Benjamin Butcher's big win with B D Joe in IRT 3YO Emerald
By Michael Guerin
Young driver Benjamin Butcher won the IRT 3YO Emerald not once but twice with B D Joe.
The second favourite held off hot favourite Krug in a stirring home stretch battle after the dual Derby winner looked certain to run him down using the passing lane.
But B D Joe kicked again in the last 50m to give trainer Steve Telfer the most satsifying win of his career.
“We won a Sires’ Stakes Fillies Championship with Enjoy Me this season but this is the most important for me,” said Telfer.
“It means a lot, to win on this stage and beat a horse like Krug.” Telfer said a last-minute driving tactics change was mainly Butcher’s idea but made him feel more comfortable going into the race.
“All week we were firm that we wanted to trail and that probably meant Alta Wiseguy would lead and B D Joe trail,” says Telfer.
“But I spend four hours watching videos and wasn’t sure.
“So I ran Ben and asked him what he thought, whether trailing was the right idea.
“He told that deep down inside he would rather lead and I told him I was fine with that.
“So it was ultimately his choice as it always is with drivers and I was happy to back him.” That decision maybe ultimately won him the race but then Butcher had to execute his plan and he did that perfectly.
He led off the gate easily, then had no pressure and by the time Ragazzo Mach started to put some tempo into the race the damage was done.
But there was still the massive problem of Krug sitting on B D Joe’s back and when he got into the passing lane he looked certain to race past and actually headed B D Joe.
Yet the leader fought back, earning his group one and putting the exclamation mark on an incredible season for Telfer and his sister and training partner Amanda, Stonewall Stud and Butcher.
“We are almost done for the season but that makes it so much more special.
"And I am really looking forward to giving this horse a decent break. I think he will come back a stronger horse and ironically because he needs a break that last 30m was the part of the race I was worried about and that was when he kicked back,” says Telfer.
“After a really long break I’d love to take him to Aussie next season with the major aim being a race like the Chariots of Fire.” B D Joe could of course still head to Victoria and tackle the Derby there as he will still be a three-year-old until January 1.
Krug has his chance on a day when the passing lane wasn’t providing many winners while Hot And Treacherous was super in third as was Ragazzo Mach.