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TIM Butt is planning a trip back home for the NZ Cup and it won’t be just to catch-up with old friends and family. Butt revealed he is seriously thinking about tackling the Cup with new stable addition Bettermatch, who has his first for the trainer in a ho-hum midweek race at Menangle tomorrow (Tuesday). When Bettermatch appeared in NZ Cup nominations a few weeks back, he hardly rated a mention. The former star juvenile won the Leeton Breeders Plate and NSW Saplings Stakes in his freshman season for trainer Colin Thomas before spending three years on the sidelines with injury. He has returned with four impressive wins from five starts this campaign, including his farewell run for Thomas in the Country Series final at Menangle on August 25 where he won in terrific style. “I really like him,” Butt said. “He feels like a very good stayer. We hope to go if he keeps improving like he feels as though he will. “It’s the year to have a go. Chicago Bull is the one to beat and Ultimate Machete if he’s right, but it’s a thin lot that’s for sure. “Put it this way, on what Bettermatch is doing at home, he’s up to those who horses who ran in the main race at Addington last Friday.” Bettermatch is the lone back row runner (gate 11) in the sixth race at Menangle at 7.07pm NZ time tomorrow (Tuesday). In other stable news, Butt has ruled-out the Victoria Cup with his sparkling Blacks A Fake winner Let it Ride. “It was always unlikely. We wanted to give him a good break after Queensland,” he said. “He won’t be ready and the Inter Dominion is his first target.” And Butt’s Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal will return to training at he end of the month, but the Inter Dominion is not on the agenda. “He’s not an Inter Dom horse. We’ll bring up with a view to returning to racing around Christmas time,” Butt said.   Adam Hamilton

PROP-forwards in football teams are expected to “do the hard yards” up front, and that’s exactly how 21-year-old Jed Betts performs for the Bathurst Panthers first grade league side week in and week out during the season. After snatching victory in the dying seconds of last weekend’s sudden-death semi-final, Jed’s team is now just two matches away from making it to their second successive grand-final in the western districts competition. In what might well be an omen for the coming weeks, Jed steered Limbo Larry to a smart win at last night’s (Wednesday) Gold Crown Paceway meeting. Despite being just the fourth career win for this five-year-old son of the family’s  resident stallion Abercrombie Dexter (by Panorama), it took his earnings past $60,000 in a remarkably consistent  career of 148 starts which have included 37 placings. Now that’s “doing the hard yards “ in anyone’s language, and explains why Jed has a real fondness for “ATM”, his only horse which he also trains and drives. He led early in the C1 2260 metres event before handing up to Barkway Arnold which maintained a consistent tempo, and rather than wait for the sprint lane, he came to the outside to draw level with the leader halfway down the running before asserting himself close to the finish. It was a cool, calm performance - much like his team-mate’s winning field-goal out on the paddock a few days previously - and earned the laid-back, popular figure racecaller Craig Easey’s Drive of the Night award. There was much anticipation leading in to the HRNSW Guaranteed Two-Year-Old Pace, one of three races for juveniles on this final meeting of the Bathurst racing season. Obi One NZ had created an enormous impression in winning over the longer 2260 metres trip a week earlier, but was drawn on the outside over the sprint trip this time, with very strong opposition expected from Izzy Dagg NZ, a recent Addington winner which was a fine second in brilliant time at his Menangle debut last Saturday. As expected, Izzy Dagg led out of the gate, while Obi One did some work early to get around to the death seat. Chris Geary threw in a blistering 27.5s third quarter which gave him a little clear air turning in, and although Amanda Turnbull’s youngster didn’t shirk his task at all, he couldn’t quite match strides and finished five metres astern of the leader, whose winning mile rate of 1:55.6 was close to track record time. The name of the winner will be very familiar to football followers everywhere. Israel Dagg made his debut as an All Black in 2010, was part of the winning Rugby World Cup team the following year, and played a near-record number of games as full-back for the Silver Ferns, before switching to the wing in the last couple of seasons. He is revered in NZ rugby, as one of the finest players in recent years. He was a part-owner of the two-year-old named after himself, but now that he has signed to continue his career in Japan, he’s relinquished his ownership in the A Rocknroll Dance son. Both youngsters will now spell, with the classic races early in the New Year the targets for their respective trainers Tim Butt -himself a fine Rugby player, who spent time in Australia playing for the Western Reds - and Amanda Turnbull. The other 2YO events gave maiden wins to Kyle Shannon (Peter Bullock/Mackayler Barnes) and Kelli Frost (Blake Fitzpatrick/ Jack Trainor). Mackayler’s win was special because the horse was named for her father who passed away last year following a lengthy battle with cancer; Jack came back to scale declaring it was so cold out on the track that he couldn’t feel his hands, before admitting “I’m a bit ashamed to say that, because I’m a Kiwi!” If sympathy was owing to anyone on Wednesday night, it should have gone to the race stewards and the club officials, who contended with two lengthy delays - a nasty fall in the second race, which resulted in a dislocated shoulder for Cowra reinsman Darryl Davis who was transported to hospital, and then a generator failure which necessitated a 20 minute cooling-down period before the track lights could be switched on again. Everyone pitched in, particularly the trainers who managed to have their horses readied with the shortened gaps between races, and it was a commendable team effort. Just another way of “doing the hard yards.”   TERRY NEIL

Tim Butt is about to unleash the X-factor of the Breeders Crown. Butt and his stable clients recently bought a 60 per cent share in buzz Riverina juvenile Whereyabinboppin which led to a switch from trainer-driver Steve Harris to Butt’s barn. Whereyabinboppin is unbeaten three runs and, importantly, easily beat the very exciting Victorian youngster Lochinvar Art on debut at Wagga on May 8. The strongly-built gelding has won his three starts by a thumping aggregate margin of 68.5m. He dives straight into the big league at Kilmore next Wednesday night in a heat of the Breeders Crown against Australia’s best youngster, Centenario, and elite support talent like Nostra Ideal, Fourbigmen and College Chapel. “He’s a beautiful horse. He’s big and strong, he looks a like a thoroughbred and he’s really doing a lot of it on raw ability at the moment,” Butt said. “It’s exciting to have a horse of his talent join the team even if it’s a big ask throwing him into such a strong Breeders Crown at this stage. “I’m sure he’s got the talent, but has he got the strength and the experience if things don’t go his way in a race against these sort of horses?” Whereyabinboppin has shown plenty of gate speed, but has gate five with Centenario in gate one. “I’m looking forward to the race just see where he sits at this early stage of his career against the best,” Butt said. In other stable news, last-start Group 1 Blacks A Fake winner Let it Ride is “most unlikely” to contest the Victoria Cup enroute to the Inter Dominion. “He’s still got another couple of weeks spelling so the Victoria Cup will come up a bit too soon I think,” Butt said. Adam Hamilton

Tim Butt isn’t one to rest on his laurels. Fresh from his Grand Circuit triumph last weekend at Albion Park with Let It Ride stamping himself as a genuine star of the future following his easy victory in the Gr.1 $200,540, UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship, the champion trainer is already plotting his next move. And it could mean a return trip to Brisbane next year. Butt and stable clients have negotiated a deal to secure unbeaten Riverina two-year-old Whereyabinboppin from the stables of Steven Harris for a six figure sum. Whereyabinboppin is a son of first season sire A Rocknroll Dance from the Modern Art mare Whereyawheeliebin, a winner of 5 races. He is the first foal to race from the mare. The speedy gelding has looked ultra-impressive in both victories at Wagga with the latest coming on July 17 when scoring by over 34m in a time of 1:56.5 for the 1755m. The current track record at Wagga belongs to Untitled at 1:55.6 set back in May this year. Whereyabinboppin will start this Sunday at Bathurst in the consolation of the Alabar NSW Regional Breeders Challenge. He will start from the outside of the second-line, gate 11 in the 1730m event. With Butt heading to Victoria next week with his talented three-year-old trotter Majestic Courtney who will tackle the Gr.1 $75,000 Seelite Windows & Doors Victoria Derby at Maryborough (August 5), he will pick-up his latest acquisition on the way south. And Butt is already looking at the Derby classics next season. Who knows, he might be aiming at claiming the Blacks A Fake and Queensland Derby double next year. And given how good his Group One record is, it’s hard to doubt him.   Chris Barsby

The 2018 Albion Park winter carnival came to dramatic finale last night (Saturday). With great fields of racing, solid prizemoney and cash bonuses up for grabs, rival connections were keen to get amongst the action. And it paved the way for a sensational night of harness racing. The Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship was the main event, the final leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season, a classy field of competitors were chasing the riches on offer. Champion trainer Tim Butt claimed the event with rising star Let It Ride who scored easily defeating Atomic Red and Alleluia in the 2680m feature. Aided by a gun drive by star reinsman Dexter Dunn, Let It Ride gained a perfect trail before unleashing a powerful finishing burst to score by a widening margin. The winning mile rate of 1:54.8 established a new track record, slicing .2 seconds of the previous mark of 1:55.0 held by Our Hi Jinx. In the Gr.1 $100,540 QBRED Triad 2yo Finals, First String ran down favourite Regulus in the colts and geldings feature rating 1:56.4. Prepared by Craig Cross, the Roll With Joe colt was handled perfectly by Luke McCarthy. Smart As Camm Be defeated southern raider For All We Know to claim the fillies feature in a thrilling home stretch battle. Trained and driven by Kylie Rasmussen, the Cammibest filly has firmly established herself as the best juvenile in the state with a pair of feature race victories. Victorian horseman Mattie Craven landed the Gr.2 $75,540 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby when former New Zealand pacer Master Moonlite nailed local star Colt Thirty One right on the line while filly Fame Assured finished a creditable third in the blue riband classic. Raced by a large team of owners, Master Moonlite rated 1:57.3 for the 2680m event. In winning the event, Craven landed himself a $20,000 trainer’s cash bonus after scoring a victory in the Gr.2 Queensland Trotters Cup a week earlier. The Gr.3 $30,540 Ted and Edna Badcock Memorial 4yo Championship was taken out by race favourite Our Triple Play who led throughout defeating Conviction and Our Uncle Sam in a time of 1:54.5 for the 2138m. Prepared by Brad Hewitt, the Shadow Play gelding gave his astute young mentor his second victory in the event after scoring with Sweet Molly Oshea two years ago. Local trotter Spud proved too classy taking the Gr.3 $20,630 Haras De Trotteurs Marathon when running down Gee Up Neddy and Our Dreamlover. Spud rated 2:04.7 for the 3157m event. Trained by John Edmunds and handled by Nathan Dawson, the Tennotrump gelding recorded his 13th career victory. The APHRC would like to extend their heartiest congratulations to all of the winners during the three week carnival and thank all of the interstate trainers who made their way to the Sunshine State to be part of another successful carnival.   Racing Queensland    

Tim Butt knows a thing or two about preparing a Grand Circuit winner. The champion horseman has prepared more Grand Circuit winners than any other trainer in this part of the world….and by a good margin! His tally now stands at 52 (17 pacing & 35 trotting events). And his latest winner came via the final leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season, the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park tonight (Saturday). Rising star Let It Ride ($4.30) confirmed his status as a genuine star of the future with a brilliant and resounding victory in the 2680m feature event when easily defeating Atomic Red ($3.90 fav) and Alleluia ($32.60) in a track record time of 1:54.8 (Our Hi Jinx held previous mark at 1:55.0). Handled by star reinsman Dexter Dunn who overcame an illness the night prior, the recent Gr.1 Breeders Challenge winner was given a perfect run in behind the pace setting Atomic Red before racing clear soon after straightening. With Glenferrie Hood and Tact Tate both leaving the gate with urgency, Dunn bided his time before charging forward quickly to take the lead away from Glenferrie Hood at the 2000m mark. The winning move came shortly after when Dunn elected to take cover behind the hard-running Atomic Red. The lead time was covered in 74.9 seconds. Atomic Red led the way from Ultimate Art who improved his position quickly while Let It Ride sat perfectly in the trail. The first half of the final mile was covered in 29.2 and 29.4 seconds. Entering the back straight, Atomic Red led from Ultimate Art and Let It Ride while Cruz Bromac improved three-wide solo with My Field Marshal catching his cover. Cruz Bromac raced roughly mid-way down the back straight and checked My Field Marshal while Carlas Pixel and Ohoka Punter also copped interference. The third quarter was covered in 28.9 seconds. At the top of the home straight, Atomic Red attempted to kick away but Let It Ride quickly loomed to his outside and the put the result beyond doubt very quickly. The winning margin was a widening 13.5m over Atomic Red while there was a further 4.5m back to Alleluia in third. The final quarter was timed in 28.7 seconds. “We got a perfect trip and got lucky to follow the right horse throughout, he took us right to the home straight and I knew my guy was feeling great in the pocket and he quickened nicely over the latter part.” Dunn said. For Dunn, it was his 7th Grand Circuit victory. Again, the management of Butt was pinpoint accurate following his decision earlier this week to bypass the original target of the 4yo Championship (support feature) and concentrate on the main event coupled with flying Dunn in from New Zealand to partner the gelding. At the time, it was a big gamble but one that has paid handsome dividends. It was first test against genuine open class rivals. Let It Ride has now won 15 of his 27 starts. Connections will now switch their focus towards the Inter Dominion series in Melbourne later this year. The 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season is now complete with global superstar Lazarus set to be crowned champion after amassing 304 points throughout the term. Lazarus finished well clear of Soho Tribeca (205) and Tiger Tara (145). Chris Barsby

The final leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit takes place this weekend. And the destination is Brisbane. The Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship will conclude the eight leg series and global superstar Lazarus will be crowned Grand Circuit champion following a shocking injury to Soho Tribeca last weekend. Heading into the final leg, Lazarus held a 99 point lead over Soho Tribeca but victory for the latter would’ve secured a thrilling victory but, unfortunately, a leg fracture sustained in the Sunshine Sprint has wiped out any chance of securing the title. So, with Lazarus guaranteed the title of Grand Circuit champion for the second straight year, the door has been left open for others to improve their position on the leaderboard or even perhaps, get on the leaderboard for the first time this season. The Sunshine State feature named after the greatest champion of all-time is staged over the 2680m and features some very richly talented pacers including last week’s feature race winner Tact Tate. The Amanda Turnbull trained and driven gelding scorched around the Breakfast Creek oval in a time of 1:53.0 taking the sprint feature and now looks to complete the Brisbane feature race double. In recent times, Hectorjayjay (2017) and Im Themightyquinn (2014) have completed the Queensland double and Tact Tate has a terrific chance of joining that exclusive club. Possessing blinding gate speed, Tact Tate will start from gate 6 and looks a great chance of finding the pegs early again. A major threat for Tact Tate could come from within with Atomic Red, prepared by Amanda’s father Steve; the ultra-talented four-year-old produced an eye-catching effort last week behind Tact Tate when fifth after starting from a nasty second-line draw. The rise in distance will suit Atomic Red and the ideal front-line draw (4) is another major plus. With the Turnbull name synonymous in harness racing, the father/daughter combination have filled a top two finish on many occasion but are yet to achieve the feat in a Grand Circuit event. Can they etch their names into the record books this weekend? Champion trainer Tim Butt is no stranger to Grand Circuit glory and is represented by a pair of outstanding chances with My Field Marshal and Let It Ride. My Field Marshal (1:46.9), the fastest pacer in Australasia, is looking to bounce back following a flop performance last week in the Sunshine Sprint when finishing at the rear of the field after racing three-wide throughout. A runner-up in this event last year, My Field Marshal will start from gate 11 with Anthony Butt taking the drive. Let It Ride, a proven Gr.1 winner, will start from gate 3 with Dexter Dunn booked to drive. A winner of his past five starts, Let It Ride makes his debut at the Grand Circuit level but looks ready following his victory at the track last week. Victorian trainer Dean Braun is chasing his maiden Grand Circuit victory with classy mare Carlas Pixel, the Gr.1 Ladyship Mile winner must overcome gate 13 – the outside of the second-line. The regally bred mare will again have the services of star reinsman Luke McCarthy. Cruz Bromac, a winner of the Gr.1 Len Smith Mile two starts ago makes his Albion Park debut and faces a second-line draw after landing gate 10. The Kevin Pizzuto trained gelding disappointed last start at Menangle when finishing 7th. Perennial Albion Park performer Ultimate Art returns to Brisbane and tackles the staying feature following some strong efforts of late at Menangle. Under the care of Queensland born but Sydney based Shane Sanderson while regular trainer Michael Formosa holidays in Malta, Ultimate Art will start from gate 9. Ultimate Art finished third in this race back in 2016 behind Ohoka Punter and Hectorjayjay. Young Cameron Hart takes the drive. Another Sydney trained runner is Celestial Arden for Kerryann Turner and Robbie Morris, the talented gelding has drawn poorly in gate 7 – the outside of the front-line. Celestial Arden was a runner-up last week behind Tact Tate in the Sunshine Sprint. Leading trainer Grant Dixon is duly represented by Alleluia (gate 1) and 2016 winner Ohoka Punter (gate 12). Both pacers are racing in excellent form. Proven Albion Park feature race winner Glenferrie Hood starts in his second Blacks A Fake (9th in 2016) and will start from gate 5. Pete McMullen takes the drive for trainer Wayne Graham. Bodhi Tree tackles his biggest challenge to date the injury prone pacer continues to defy the odds and boasts outstanding recent form. Prepared by Peter Greig and Patrice Madden, the Blissfull Hall gelding will start from gate 2. Giant former New Zealand gelding Hughie Green is listed as the emergency (gate 8). In total, the 13 runners have won 265 races while amassing more than $5.48 million in stakes. The UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship is scheduled as race 8 and listed to start at 8.40pm local time.   Chris Barsby

IT has been a while between drinks, but Dexter Dunn will be out to an extend his unbeaten run aboard Let It Ride in Saturday night’s $200,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park. Dunn drove the Tim Butt-trained pacer to win his first four starts – all at Addington – but hasn’t taken the reins since. The most recent of those wins was on March 31, last year. But Dunn was more than happy when told Anthony Butt had opted to stick with My Field Marshal as his drive in the Blacks A Fake, meaning Dunn would be aboard Let It Ride. “I’d have been happy to drive either horse. It was great to get the call-up from Tim,” Dunn said. “I actually went across this time last year to Brisbane and finished second on My Field Marshal in the Sunshine Sprint. “But Let It Ride is an exciting horse. I know Tim’s always had a big opinion of him and he’s taking him along really well. “He’s been racing well, has the good draw and Tim obviously thinks he’s ready to step-up to a race like this.” Dunn said this would be “about my seventh or eight trip to Albion Park” and his most recent major win came aboard Terry Chmiel’s filly Nek Time in the 2016 Queensland Oaks.   Adam Hamilton

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

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