Buster Brady on cup quest


Weedons trainer Kyle Austin would love to see Buster Brady in the $800,000 NZ Cup at Addington in November as a fitting tribute to his late father Mike, who passed away in May aged 69.

Buster Brady (eight wins in 20 starts) posted a slick trial win at Ashburton on Tuesday, being privately clocked at just over 54sec for his last 800m as he won comfortably for driver Blair Orange over 2400m.

“It would be a tribute to Dad to get a start,’’ said Kyle Austin on Wednesday.

‘’He was always there to answer questions and give advice with the horses.

“The family has never had a horse in the cup so it would be great.’’

Austin is a full time sign-writer, but has a couple of horses in training.

The late Mike Austin started training in 1978 and produced 271 winners, 173 of them in the trotting gait.

He guided former talented free-legged pacer Nutwood (eight NZ wins) who never made the NZ Cup field because of standing-start issues.

Kyle Austin bred from Nutwood’s half-sister Kacie Marie (one win, by Clever Innocence) to get Buster Brady, who only started racing in December 2015, when he won by seven-and-a-half lengths at Methven.

He has shown plenty of ability and Austin believes at peak he will be very competitive in the top grade.

“He has grown into himself and looks a bit stronger. He’s a lovely, big rangy horse. He paces free legged and I only have the hopples on for race-day. 

 “Blair was more than happy with the way he felt and the way he finished off at Ashburton – he was rapt.’’

 The five-year-old gelded son of Real Desire, at $51 on the early fixed odds market for the NZ Cup, will probably line up in the New Brighton Cup at Addington on September 16.

“Fingers crossed he will be a better horse this season, but he did beat some good fields last season. He’s going to get better with time and hasn’t had that hard racing like a lot of other open-class horses have.

“He is great to do anything with and is a gentleman.’’

While Lazarus ($2.20) and Heaven Rocks ($3.60) are dominating betting on the NZ Cup, Austin says you have to be in to win.

“In most cups there is always a bit of a roughie that runs second or third and picks up $100,000 - you are not going to get that opportunity very often.’’

Austin has high hopes for Buster Brady’s three-year-old half-sister Kacie Cullen, by Stunin Cullen, who comes back into work shortly.

‘’She shows a bit of promise and is a lovely natured wee horse.’’

He is also training well-bred trotter Fekitoa (4g Skyvalley-Jo Anne), who qualified nine seconds under time last December and will be at the workouts in about a month.

“Fingers crossed he’ll win a few races for us.’’

His mother Jill has taken over the ownership of Mike’s horses and they are trained by his brother Rodger, including trotters Idle Moose (two wins) and Idle Monkey (six wins).