Youth beats experience

By Tayler Strong

Zac Butcher, driving on the Waikouaiti track for the first time, won the”youth and experience” series on Tuesday

Butcher (23), from Clevedon, also contributed to  the success of the youth team (25 years and under) over the experienced team (50 yrs and over) by 243.5 points to 224.5.

Butcher collected a $2000 cash prize and a trophy.

Butcher drove Canndew to win  the first of six heats and amassed 51 points. Ken Barron and Craig Ferguson finished second equal with 44 points. Barron drove the winners, Booster and Bobby T.

“It has been great fun. It is a lovely track,’’ said Butcher.

“It was great to beat dad again.’’

His father, David finished  fourth.

The father and son had a keen rivalry in he 2011-12 season when Zac was the leading junior with 114 wins and his father amassed 113.

Greg and Nina Hope collected a $2000 prize as the leading trainers.

Amanda Turnbull added a first New Zealand win to her achievements in harness racing when she drove No Mas.

Turnbull  became the youngest driver to  reach 1000 wins in Australia as a 24yr-old last year. She has led the drivers premiership in New South Wales in 2012-13 and 2013-14 with 203 wins  since she began driving at 16. Turnbull took out a licence to train this season after shifting from Bathurst (NSW) to Shepparton (Victoria) and she has won 36 races. She has also added group one wins to her driving record.

No Mas was one of two wins for West Melton trainer Steven McRae in the series. The other was  the trotter Indiana Jones, driven by Southland junior driver Craig Ferguson. Indiana Jones, who started from 30m led from the 1200m.

Onedin Mach  won the main race  and a service to Auckland Reactor for Lorneville owner, Neville Cleaver. Onedin Mach was transferred  to  trainer Graeme Anderson a month ago from Nathan Williamson, who had prepared the gelding for eight wins.

“ He (Onedin Mach) had a hock strain and the best advice was to have him trained in a straight line,’’ said Cleaver. Anderson trains on the beach.

Onedin Mach is by Mach Three, the sire of Auckland Reactor. Cleaver has also won a service to the Mach Three stallion, Sir Lincoln.

The Williamson-trained Booster made it four wins in a row but he was not entirely comfortable on the grass.

“I nearly lost him a couple of times,’’ said his driver Ken Barron. Barron nursed Booster over the opening quarter, took him to the front at the 1400m and he won untested.

Idealindiamonds won impressively at his first start in supporting race He trailed the leader and came along the inner to win by a length and three quarters.  A $32,500 premier yearling sale purchase, he is a 3yr-old colt by American Ideal from Imprint, trained by David and Catherine Butt for Peter and Jocelyn Cates, of Ashburton and  their daughters Nikki Copland and Joanne Lovett.

The same connections were involved with Bondy,  who won the 2010 Hunter Cup and 22 other races and $798,000 in New Zealand and Australia. He took a record of 1.49.4 in the United States.

  The Butts  won the 2012 Caduceus Classic and two other races races with Opulent, a half sister to Idealindiamonds. Opulent has won another 12 races in Australia. Idolise, a sister to Idealindiamonds, won at Forbury Park this month.