Aussie update - February 13
By Adam Hamilton
ANTHONY Butt was the star of Victoria’s Summer Of Glory and looks a key player again heading into Sydney’s Carnival of Miracles.
Butt’s two major Victorian winners, Dr Susan and Line Up, shape as the ones to beat against in the NSW Oaks and NSW Derby respectively.
And he’s got Perfect Stride for support in the Derby, along with the consistent Make Way pushing for a Chariots Of Fire berth.
Line Up, Perfect Stride and Make Way all step-out at Menangle on Saturday night.
“Line Up and Perfect Stride go round in just a normal three-year-old race, but they needed the run otherwise it would’ve been five weeks between runs from the Victoria Derby to the Derby heats here,” Butt said.
“It’s turned into a really strong race because horses like Governor Jujon and Youaremy Sunshine are using it for a lead-up as well.”
Smooth Deal would’ve been there as well, but he was balloted out and will go around next Tuesday at Menangle instead.
The heats of the Derby are at Menangle on February 29 and the final a week later on the Miracle Mile card.
“Line Up and Perfect Stride are really well going into this week. They’ve come through Melbourne very well,” Butt said.
“I’m driving Line Up and young Cam Hart, who drives a fair bit for Emilio (Rosati, owner), will be on Perfect Stride.
“I actually don’t think there is much between them. Line Up had more lead-up racing and was primed for Melbourne, while Perfect Stride will have really benefitted a lot from those couple of hard runs down there.”
Butt said the Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon-trained Dr Susan’s Menangle win last Saturday showed she was right on song for the NSW Oaks heats on Saturday week.
“She did that well. She’s absolutely flying and her gate speed, combined with the fact she can switch off after burning early, is such an asset,” he said.
Butt’s also hopeful Make Way, trained by his fiancé Sonya Smith, can secure a Chariots Of Fire start with another bold run in Saturday night’s Group 2 Paleface Adios.
“He’s just that bit below the absolute best ones, but the top four from last week are gone. Yes, a few new ones come in, but he’s drawn ok (gate six) and a top five run this week should be enough to get him in,” he said.
Butt foray into training, most specifically the private gig for Rosati and his wife, Mary, continues to go.
He confirmed he was taking over Shane and Lauren Tritton’s huge double barn at Menangle when they leave at the end of March.
“It’s perfect. It’ll give us 40 boxes and plus room for another five or so who prefer to be in yards,” he said. “We’ve already got 30 or so in work and the set-up Shane and Lauren have will be ideal to move into,” he said.
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STAR Kiwi pacer AG’s White Socks headlines the field for Saturday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Terang Cup (2680m).
Greg and Nina Hope’s stable star will chase a second Victorian country cup after his Ballarat success last month.
Punters have already stepped-in to AG’s White Socks backing him from $3.50 into $2.80 with the Aussie TAB, despite drawing the back row (gate nine).
In-form local Code Bailey, who ran fourth in the Hunter Cup compared to AG’s White Socks’ fifth placing, has the advantage of the front row (gate six) and is $2.40 favourite.
On the same card, former Kiwi Ronald J has been backed from $2.15 into $2 to make a winning Aussie debut for Kate and Andy Gath in the Group 3 Terang Trotters’ Cup.