent NSW owner Mick Boots in January, Betterzippit, under the direction of Inter Dominion-winning trainer Jason Grimson, has become one of the success stories of Australian harness racing.

From seven starts he has won six – he was blocked for racing room at his only other appearance – and a whopping $576,500 in stakes and has won his way back to a NR106 mark.

His winning mile in 1:48.6 at Menangle earlier this month is the fastest time of the season.

By the Bettor’s Delight horse Betterthancheddar, who stood at Alabar but has since returned to Canada, Betterzippit has a wealth of breeding on his dam’s side.

He ranks as a half-brother to the good Albion Park winner Targaryen 1:51.9 ($130,161), being out of the Mach Three mare Nile Star, a member of the prolific Mona R family.

Betterzippit was the last of the five foals left by Nile Star, who was later sent to a rehoming program.

Nile Star, who was unraced, was a half-sister to 10 winners including the Melton and Menangle winner Asoka 1:53.4 ($205,008) and others in Gottaluva Sunday (1:58.6), Yellow Taxi (1:58.8), White Pointer (1:59.5) and Boy From Ipanema (1:59.8)

Their dam, New York On Sunday, was a New York Motoring mare from the Soky’s Atom mare Soky’s Sunday, dam of eight winners including Niobium 1:58 (NSW Simpson Sprint), Davy Maguire 1:55 (WA Winter Cup), Harrison Maguire 1:56.2 (SA Whyalla Cup) and the Gloucester Park victor Ronan Maguire 1:58.1 ($129,747).

Spirit Of St Louis, who finished runner-up in The Nullarbor, and Self Assured, a placegetter in the $1million The Race By Grins at Cambridge Raceway one night earlier, are members of the same branch of the Mona R tribe as Betterzippit.