Butt continues family legacy
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Canterbury horseman Bob Butt continued his family’s legacy in the Gr.1 Livamol NZ Trotting Free-For-All Mobile Trot (1980m) at Addington Raceway on Tuesday when winning the feature trot with Heavyweight Hero.
Butt became the third generation of his family to win the race after his father David Butt drove Call Me Now to back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995, and again in 2008 with Stig. While Butt’s grandfather, Robin Butt, won the race in 1971 with Tony Bear.
Fittingly Butt, who also trains Heavyweight Hero, carried his grandfather’s green and white colours to victory on Friday, and he was duly rapt with the win.
“It is great,” he said. “If you can’t be happy with that I don’t know what is wrong with you.”
After an initial false start in which The Dominator broke from the ace barrier, he galloped once again on take two, which allowed Butt to find the perfect running position three back on the markers.
Heavyweight Hero did no work when trailing race favourite Majestic Man and Cracker Hill throughout and Butt was able to utilise the passing lane to slingshot the leaders and win by three-quarters of a length over Cracker Hill with a further three-quarters of a length back to Muscle Mountain in third.
“When The Dominator galloped early I thought I would try and get Nathan’s (Williamson, driver) back (on Majestic Man) but Cracker Hill was punting through and with those two in front of me, three back on the fence was the place to be because I wouldn’t have to go around one and it worked out well,” Butt said.
“I got a slingshot through (when Brad Williamson elected not to take the passing lane with Cracker Hill) and he is a great old horse and is so genuine.”
Heavyweight Hero shaved almost one second off the 1980m national record to go alongside his other national record over 2600m.
Heavyweight Hero headed into Tuesday off the back of four consecutive runner-up results and Butt was delighted to get that elusive Group One victory with his consistent trotter.
“He hasn’t gone a bad race so he deserves it,” Butt said.
“He seemed as good as ever ahead of today, he just needed a run. He is thereabouts always so we just needed a bit of luck and we got it.”