Butt moves south
By Jonny Turner
Dunedin’s tiny band of harness racing trainers has been boosted by the arrival of Chris Butt.
The dual code trainer has recently moved south from Canterbury and established a stable at Westwood Beach.
Butt has five horses in work and is enjoying the switch from conventional trackwork to beach training.
“I am just working them up now, most of them had a few weeks off before I came down,” the trainer said.
The horseman hopes his move will help continue the progress his stable star Theodosia made last season.
The 6yr-old hit career best form in the autumn, notching two wins and adding third and fourth placings in Group 3 and listed events to her future breeding resume.
Theodosia's good form came after Butt discovered less is more when it comes to applying head gear to the trotter.
“She was panicking in the field and the more gear we tried the worse she got,” he said.
“So, we just had to go back to basics and take everything off her.”
Theodosia had a short winter break as Butt did not want the Muscle Mass mare to lose too much of the good momentum she had built at the end of last season.
“She only had a month off - I didn’t want to give her too long off since she was going good.”
“She improved a lot last season and the beach should help her a lot.”
Theodosia holds a nomination for the Group 1 Dominion and could start in the race if she is able to improve her ranking to qualify for the race.
Her good efforts in black-type races last season has Butt hopeful his mare can measure up in open company this spring.
“Apart from Sundees Son and a couple of the others, she is probably up to the rest of them.”
“She showed last seasons she was not far off Valoria and Winterfell and you would think they are going to be the ones chasing Sundees Son.”
Butt said he plans to trial Theodosia at Forbury Park on Saturday, before lining her up on Hannon Memorial day at Oamaru, later this month.
Theodisa’s good form helped Butt enjoy his best season in New Zealand, last term, with five training wins.