More The Better takes out the Northern Southland Trotting Cup. Photo: Wild Range Photography.
Prior to Sunday’s Yaldhurst Hotel Northern Southland Cup, More The Better was the biggest earner in the line-up and he raced right up to his statistics with a comprehensive three-and-a-half length win in the Group 3 feature.
Fresh-up and starting from 20 metres behind in the 2700-metre contest, More the Better settled back before being moved forward at the 1300 by driver Tim Williams.
Parked outside My Wee Man at the bell, the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained representative asserted his superiority in the straight and was credited with a winning time of 3:22.6.
Stable representative Michelle Neilson said the Cup had been selected about two weeks ago as the right event for More Than Better to kick off in.
“He's pretty highly rated and this looked the right race,” she said.
“He had a workout and a trial last month and won them both.
“The way he worked during the week we thought he would go well.”
The four-year-old stallion went into race the winner of 12 from 26 and more than half a million dollars.
Only two of those starts had been south of the Waitaki, the first resulting in a head defeat by stablemate Pacing Major in the 2016 New Zealand Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham and the second a win in the Forbury Park heat of the three-year-old Sires Stakes.
As a two-year-old colt More the Better won three Group 1s including the Jewels and was named New Zealand 2YO Colt of the Year.
A run of second placings marked his second season which ended in Australia.
On the way to a Breeders Crown final, the son of Bettor's Delight and Lucky Pocket won four of six including the Queensland Derby.
“He'd had a long three-year-old season and didn't go very good in the Breeders Crown so he was given a two-and-a-half month spell,” Neilson said.
“He's got great manners and the all-around game, good at stand-starts, got speed and can stay as well. The Easter Cup will be next for him now.”