News

My Field Marshal returns at Menangle

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Speed merchant My Field Marshal returns to racing over 1609 metres at Menangle on Saturday as he builds up to the Victoria Cup.

Kiwi trainer Tim Butt is hoping the six-year-old’s big-race experience from last season will stand him in good stead.

“That was his first time in the big league and he acquitted himself well. So I’d expect to see a more consistent, stronger free-for-faller.

“He’s got the brilliance to go with the good horses and it’s just a matter of picking the right ones and having him right on the night.’’

The Art Major entire clocked a slick 1:53.3 in a two-horse 1609m trial at Menangle on August 22.

“He’s freshened up very well for the new campaign. He went good at the trials with a last quarter in 25 seconds and did it on his ear,’’ said Butt.

“He’s a pretty nice horse and hopefully we’ve got a fair bit ahead of him this season.’’

My Field Marshal won the Len Smith Mile brilliantly from a seemingly hopeless position at Menangle on June 25, flying home after being four-back inner to win by 2.5m for driver Anthony Butt in 1:50.2.

He definitely won’t be returning to Canterbury for the NZ Cup on November 14 and Tim Butt is still unsure about a Perth $2m Inter-Dominion campaign in late November.

“We’ll get to the Victoria Cup ($200,000, 2240m mobile, October 14) and then make a plan after that.

‘’He’s got five races including the Victoria Cup in the next eight weeks.

“He’ll race this week and then he won’t race for a fortnight. Then I’ll back him up a week later just to season him and then go to a mile at Melton (Victoria) worth $50K, before the Victoria Cup.

‘’Anthony will drive him for the next five weeks and then decide on his options from there.’’

West Melton-based Butt is currently establishing a state-of-the-art training base at Menangle and building a racing team to take there.

‘’I’ve got a few nice horses to go, but have room for more so am keen to talk to any owners. They’ll all go after the NZ Cup meeting.

“A horse like Let It Ride (four wins) is a rating 83 here and he goes over there a C2 … they’ve just got more earning capacity.

“He’s going for a big race in early November at Melton. He’s got a lot of potential and we’re looking forward to what he can do over there.’’

Butt said open-class trotter Daryl Boko and promising American Ideal three-year-old filly Lady Chatto will be going to Menangle.

“If you can get going early and win a few races it puts your profile out there a bit.

“Everything is pretty good in New Zealand stake-wise, but there’s not enough owners.

“Aussie has got a such a big pool and they are racing converted, they’re brought up on the Melbourne Cup and so forth.

“The big issue here now is getting the investment into ownership. You see at Auckland the same old horses going around every week.

“The handicapping system seems to be catering for that mediocre kind of horse … if you’re like (leading Auckland trainer) Barry Purdon and you’ve got an open-class horse where do you race it?

“You don’t race it in Auckland … you come down for the NZ Cup meeting and after that you’re shot.

“That means they’re going to be racing in Aussie and that’s the kind of horse I want to train.’’