A double for the Butts
NZ HARNESS NEWS
After a quiet few years in terms of winners, Woodend Beach trainers David and Catherine Butt were able to relive their former glory days at Ashburton on Thursday when they geared up their first training double in almost three years.
The husband and wife training duo threw a cart on both Astound and Son Of A Tiger, winners of their respective races at the meeting, to give the Butts their second and third winners for the season.
Astound kicked things off in the opening race of the day and backed up some solid recent form in maiden trots with an explosive victory with David in the bike.
An embryo transfer foal from former Group One-winning trotting mare Habibti, there’s a bit of residual value around the four-year-old mare and she showed a bit of the family quality, sitting three-wide without cover for the last 900 metres before unleashing down centre track.
The daughter of Majestic Son is raced by Robert and Lyn Patterson along with Birchbrook Breeding Ltd.
Then, a few races later, an aggressive early drive from Cameron Jones in the junior driver’s event netted further success when Son Of A Tiger snuck up the lane to defeat a brave Arden’s Winstar.
After a run of bad luck in terms of barrier draws, the opportunity to race up on the speed was too good to refuse.
“He hasn’t had a lot of luck,” Catherine said.
“There’s been some bad draws and it’s just getting harder and harder to come from back in the field these days.
“But he’s a nice horse, and being by American Ideal he should just keep getting better, too.”
Son Of A Tiger is raced by Peter and Jocelyn Cates along with their daughters, Nikki Copland and Joanne Lovett - the same combination which raced former open class pacing star, Bondy.
The last time the stable trained a double was in 2015 when they took Wilma’s Mate and Idealindiamonds to Westport and they were both successful.
With just a small team in training from their Woodend Beach base they now look on track to get close to the five winners they trained last season and were understandably chuffed to pick up the double.
“I would imagine this is a bit like what Mark and Natalie felt like on Tuesday,” David quipped.