Butt has team ready to fire
By Jonny Turner
Woodend Beach trainer Bob Butt has his team tuned up and ready to make a mark when harness racing returns next week.
By then, the wait will finally be over for the trainer-driver and the patient owners of blueblood 5yr-old Mighty Flying Rocker.
The son of Rocknroll Hanover and epic 100-win producing mare, Fleet’s Pocket, looked ready to strike when bolting in at the Addington trials on Wednesday.
Mighty Flying Rocker’s eight length romp not only confirmed Butt’s decision to try the 5yr-old as a trotter after two unflattering starts as a pacers.
It also put two pedal bone injuries firmly behind him.
“I gave him two starts pacing, but he just didn’t have the speed,” Butt said.
“He had a really high action and he was basically going up and down on the one spot.”
“As a last resort I was going to start galloping him in his work, but when I took him out on the beach he trotted like a stag.”
Mighty Flying Rocker had two workouts as a trotter, last year, before his pedal bone gave way.
Butt had the horse ready to be tried again, but the break did not heal properly and had to be screwed.
“Now that the bone is screwed up he is as good as gold,” Butt said.
Mighty Flying Rocker had his rivals strung out all around Addington raceway during his eye-catching 2600m standing start win.
“Hopefully he can do a decent job.”
“He trotted 3.25.5 on Wednesday, so you would think he would be able to pick up a maiden win soon enough.”
Butt produced another trotting winner on Wednesday in Carnegie Hall.
The 4yr-old looked smart when winning one of her three starts earlier this season.
“She is a nice horse, but she has definitely still got a bit to learn.”
“In saying that, it wasn’t her fault when she galloped in her last start at Invercargill and she won real nice the start before that for Brent Barclay.”
Butt was winning again at the Addington trials when Katchalight scored in rating 40-55 company over 1980m.
The 4yr-old had three starts for the Woodend Beach trainer after transferring from John Howe’s stable and was unlucky in two of them.
Katchalight joined Butt to be beach trained and she seems to be relishing her new regime.
“She was good at the trials and she seems to be enjoying the beach.”
“She will go to the first Addington meeting and she should be pretty competitive.”
“She is at the right rating to be.”
Mandoza, qualified impressively when bolting in by more than four lengths at Wednesday’s trials for Butt.
The victory caught the eye of Perth buyers, which means the 3yr-old Washington VC pacer will not be seen at Addington when racing returns.
A gallop at the winning post stopped Bitamuscle also impressively qualifying with Butt in the sulky.
Despite the mistake, the 2yr-old won impressively for trainer Paul Nairn.
The brother to New Zealand Trotting Derby winner, Lotamuscle, looks a horse to follow after he returns to the trials to attempt to qualify again.