Butcher beaming about border crossing

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

After four months the Auckland-Waikato border will open on Thursday, and like many residents of the city of sails, Zachary Butcher can’t wait to get across.

The Pukekohe horseman will join the drove of Aucklanders heading south, but while his main intention is to head to Cambridge Raceway’s meeting, it’s family that he is more excited about reuniting with.

“I am looking more forward to seeing the family again. It will be good to catch-up with Mum and Dad and go and see my niece,” Butcher said.

“I am going down this weekend for a family Christmas thing, so I will pop in and see them quickly on Thursday on the way to the races.

“I don’t think people realise how hard it (lockdown) has been.”

While racing has been able to continue at Alexandra Park, Butcher said it is nice to regain some lost freedoms.

“At least we have been able to get out there and make a few dollars here and there,” he said.

“It’s not having the freedom to go and see friends and family that you miss, but now we can. Life is looking good.”

Butcher will have two runners at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday, including Call Me Trouble who will have to overcome his 45m handicap in the Gavelhouse.com Handicap Trot (2200m).

“It is not going to be easy over 2200m off the 45m,” Butcher said.

“We have done a few things with him with the vet to help him out soundness-wise. He seems to be a happier horse now so all going well he should go another good race.

“It is still going to be hard to go around them all, but he won’t be far away, I am happy with his work.”

Depending on how he comes through his run, Butcher said he may contemplate targeting some of the better races in the north over the coming month.

“I will just see how he comes through this run,” he said.

“If he does improve we will look to drop him in one of those better assessed races and see how he gets on, but at the moment we will look at Cambridge and let him tell us what he is ready to do.”

Butcher will also line-up temporary stablemate Sporting Robyn in the Ike Unsworth Bayleys Mobile Pace (2200m).

“I only picked the horse up a week and a half ago,” Butcher said.

“Some friends of mine in Australia bought her and she didn’t end up flying out on the flight that they had planned for. They asked me to take her on for a couple of days and work her.

“I said she is near enough to racing, she is fit enough, so we have thrown her in down there (Cambridge) because it wasn’t a big field and they are not very strong.

“If she goes well I will be rapt.


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