Close race in the TAB Graduation Championship

12 July 2019
by Paul Courts

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FORMER New Zealand mare Thisexcusebetterbeit is developing into a perfect purchase.

Not only is the daughter of Bettors Delight unbeaten since joining David Harding’s stable, Thisexcusebetterbeit’s arrival in South Australia coincides with “a perfect target”.

Winner of her three local starts, Thisexcusebetterbeit’s victories have been in heats of the TAB Graduation Championship.

Thanks to some vision from Harness Racing South Australia, the TAB Graduation Championship is a restricted event for aged horses which have three wins or less.

Consisting of 10 $4000 qualifiers, the Championship concludes with a $17,000 Final on July 20, with the field decided by points.

There is also a $1000 trainers’ bonus for the runner which accumulates the most points.

Entrants are not required to race in each heat, but will need to contest several to accumulate enough points to gain a berth in the decider.

“About three days after Ken (Feltus) bought her the Graduation Championship was announced so the timing was great,” Harding said.

“The series is a perfect target for her and so far she has thrived on it.

“She’s no star, but is handy enough to win a few more races along the way.”

Driven by Ken Rogers during her wins, Thisexcusebetterbeit will be partnered by Jake Webster when she contests another heat at Globe Derby on Saturday night.

Rogers will take the reins behind the four-year-old’s main danger, Dusky Assassin, which has won two heats.

Dusky Assassin has drawn barrier nine, with Thisexcusebetterbeit to come from 11.

“The draw isn’t the best, but she is versatile,” Harding said. “She can come off the pace and work a bit too as she has shown.

“Dusky Assassin is bound to improve from two runs back from a long break and is the one to beat.”