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Just days after being installed one of the favourites for the NZ Cup, Aussie superstar Soho Tribeca will undergo surgery for a broken leg. In a horrible aftermath to last night’s messy Group 2 Sunshine Sprint won by Tact Tate, owner-breeder Rob Watson confirmed the severity of the injury sustained when trainer-driver Mick Stanley was looking for a clear run rounding the last bend. “That’s where it happened, when Mick was desperately trying to get into the clear after being stuck in a pocket the whole race,” Watson said. “Messy is the right word for the race and it ended very badly for us. His leg was badly swollen straight after it, he was rushed to the vet and they confirmed the break. “They say the break is in a ‘good’ spot if you know what I mean. They say if the surgery goes as planned he’ll need six months off then can start his rehab.” Watson said he had already been contacted by stud farms asking about Soho Tribeca standing as a stallion, but the plan is to focus on a racetrack return. “I feel like there is unfinished business. He’s just now getting to his prime and those last two races aren’t the way we want hi to go out,” he said. Soho Tribeca galloped at the start of last month’s Group 1 Len Smith Mile and took no part in the race as a $1.40 favourite. He was $1.60 favourite in last night’s Sunshine Sprint. Soho Tribeca’s injury and a mystifying flop by Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal has thrown next Saturday night’s $200,000 Group 1 Ubet Blacks A Fake at Albion Park wide open. My Field Marshal was trapped wide and worked hard, but failed to beat a runner home and left trainer Tim Butt shaking his head. “We don’t know what to make of it,” he said. “Sure he had a hard run, but he still should’ve finished fourth or fifth in a race like that. “He can do that, throw in a bad one, but we thought we had him spot on. “He seemed good after the race and is fine today, but I’ll get him scoped tomorrow (Monday) just to be sure before we press on to the Blacks A Fake.” The drama of the Sunshine Sprint has left Butt contemplating a change of plans with his exciting four-year-old Let It Ride, who sparkled winning a support race at Albion Park last night. “He was headed to the 4YO feature next Saturday, but, yes, we are weighing-up things up now. It’s a $200,000 race the Blacks A Fake and not as deep as we first thought,” he said. “We’ll make a decision tonight (Sunday), but there’s a real chance he could run in the big one.” Amanda Turnbull’s comeback pacer Tact Tate won the Sunshine Sprint by bursting to the lead from a wide draw, taking a trail, then out-sprinting them late to beat Celestial Arden and 2016 Blacks A Fake winner Ohoka Punter. The final field and barrier draw for the Blacks A Fake is decided at 5pm tomorrow (Monday). Adam Hamilton

IT sounds strange to be a tad disappointed when you run second in a Group 1 race, but that’s how Tim Butt felt after My Field Marshal’s Len Smith run last start. But he’s promising fans will see the best of his Miracle Mile-winning star in Saturday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Sunshine Sprint (1660m) at Albion Park. “I thought he should’ve won or at least got a lot closer to Cruz Bromac in the Len Smith given the run he had, even though they did really fly home that last 200m,” Butt said. “Ants (driver Anthony Butt) said he felt a bit flat, that he didn’t his usual zip. He tried hard, but couldn’t ping when he needed him to.” Butt said although My Field Marshal seemed well going into the Len Smith, he may still have been slightly impacted by a “bug” he contracted a couple weeks before the feature. “We thought he was right, but he just have been a fraction off his best,” he said. So Butt made the decision to take My Field Marshal and emerging stablemate Let It Ride to Queensland as early as possible, just a couple of days after the Len Smith. “We’ve been here a week-and-a-half and I’m glad we have. The warmer weather has seen both of them thrive, especially My Field Marshal, who loves it,” he said. “With My Field Marshal’s history of breathing issues, he’s better in the warmer weather. “I just can’t fault him up here. Everything says he’s going into this race better than the Len Smith and very, very close to his absolute top.” So does that mean he can upset Soho Tribeca, the $1.65 Aussie TAB favourite? “I don’t think there’s anything between them, especially with them both drawn the back row,” Butt said. “Maybe Soho Tribeca’s draw is a bit better because he’s two-out and could trail through well, but we’re right next to him. “Luck in the run and how the race is run will play a huge part in the result, but I can only have my horse as well as possible going into it and I’m confident I have.” My Field Marshal holds a 2-0 record against Soho Tribeca. The first clash was the Miracle Mile back on February 24 when Soho Tribeca sat outside the leader and produced one of the runs the season for a close third in that record-breaking 1min46.9sec mile. My Field Marshal came off a cold sit to win the race. Then, in the Len Smith last time, My Field Marshal ran second, but Soho Tribeca galloped at the start and was tailed-out. Soho Tribeca’s trainer-driver Mick Stanley said his stable had also thrived in Queensland. “He’s right where I want him and I think I’ve got the better of the barriers over My Field Marshal this week,” he said. “I should settle in front of him, then I’m launching early … going looking for the lead or at least to control the race from outside the leader. I’ve got a horse tough enough to do that.” Adam Hamilton

The big boppers are in town! Grand Circuit stars My Field Marshal and Soho Tribeca have settled into their new Brisbane surroundings in preparation for the open class features at Albion Park over the next fortnight. The Gr.2 $50,540 Garrards Sunshine Sprint takes place this Saturday night at Albion Park followed by the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship the following week. The Blacks A Fake, is the jewel in the crown on the Queensland harness racing calendar, it also doubles as the final leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season. And Soho Tribeca has a chance to be crowned Grand Circuit champion if successful. But the focus this week is the Sunshine Sprint, the signature speed test in the Sunshine State. “We’re here and we’re ready to go, we’re looking forward to the challenge that is in front of us.” Trainer/driver Michael Stanley said. Soho Tribeca took no competitive part in his most recent start when finishing a distant last in the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle on July 1. It was established he got his head under the arm of the starting gate which caused an unexpected gate break. The striking American Ideal entire is yet to race at Albion Park. But bookmakers are taking no chances and have listed him as the horse to beat in both Queensland features with their fixed odds markets. “It was just one of those freak things that happened last start, fortunately, he’s taken no harm from the incident and he remains in great shape. “Obviously both races will be difficult because the opposition will be strong, Tim (Butt – Trainer) has a great record in big races and deserves plenty of respect and I won’t be selling him short in either event. “The sprint race this weekend will be hard and fast and then the challenge the following week will be equally tough because Kevin (Pizzuto – trainer) has both Cruz Bromac and Tiger Tara heading up. But the mission is to win both races and I believe he can achieve it.” Tim Butt, now based in Sydney, arrived last week with both My Field Marshal and Let It Ride and is happy with the way both horses are coming along. Let It Ride is a last start winner of the Gr.1 NSW Breeders Challenge 4yo Final in 1:49.4 – the fastest time of the day on the Len Smith Mile program. But he won’t start in the Sunshine Sprint. “The trip north is all about the experience, he will start in a support event while My Field Marshal starts in the Sunshine Sprint,” Butt explained. “The main target for Let It Ride is the 4yo Championship the following week, while he’s good enough to start in both open features I don’t think he needs that right now, he’ll get his chance in time to come. “My Field Marshal will start in both open races just like he did last year, he had a setback before the Len Smith Mile but he’s loving it here in Brisbane. He’s ready to show his best.” The Gr.3 $30,540 Ted & Edna Badcock Memorial 4yo Championship takes place on July 21, the same night as the Blacks A Fake.   Chris Barsby

Tim Butt is very serious about his Queensland Winter Carnival raid. So serious in fact, he’s already arrived in Brisbane with stable stars My Field Marshal and Let It Ride. And it seems a lack of suitable racing options will mean the pair will lock horns in the Group 2 Sunshine Sprint on Saturday week at Albion Park. “I arrived today (Wednesday) with My Field Marshal and Let It Ride,” Butt said. “Let It Ride’s target is a 4YO race on July 21, but I want him to run on the 14th as well. Looking through the options, it seems it will have to be in the Sunshine Sprint.” Let It Ride scored his most significant and dominant win when, suited by the frantic pace set by the leaders, he blew away the field in the Group 1 Breeders Challenge final at Menangle last Sunday. For more than a year Butt has touting Let It Ride as his next stable star. My Field Marshal will challenge for favouritism in the Sunshine Sprint after his second to Cruz Bromac in the Group 1 Len Smith Mile last Sunday. Cruz Bromac’s trainer Kevin Pizzuto said the pacer would bypass the Sunshine Sprint and head north for just the Blacks A Fake. The other major player will be Soho Tribeca, who took no part in the Len Smith after contacting the starting gate, galloping and losing all chance. Queensland officials are still clinging to the hope comeback star Hectorjayjay will defend his Blacks A Fake title, but it seems highly unlikely. Hectorjayjay returned from almost a year out with a Kilmore win last Saturday and should win again at Melton this Saturday night, Adam Hamilton

PATIENCE paid off for one of Australasia's most accomplished reinsmen at Menangle today when four-year-old gelding Let It Ride staked his claim as one of the best four-year-olds in the country. Anthony Butt decided to take no part in a desperate early battle for the lead between San Domino, Pretty Hot and the well-backed Atomic Red in the opening stanza of the NSW Breeders Challenge final for four-year-old entires and geldings. In one of the quickest opening halves ever recorded at Menangle (53.2s) consisting of splits of 26.5 and 26.7, there was literally no quarter asked for or given as Atomic Red eventually worked his way to the front. Sadly for the Turnbull stable that left him a sitting shot for something coming from back in the field and that happened to be Let It Ride, who came with a swooping run to score running away in a slashing 1:49.4 with a closing split of 27.7s. That was almost a second faster than Cruz Bromac had gone earlier in the afternoon in winning the Len Smith Mile. If the Butt brothers, trainer Tim and reinsman Anthony were disappointed with the run of My Field Marshal in finishing second in the Len Smith, that was soon forgotten as Let It Ride thrust his name up alongside Jilliby Kungfu as one of the best four-year-olds in this part of the world. Let It Ride scored by six and three-quarter metres from Conviction with Joes Star Of Mia third and Jilliby Bandit close behind them in fourth position. "You never get tired of winning Group One races like this," said Tim Butt, who has one of the best records in big races in this part of the world. "Every big race brings a different set of challenges, usually a different set of owners and every horse is different. "This bloke is pretty talented and to win this Group One was a great achievement for this horse. He could not have gone any better today."   Mandy Madern     7 3:59pm ALWAYS B MIKI NSW BREEDERS CHALLENGE FOUR-YEAR-OLD ENTIRES & GELDINGS FINAL (GROUP 1) 1609M $100,000 4YO Entires and Geldings. PBD/M/PBD/C. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 LET IT RIDE NZ      Fr10 12 Tim Butt Anthony Butt   $ 2.60 fav  PRBT RAS SWAB   BAY GELDING 4 by ROCK N ROLL HEAVEN USA out of LOVE A GAMBLE (NZ) (BETTORS DELIGHT USA)  Owner(s): A M Batten, S F Kaplan, V G Duncum, B Masson, Red & Blue Syndicate, G A Ayers  Breeder(s): N F Nixon, M Carson 2 CONVICTION      Fr7 9 Steve Turnbull Mitch Turnbull 6.70 $ 21.30   SWAB 3 JOES STAR OF MIA      Fr4 6 Steve Turnbull Steve Turnbull 7.90 $ 16.20   SWAB 4 JILLIBY BANDIT      Fr8 10 Margaret Lee Glen Craven 11.10 $ 6.70   PRBT GS 3WE 5 ATOMIC RED      Fr9 11 Steve Turnbull Amanda Turnbull 11.90 $ 3.10   PRBT GS 4WE 3WM WF L 6 HIDDEN COURAGE      Fr6 8 Steve Turnbull Nathan Turnbull 16.50 $ 85.20   PRBT RAS 7 PRETTY HOT      Fr2 2 Bernie Hewitt Bernie Hewitt 24.40 $ 20.80   GS L SLM 8 SAN DOMINO      Fr5 7 Kari Males Rodney Petroff 32.70 $ 8.70   PRBT GS WF L UTHL QUER VXAR NAR 9 SECLUDED BEACH      Fr1 1 John Tapp Jim Douglass 33.80 $ 61.30   PRBT SO 10 PAY ME SAM      Fr3 3 Paul Fitzpatrick Gavin Fitzpatrick 38.30 $ 29.80     Scratchings   ASTRIDE 4 NIKALONG HENRY 5 Track Rating: GOOD   Gross Time: 1:49:4 Mile Rate: 1:49:4 First Quarter: 26.5 Second Quarter: 26.7 Third Quarter: 28.5 Fourth Quarter: 27.7 Margins: 6.7m x 1.1m  

Former buzz Kiwi pacer King Of Swing headlines a powerful Kiwi flavour through Australia’s bumper Easter weekend of racing. New trainer Gary Hall Sr is thrilled with the way King Of Swing has bounced-back from a cold and can’t wait to line him up in tomorrow (Thursday) night’s WA Derby prelude at Gloucester Park. “He went so well in his Pinjarra trial last Sunday and has come through it in great style,” he said. “A week ago I thought we really up against it, but he seems right back on track.” King Of Swing will dominate betting from gate three with another talented former Kiwi, Ocean Ridge, the other key runner from gate five. It will be the son of Rocnkroll Hanover’s first run since running ninth to Chase Auckland at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve. In his new home state of NSW, Miracle Mile winning trainer Tim Butt carries the Kiwi flavour into Saturday night’s stellar Bathurst Gold Crown meeting. But he is supported by former star Kiwi pacer Franco Nelson, who will dominate betting despite gate 10 in the Lord Mayor’s Cup for Shane and Lauren Tritton. Butt has emerging two-year-old filly Glenledi Babe (gate seven) as second favourite at $5.50 on the Aussie TAB behind Mick Stanley’s Desirable Stride ($1.90, gate one) in the $100,000 Group 1 Gold Tiara final. Butt’s three-year-old filly Lady Chatto also looks an each-way chance from gate five in the Group 2 Gold Bracelet final. That race has been thrown wide-open with NSW Oaks runner and NZ Oaks hopeful Soho Burning Love drawing outside the back row (gate 14). Also on Saturday night, former talented pacers Motu Meteor (gate nine) and Messini (11) head the betting in the $30,000 Ararat Cup from gate nine. Adam Hamilton

Leading Kiwi reins man Tim Butt made one of the biggest decisions of his life when he left New Zealand to set up a Sydney harness racing stable several months ago. That massive gamble paid the biggest dividend yet when Butt and his brother Anthony won tonight’s $750,000 AInsworth Miracle Mile with his stable star My Field Marshal. The six-year-old son of Art Major became the fastest horse in the Southern Hemisphere when he rated 1:46.9, grabbing Jilliby Kung Fu in the shadows of the post to win by a head while the gutsy Soho Tribeca, did all the hard work and again found a couple just too slick for him in the last few strides, finishing a close third a nose fourth back. With a track that had been on fire all night, the Mile was always going to be a supreme test of speed and stamina and that’s exactly how it panned out with Anything For Love finding the front from barrier rise with Soho Tribeca working up to race without cover and keep the pressure on the leader. All this time Anthony Butt was content to settle My Field Marshal back in fifth and sixth place and bide his time until as late as possible. Turning for home Soho Tribeca forged to the front while Jilliby Kung Fu emerged from a one-one trail to challenge the leaders. Then Butt’s patience gave out and he brought My Field Marshal with a flashing finish to score in an incredible 1:46.9 after quarters of 26.3, 27.3, 26.2 and 27.1s in a race that was not for the faint-hearted. Disappointment of the race was the champion Kiwi pacer Lazarus, who settled back near last but raced three-wide for most of the trip and never got into the fight. Indeed Lennytheshark, which settled last, ran past him in the straight and finished a creditable fifth while Tiger Tara, beaten for gate speed from the one barrier, was also not far off in fourth spot. But it was a night for the Butts and trainer Tim admitted it was a heck of a risk moving across the Tasman to set up “shop” at Menangle. “We have some great owners and they have become good friends,” he said. ‘We used to put on some pretty big parties when we won in New Zealand - and I have to admit we’ll be kicking up our heels tonight too. “This win was so satisfying and there are so many people who have helped contribute to our success. “And My Field Marshall was just fabulous tonight - he has earned this win.” Certainly Butt decision to bypass last December’s Inter Dominion Championship in Perth was a winner as there were a few tired horses in the Group[ One tonight . . . but My Field Marshal was certainly not one of them. My Field Marshall 7 9:32pm AINSWORTH MIRACLE MILE (GROUP 1) (GRAND CIRCUIT) 1609M $750,000 RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 MY FIELD MARSHAL NZ      Fr3 4 Tim Butt Anthony Butt   $ 6.70       BAY HORSE 6 by ART MAJOR USA out of FOREAL NZ (WASHINGTON VC USA)  Owner(s): S A Brown, S B Brown  Breeder(s): S A Brown, S B Brown 2 JILLIBY KUNG FU      Fr4 5 Margaret Lee Jason Lee HFNK $ 8.70     3 SOHO TRIBECA      Fr5 6 Michael Stanley Greg Sugars HFNK $ 3.20     4 TIGER TARA NZ      Fr1 1 Kevin Pizzuto Todd McCarthy 11.3m $ 8.70     5 LENNYTHESHARK      Fr6 7 David Aiken Chris Alford 13.8m $ 16.10     6 ANYTHING FOR LOVE      Fr2 3 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Lauren Tritton 14.2m $ 15.20     7 LAZARUS NZ      Fr8 10 Mark Purdon Natalie Rasmussen 23.3m $ 2.80 fav    8 CHARLAVAL      Fr7 8 KerryAnn Turner Robert Morris 28.1m $ 104.00     Scratchings   ATOMIC RED 2 LET IT RIDE NZ 9 Track Rating:   Gross Time: 1:46:9 Mile Rate: 1:46:9 First Quarter: 26.3 Second Quarter: 27.3 Third Quarter: 26.2 Fourth Quarter: 27.1 Margins: HFNK x SHFHD   By Sean Vella

Transplanted Kiwi trainer Tim Butt is hoping for a near two-minute commercial for his new Sydney training base to be beamed Australasia-wide on Saturday night — called the Miracle Mile. Butt stunned the local harness racing industry last year when he left his native Canterbury for the outskirts of Sydney, where he now has 12 horses in work including Miracle Mile blowout hope My Field Marshal. He and wife Andrea have no regrets about the move as Menangle provides localised racing without great travelling, a chance to tap into Australian riches and hopes of building a new ownership base. "And I'd always wanted to live in Australia, and I thought you only live once so why not," says Butt.   While his team is ticking over nicely, more horses — and more good horses — are always welcome and a Miracle Mile win would be an advert for the stable like no other. "It would obviously be the dream result. We are going all right but you can't buy that level of exposure. "And I think we have a chance, the way the race is shaping up." My Field Marshal has been set for the mile and ignored the sapping distance races like the Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup, with his history of two wind operations suggesting sprinting is more his go. He won the Len Smith Mile, usually a mini Miracle Mile, at Menangle last year by sitting off a hot speed, something which looks likely again on Saturday night. "I think they will go hard and we could be trailing, three deep or in the one-one behind a horse like Soho Tribeca," says Butt. "And that would give us a chance. He may not be as good as Lazarus but he may not have to be with him drawn eight. "I also have Ants (brother Anthony) driving and that is always a plus in a group one race so we will get our chance." While many rival trainers are buoyed by Lazarus's defeat last week and barrier on Saturday, Butt is not so confident the champ is ripe for the beating. "I have had those top horses before with a bug and they get beat because they are a fraction off their peak form but then they can bounce back very quickly. "Mark is a great trainer and if he gets him back to his best this week and they go really hard early then I still think he can win. His last 100m last Saturday we very good, very brave." My Field Marshal has been one of the few roughies heavily backed this week, being as long as $23 with some bookies after the draw but only $10 with the NZ TAB fixed odds now. Michael Guerin

Harness racing trainer Tim Butt has his insurance policy heading into Saturday night’s $200,000 Chariots of Fire at Menangle -- his brother. Butt prepares the big post-draw shortener Let It Ride in the four-year-old Group 1 mile, with the exciting pacer securing the ace. Butt, who has only been training at Menangle for a few months after making a surprise move from his New Zealand homeland, admits the draw could be good or bad. And that is where his brother, champion driver Anthony comes in. Anthony has driven Let It Ride six times for five wins and the only time they were beaten was a second to subsequent SA Cup winner Shadow Sax. He is also the leading ever driver of Grand Circuit winners, well clear of Mark Purdon, and between them the Butt brothers have won almost every race that matters in Australasia. “Having Ants on him in a Group 1 gives me so much confidence,” says Butt “I have actually been really happy with my regular driver Chris Geary and I think he has great hands but Ants has been doing it at the highest level for decades.” Butt says that could be important because while many punters will expect Let It Ride to lead, there could be plenty of early speed before the other favourites Jilliby Kung Fu and Atomic Red coming pouring the pressure on. “Leading would be good but so would trailing one of the good horses and Ants can make that decision based on the early sectionals. “But the horse is ready to do the job and has options.” Butt is enjoying his new life in New South Wales, with 12 horses in work and on his way to his capacity of 18. “I just needed a change and have always wanted to give living here a crack. We are loving it. “And to have one of the favourites in this race is a real bonus because just a month ago it looked like Vincent and Ultimate Machete were going to dominate this.” That pair both broke down, leaving three main chances at the head of Saturday night’s market, all probably feeling they have been gifted a Group 1 shot. Jilliby Kung Fu was awesome winning his qualifying race at Melton and won’t need to perform much better Saturday night, with his racing style suited to Menangle even though he is yet to race there. And Atomic Red is one of the brightest staying hopes in NSW and judging by his prelude win three weeks ago he could easily break 1:50. *A newcomer to the Butt team Saturday night is Afterdinnerspeaker (R3) but he is only set to arrive in the country on Friday. By Michael Guerin

Former top Kiwi trainer Tim Butt expected to be a feature race player at Melbourne’s Summer of Glory, but just not with the horse it’s turned out to be. Before a minor setback late last year, the Hunter Cup was firmly on Butt’s radar with his stable star My Field Marshal. It was such a focus, he surprised many by turning his back on the Perth Inter Dominion series. But My Field Marshal was sidelined with a minor hoof injury and a limited lead-up preparation has Butt leaning towards skipping next Saturday night’s $500,000 Hunter Cup to focus on the Miracle Mile. So now Butt’s major Melbourne hopes rest with the talented but sometimes frustrating trotter Daryl Boko in this Saturday night’s $300,000 Group 1 Great Southern Star (2760m) at Melton. Although a $16 outsider, Daryl Boko has drawn well in gate two and heads into the race an impressive last-start winner, albeit in a much weaker race at Menangle. “He’s really heading into this race and draw is a huge help,” Butt said. “We think he’s a genuine upset chance now he’s drawn so well in a pretty open race.” Given the lack of a standout trotting superstar racing on either side of ditch right now, the opening Aussie market for the Great Southern Star was $4 the field. But emerging Aussie mare Red Hot Tooth has been sensationally-backed into clear favouritism for Australasia’s richest trotting race. The Kari Males-trained mare has been crunched in from $5 to $2.70 favouritism after her sparkling last-start Group 1 George Gath win at Shepparton. Although this is clearly the next step-up against such a hot field over the longer 2760m trip and against genuine Group 1 opposition, but she did rip home in a 56.6sec last half last outing and looks the leader again this time. “I might be biased, but I think she’s the better trotter in the land right now and she gets the chance to prove it,” Red Hot Tooth’s driver Zac Phillips said. “She’s got speed, she can stay and she absolutely bolted in last time. “I was saying on radio the other day, it’s a good time to have a really nice trotter like because there isn’t a champion winning everything like say a Keystone Del was here a couple of years back.” For Phillips, teaming-up with Males and her husband Paul, makes it extra special. “Kari and Paul, along with Robbie O’Connell were the people who got me going. To win a really big Group 1 for Kari and Paul would be as good as it gets,” he said. “I can’t wait for Saturday night to give it our best shot.” Another emerging Aussie trotter Sparkling Success has eased from $4 to $4.60 second elect from gate 11. Kyvalley Blur, back from his ultra-consistent Kiwi campaign shares the line of betting with Tony Herlihy’s Temporale at $6.50. Temporale’s chances were hurt by an inside back row draw (gate eight), negating his sparkling gate speed. The other class Kiwi raider, Speeding Spur, is the best-credentialed runner in the race, but drawn outside the back row (gate 13) and under a form cloud given his recent Kiwi defeats. He is a $6.50 chance. Back to My Field Marshal and Butt said a final Hunter Cup decision would be made on Monday. “It’s unlikely, but we want to watch this weekend’s racing and wait as long as possible to see if Lazarus is definitely running,” he said. In other stable news, classy four-year-old Let It Ride will have another crack at forcing his way into the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on Saturday week. He ran way below his best when, after a midrace burn to find the lead, he wilted to finish at the rear of the field in last Saturday night’s Hondo Grattan at Menangle. “He checked-out fine after the race,” Butt said. “He was a bit disappointing, but he did burn a bit so we’ll give him another chance next week.” Adam Hamilton

It is scary to think this is just the tip of the iceberg. The All Stars’ barn unleashes stars at two key Aussie meetings this weekend, but there are lost more to come over the next couple of months. Newly-crowned Perth Inter Dominion champ Lazarus headlines Aussie racing this weekend when he starts from gate five in the Group 1 Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He’s a $1.30 favourite on the Aussie TAB even though he has fast beginners Bettors Fire (gate one), Vultan Tin (three) and Chicago Bull (four) drawn inside him. Lazarus won’t lead unless either a Bettors Fire and/or Chicago Bull elects to surrender the front to him. Just for good measure, Lazarus’s exciting young stablemate, Ultimate Machete, is the $7 second favourite in the Fremantle Cup from gate two. Natalie Rasmussen will take the drive on Ultimate Machete before heading back to Sydney where she has key stable drives on Our Bare Knuckle and Partyon at Menangle on Saturday night. Our Bare Knuckle has gate four, but now moves into the three alley with emergency Lisa Lincoln already scratched from the $30,600 Group 3 Raith Memorial (1609m). It’s a fascinating race with so many different and strong formlines. The biggest name is last season’s glamour juvenile filly My Sweetchillyphilly, who is first-up since an aborted Breeders Crown campaign and drawn deep-ish in gate seven. Tim Butt’s Lady Chatto also resumes in the race from gate 10, while Jimmy Rattray’s Queensland Group 1 winner Arts Treasure has gate six and in-form Victorian raider Macey Jayde has the outside (gate 11). The Allstars’ classy mare Partyon slips back down in class big time to a metro maiden race (race two) under the NSW handicapping system. She’s better than her rivals, but will need to be from the outside draw (gate 11). The other must-watch Menangle race is the free-for-all (race five) where reigning Hunter Cup champ Bling It On steps outs again from the outside draw (gate 11). Adam Hamilton

Top class former Kiwi pacer My Field Marshal won’t return to racing until the New Year. Trainer Tim Butt, now firmly making Menangle home, revealed his stable star was overcoming a minor hoof issue and had been shifted from Victoria to his Menangle base. “I’d say it’s more likely he will return in the Bendigo Cup now (January 6),” Butt said. “It’s nothing serious, but I wanted to get him up to Menangle to keep a close eye on him.” Butt had planned to race My Field Marshal through December, including a sprint race at Ballarat on Boxing night. My Field Marshal hasn’t raced since as strong second to Lennytheshark in the Yarra Valley Cup on November 9. Butt is glad he skipped the Perth Inter Dominion. “It would’ve been great to be part of it, but it wasn’t in the best interests of the horse,” he said. “Now I can have a fresh horse going into races like the Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile. “That was a pretty brutal Inter Dominion on the horses. “I know I’ve got a horse who, with the right draw and luck, can match it with any of them.” In other news, Butt spoke out strongly urging officials in Victoria, NSW and NZ to bring back the trotting section of the Inter Dominion over the next three years. “It’s got to happen. It’s the ultimate,” he said. “It adds another dimension to the Inter Dominion.” Harness Racing Victoria CEO David Martin confirmed there would be “some type of trotting” component to next year’s Inter Dominion. “Just what that is we aren’t sure as yet,” he said. “We should be in a position to talk more about it in February.” Adam Hamilton

ULTIMATE Machete’s powerhouse NZ free-for-all looks to have given him stranglehold on the major four-year-old races during the Perth Inter Dominion Carnival. But there are two locals who are showing enough to say they will make the emerging Purdon/Rasmussen superstar really earn the prize. Former Kiwi entire Rocknroll Lincoln, now in the Justin Prentice barn, made it two wins (and a close second) from just three WA runs when he led throughout in slick times to win the Golden Nugget prelude at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The effort of Gary Hall Sr’s Herrick Roosevelt to work early, sit parked and run a close second in a 1min55.8sec mile rate and 55.2sec last half was outstanding. Another eye-catching was former Victorian Wrappers Delight, who had no luck in third spot for new trainer Ross Olivieri. Throw in classy former Kiwi and now Victorian-based Motu Meteor and at least there will be some competition for Ultimate Machete in the three four-year-old features, the first of them this Friday night. _________________________________________________________________________________________ MOST thought Tim Butt would take advantage of Lennytheshark’s time in Perth and grab what he can in Victoria with My Field Marshal. Instead, Butt is thinking longer term and has given his stable star a freshen-up. “He’s having a couple of weeks out and will be back for the sprint at Ballarat on Boxing night,” Butt said. “Perth wasn’t going to suit him, so we decided to keep him hear and target the big races in the New Year. “I think he’s shown in a couple of his recent runs he can really match it with Lenny, but we haven’t had any luck in the barrier draws.” _________________________________________________________________________________________ THE problem child has found winning form again just at the right time. Gifted but headstrong and enigmatic WA pacer Run Oneover broke a long run of outs and looked quite good doing in in a free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Gary Hall Jr worked him to the front and let him roll over the 1730m sprint trip and Run Oneover scored quite well in a 1min54.1sec mile rate. It’s worth noting though he beat the B and C-graders and would need to lift again to be a serious player like he was during last year’s Inter Dominion heats. Remember it was Run Oneover who led, took charge and then choked-down in the back straight of last year’s Inter Dominion final. Another win of note at the Gloucester Park meeting came from exciting three-year-old filly Cott Beach, who won by 30m in a 1min57.1sec mile rate for 2130m. It was the daughter of Advance Attack’s eighth win from just 12 starts. _________________________________________________________________________________________ THERE isn’t much young Queensland trainer-driver Brittany Graham can’t do. Graham, daughter of decorated trainer-driver Darrel, has carved out a successful training and driving career in her own right. She added another credit when she won the Seymour Group Lady Drivers Invitation Series at Albion Park last Saturday night. Graham beat megastar Kerryn Manning in a close finish with SA’s Danielle Hill in third spot. The series included other big names like Amanda Turnbull, Kate Gath and Trista Dixon. In recent times, Graham has also been making waves by dabbling in some media work for Sky Racing. _________________________________________________________________________________________ HOW can you not be in awe of the story around the pacer Love Ina Chevy. Remember back to January, last year and he’s the horse Lance Justice, his staff and friends cared for around the clock, day-after-day just to save him after a suspected snake bite. It was half a miracle he survived because he was so sick. The fact he’s made it back to races was incredible, let alone the success the six-year-old has enjoyed. Love Ina Chevy posted his seventh and by far most important win – albeit in a dead-heat – at Melton last Friday night. The gelding surged along the sprint lane as the $36 outsider of the field to split the prize with leader, It Is Billy, in the Markovina free-for-all. It was a race where Victorian buzz pacer Tee Cee Bee Macray – third to Lennytheshark and My Field Marshal in the Yarra Valley Cup at his previous run – was expected to dominate, but instead flopped back in second-last spot at $1.40. _________________________________________________________________________________________ FRESH back from enjoying NZ Cup Week, top young driver Todd McCarthy snared the feature race at Menangle last Saturday night. McCarthy partnered Tiger Tara to a monster third in the NZ Cup then second to Ultimate Machete in last Friday’s NZ FFA. Back home, he teamed with trainer Mark Callaghan and veteran mare Cullinary Delight to win the Group 3 Sue Kelly Ladyship Stakes in a 1min51.4sec mile. _________________________________________________________________________________________ IT might have been a ho-hum Cranbourne meeting, but debutante War Dan’s win provided a real highlight. The Amanda Turnbull-trained gelding carried a buzz into the race being a brother to former Victoria Cup winner Caribbean Blaster and turning heads in some recent trials. And he didn’t disappoint. Sent out a $1.20 favourite, driver Nathan Jack took War Dan to the lead, but he copped plenty of pressure in front and still won as he liked in a 1min58.6sec mile rate for 2080m. Adam Hamilton

The Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen stable have a team of twenty horses entered at the NZ Metro harness racing meeting to be run at Addington on Friday night. Top pacers Ultimate Machete, Heaven Rocks, Dream About Me and Have Faith In Me go around in a 2600m standing start rating 76 & faster pace. Heaven Rocks, Dream About Me and Have Faith In Me will all be starting off a 30m handicap, while last start winner Ultimate Machete gets a 20m headstart on the big guns starting off 10m. The All Stars stable have seven runners engaged for the final Sires Stakes Heat, which is sure to be a competitve race, with many horses still chasing a spot in the $170,000 final to be run on New Zealand Cup day in three weeks time. Spankem looks to be the best chance for the All Stars stable after his big effort for third at his last start, but with a tricky second row draw and some classy 3yo's drawn off the front it will not be easy for him. Two races after the Sires Stakes heat, Auckland Reactor gelding Chase Auckland, will look to remain unbeaten when he takes on stable mates The Devils Own and Ashley Locaz in a rating 55 to 75 pace. The speedy pacer is following a path similar to his father Auckland Reactor who was unbeaten when he won the Sires Stakes final at his fifth start. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Gentleman Sir is in the process of being sold to the Tim Butt stable. The Love You gelding finished second in the harness jewels last season behind Wilma's Mate in a time of 1-55.7 for the mobile 1609m.  Gentleman Sir will do a good job when he gets to Australia, with the mobile starts suiting his style of racing.    Gentleman Sir running second in the harness jewels. Harnesslink Media

The Perth Inter Dominion if off the agenda for My Field Marshal. Trainer Tim Butt confirmed he would keep the classy former Kiwi pacer in Victoria for a string of races before relocating to Sydney where he will soon set-up his base at Menangle. “We just don’t think the four races in two weeks, especially with a couple being longer races, will suit him,” he said. “He’s had his issues with the wind operation and we’re better to space his races and target the shorter races as well.” Meanwhile, Butt’s exciting four-year-old Let It Ride steps out again at Cranbourne tomorrow (Tuesday). “He’ll have this run, then another at Cranbourne before that 4&5YO Championship at Melton next month,” Butt said. Butt confirmed he would share a barn with Ashlee Grives at Menangle. Grives has formed a partnership with Kiwi horseman Mark Jones, who will rotate horses from NZ to her Menangle barn to increase racing opoportunities. “I’ve got Rocker Band, Delightful Memphis and Whittaker here now and they aren’t far off racing,” Grives said. ____________________________________________________________________________________ JIMMY O’Sullivan landed one of Aussie harness racing’s biggest accolades when crowd the Gordon Rothacker Medallist last night (Sunday). The Kiwi-born horseman, who now lives in Queensland, is best known for his 1987 Christchurch Inter Dominion and NZ Cup wins with My Lightning Blue. O’Sullivan’s other stars included the likes of Quite Famous, Its Motor Power, Our Brenray and Margaret Shannon. On the same night, Lennythshark edged-out stablemate Hectorjayjay in a very tight vote for Victorian Horse of the Year honours. ____________________________________________________________________________________ THE stirring clash between Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca wasn’t the only big talking point at Gloucester Park last Friday night. A veteran former NSW pacer called Sokys Bigbullet set tongues wagging with the most breathtaking of WA debuts for new trainer Tony Svilicich. Svilicich is the man who worked such wonders with veteran stars Mysta Magical Mach and Has The Answers. Word was out Sokys Bigbullet would run well, but he did more than that. He scored the most dominant wins and stamped himself as a potential feature race player. The big striding eight-year-old, who won 19 of his 80 starts in NSW, led and driver Colin Brown just let him roll. Instead of tiring, he just ran a handle field of rivals ragged and won by almost 10m in a flying 1min54.8sec mile rate for 2130m. The mile rate was just 1.9sec outside Beaudiene Boaz’s track record. ____________________________________________________________________________________ NO wonder they call him the whiz kid. Victoria’s top young driver Jason Lee etched yet another milestone into his bounty when he drove half the card – four of the eight winners – at Melton last Friday night. The wins included emerging mare Keayang Kallisto for his mum, Marg Lee, in the feature race, the Blossom Lady for mares. Lee surprised some by leading and opting to park hot favourite Carlas Pixel then stave her off late to win by a half-neck in a slick 1min56.9sec mile rate for 2240m. They ripped home in 55.6 and 27.5sec. Just as satisfying to Lee was another win for his mum when veteran and stable favourite Keayang Steamer returned to winning form in race eight. Just for good measure, the nine-year-old posted a flying 1min52.9sec mile rate for 1720m. Keayang Steamer has been plagued by injuries since looking an emerging superstar when he beat Smoken Up in the 2014 Horsham Cup. Lee’s other wins came aboard Peter Manning’s trotting mare Garston Girl in race three and Bad Billy in race four. Adam Hamilton

Jonny Cox became the latest driver to win 500 races when he drove Rah De Rah which he also trains, to success in the Auckland Reactor At Alabar Mobile Pace at Winton today. He'd been sitting on 499 wins since June. "I wasn't too worry about it really. It was good to get it and move on," he said after the race. His first winner came on the Winton track almost fifteen years ago to the day when he reined the Tony Barron trained Godet to win. He compared the way races are driven these days to when he first started driving in 2002. "You used to be able to sit back and roar home and pick them up. Now they're running faster times and are faster off the front. You definitely need to be a lot handier these days." Win number 500 for Jonny Cox                                   - Photo Bruce Stewart                                                The former Southland driver has slowly migrated north. He was based out of Otago for a while and in recent years has worked for a number of Canterbury trainers. Up until this month he was working for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. He's also trained a small team of his own in the region.  "Happy to be a part of it (Canterbury Racing Scene). That's where it's at really. I've picked up some nice drives and had some good owners up there that have looked after me."  He rates the Dominion Handicap win on Jaccka Justy in 2014 as the highlight of his driving career. "I don't think I can top that."  Recently Cox became Tim Butt's new training partner in New Zealand as Butt looks to concentrate more on his Australian stable. "It's exciting and a new challenge. Tim has taken some nice horses to Australia but has left some nice ones here as well." Cox was Southland Junior Driver of the Year in 2005 with 40 wins and again in 2006 with 33 wins. He was also New Zealand's leading junior driver in 2005.  He rates Jasmyn's Gift, Lets Get Serious and Classic Cullen as some of the nicest horses he's driven outside of Jaccka Justy.  Later in the today's programme Cox drove the Brett Gray trained Jen Jaccka to win the Phillips Horse Transport Handicap Trot. Cox has a long association with Charlie and Ailsa Smaill who own Jen Jaccka, and has driven many of their horses over the years.  Winning in New Zealand record time - Jen Jaccka            - Photo Bruce Stewart Cox took the short way home in the race, and the six year old mare won easily by two and a quarter lengths in a new track, Southland and New Zealand record time of 3-00.9 for the 2400 metre stand. The previous track records were held by Spotlight The Valley (mares- 3-02.1), Santorini Sunset (open - 3-02.8) and the New Zealand record (mares) was held by her half-sister Jess Jaccka (3-01.9). Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing   Jonny Cox getting win 500

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