Butcher enjoying first Group One
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Benjamin Butcher is on cloud nine after reining home his first Group One winner.
The South Auckland reinsman partnered outsider Enjoy Me in the Gr.1 Dunstan Horsefeeds Sires Stakes 3YO Fillies Final (2200m) in which he was able to take advantage of their ace draw.
Enjoy Me was crossed early by La Rosa, who set a steady pace throughout, giving the Steve and Amanda Telfer-trained filly the plum run in the trail.
La Rosa was challenged on the outside by Bettor Twist for the majority of the contest and it looked a two-horse race between the pair turning for home, however, Enjoy Me was able to take advantage of the passing lane and get the better of her more fancied rivals to win by a half head over Bettor Twist, with a further half head back to La Rosa in third.
Butcher was duly delighted with the result.
“It’s a big highlight for me, I am really happy at the moment,” he said.
“We finally got a draw (1) tonight and we were able to use it. We got the good trip and followed the right horse the whole way.
“I knew I was travelling well, it was just whether I was able to wear them down. They had done a bit of work, which helped, and with the soft trip I was able to get there.”
It was Enjoy Me’s third win, but Butcher said she has shown him a lot in her previous starts, including a last start victory at Cambridge Raceway on Christmas Eve.
“She has been going super races all the way through,” Butcher said. “I have been really happy with her.
“With the two wins she has had to do a bit of work and she has done it well.”
After the win Butcher was full of praise for employer, Stonewall Stud’s Steve Stockman, and trainers Steve and Amanda Telfer.
“They gave me a really good opportunity when I started working for them,” Butcher said.
“Steve Stockman has given me a great opportunity the whole way through and I can’t thank them enough.”