Butt's bumpy ride

By Adam Hamilton

ANTHONY Butt can’t recall a scarier feature race ride.

Butt won last night’s Group 2 NSW Trotters’ Derby with Elite Stride, but admits he had given-up hope halfway through when the buzz trotter completely took charge.

“He can do that, but this was extreme. He ran the middle half in 55sec and we go him running his first mile in about 1min53sec … and he still had another 700m to go,” he said.

“The sectionals kept popping up and I thought he’d run himself into the ground.

“It got to a stage where I could start to control him a little bit, but I didn’t want to really restrain him for fear he’d break.

“It’s remarkable he was able to keep going and, despite the second horse getting close, he felt like he’d have something more again if I asked.”

Elite Stride ran the first quarter of the last mile in 27.3sec and the second in 28.6, but the last two quarters were 31.2 and 31.5sec.

He the Muscle Hill colt held-off talented Victorian Dizzysjet, now in Tim Butt’s stable, by 1.5m in a 1min57.9sec mile rate for 2300m.

“He’s the best young trotter I’ve driven for sheer talent and the speed he has is amazing,” Butt said.

“He’s just different to our young trotters, he’s essentially US-bred and he’s like a young American trotter, he just wants to go.”

Butt thinks Elite Stride has the potential to become something special.

“The talent and speed are there, but it’s now a matter of whether it’ll all come together and he’ll learn to become a complete racehorse. If he does, he could be anything,” he said.

Elite Stride, who boasts seven wins and a second from eight starts, may have just one run this season, in next week’s Foundation series final at Menangle.

"Where and when they run the Victoria Trotters’ Derby is uncertain so that’s still a possibility, but I’ll talk it through with Emilio (Rosati, owner-breeder),” Butt said.

“Beyond that, we’ll look towards the Breeders Crown at the end of the year.”

In other stable news, Butt said his glamour three-year-old pair Line Up and Perfect Stride were just resuming work.

“There’s nothing for them, so we gave them a break and they’re just starting back up again now,” he said.

“We’re really just looking towards the Breeders Crown towards the end of the year of them.”

Butt is also excited about Saturday week’s $100,000 NSW Metropolitan Region series final at Menangle with the emerging Wolf Stride.

“He could be a really serious horse. He’s getting better with every run and really impressed us in the heat,” he said. “It’s a strong series, but he could be a Grand Circuit horse in the making I think.”



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