Butt's Derby Dominance

by Adam Hamilton

ANTHONY Butt found a way to raise the bar on his Victoria Derby heroics.

Butt’s star three-year-old pair Line Up and Perfect Stride ran first and third respectively in January’s Victoria Derby, but filled the quinella in last night’s Group 1 NSW Derby.

Line Up, a revelation since moving to Australia, completed the Victoria/NSW Derby double and stamped himself as a really special three-year-old, while Perfect Stride sustained a big run from off the speed for second.

“This training thing is relatively new to me, but this result is amazing,” Butt said.

“They both went terrific again. I’ve always felt there isn’t a lot between them, but Line Up has gone to another level in the last few weeks.”

Butt’s reputation as one of the best and most aggressive big race drivers was on full display when he put the foot down mid-race and bludgeoned his way to the lead from main danger, Governor Jujon.

He just kept running for a blazing 1min52.8sec mile rate over 2400m.

Line Up found plenty to beat Perfect Stride by 4.1m with another 0.3m away to the eye-catcher, Zeuss Bromac, in third spot.

Butt said his star duo would now split-up.

“Perfect Stride is in Bathurst and he’ll head there next, but Line Up will probably go to Perth for the WA Derby,” he said.

“Beyond that, I’m looking at Queensland for both of them in winter.”

Line Up’s win earned him a wildcard invite to Queensland’s exciting new race, the Rising Sun, which is restricted to three and four-year-old pacers.

It’s a $250,000 race, but under the conditions three-year-old runners get a preference draw and race for a possible $100,000 bonus should they win.

“It’s great to have the option, but we need to get through the next couple of months before I decide if we’ll tackle that new race or not,” Butt said.

Line Up and Perfect Stride are raced by leviathan owners Emilio and Mary Rosati.

Butt and his fiancé, Sonya, took over as the Rosati’s head trainer late last year when Noel Daley opted to return to North America.

“Anthony’s doing a fantastic job, but there’s a long way to go,” Emilio Rosati said.

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