Butt hopeful of more success at Rangiora
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
One week on from winning the Group One New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All (1980m) with Heavyweight Hero and Bob Butt is still floating on cloud nine.
It was an historic win for the Woodend Beach trainer, who three days later reined home the son of Muscle Mass to a fourth-placing in the Group One Dominion (3200m).
“It’s been a great week,” Butt enthused.
“It is one of those races that you always want to win, it couldn’t get much better.”
Heavyweight Hero created a bit of tension ahead of the Dominion on Friday when rearing over just before the start. However, Butt said he took no ill-effects from the fall and he was proud of his run.
“I don’t think it (rearing over) made any difference,” he said. “It was a big effort to go a 1:56 mile rate on Tuesday and then back-up and run four minute time on Sunday.
“He tired the last couple hundred metres on Friday but he still kept fighting.”
Butt is yet to decide whether he will head north with Heavyweight Hero to contest feature races over the Christmas-New Year period, or remain closer to home.
“He has come through both races well,” he said. “Now we just need to decide whether to go up north or stay around here.
“There is the green mile down here. It’s obviously not worth as much money but we might go to that and then wait for the autumn and get him ready for the Rowe Cup (Group One 3200m).”
While he experienced his biggest moment in the cart last week, Butt is currently on the sidelines after being suspended due to his whip action in the Group One feature last week.
As a result he will miss the drive on Katchalight in the Port And Eagle Brewpub Kaiapoi Fillies & Mares Mobile Pace (2000m) at Rangiora on Wednesday.
Dominion Trot-winning driver John Dunn will replace him in the sulky and Butt believes the five-year-old mare is a solid chance from her draw of six.
“I have been suspended for a couple of weeks so John Dunn is going to drive her and she will be a chance,” Butt said.
The daughter of Bettor’s Delight placed first-up at Oamaru before running a luckless 10th at Methven last start.
“She went well first-up and then she was getting a good run last start at Methven but the ones in front of us weren’t going that well around the last bend and she lost her momentum,” Butt said.
“If she can get a bit of luck she should be thereabouts.”