Mojito close to return

By Adam Hamilton

Former buzz Kiwi pacer Mr Mojito is close to launching the next chapter of his career.

And that chapter could well include a trip back to his homeland for a crack at the Harness Jewels.

The former Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained pacer has followed the same path as many of Merv and Meg Butterworth’s horses and switched to Kerryn Manning’s barn.

The move came after a frustrating Perth campaign late last year when Mr Mojito never looked comfortable around the tight Gloucester Park where he raced three times for a win, a fifth and an 11th.

“He didn’t like the track, but he still wasn’t at his best over there,” Butterworth said.

“We gave him a good break and now he’s just about ready to race again.

“Grant (Campbell, Manning’s husband) put a smile on my face the other day when he said Mr Mojito gave him the feel of a very nice horse.”

Butterworth said Mr Mojito was likely to resume early next month.

“I’d say that first week of May is when you’ll see him back,” he said. “The Harness Jewels is where we’d love to head with him. If they invite him, we should have time for a couple of runs here before going across.”

In contrast, Butterworth said he was leaning towards bringing his classy four-year-old mare Golden Goddess across from Auckland to Victoria for a string of feature mares’ next month.

“That’s how I’m leaning at the moment. First I’m hoping she can a cheeky race against Lazarus this weekend,” he said.

“If she comes to Victoria, she will stay with Mark and Natalie for those races. Then we’ll decide whether goes back to NZ with them or stays here and goes to Kerryn and Grant.”