Butt’s hectic week ends on a high

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

It’s been a hectic week for Bob Butt and his fellow Woodend Beach trainers as a raging scrub fire threatened to engulf their properties on Wednesday night.

A legion of horses were evacuated from the area, including some from Butt’s barn, but he said the North Canterbury racing community were lucky to escape unscathed.

“It was more of the unknown (with the fire) really,” Butt said.

“We are lucky that we have got good paddocks, so we got the ones in the yards out.

“We were lucky with the way the wind was going. It wasn’t far from us at all, it came about 50m from Johnny Dunn’s barn.”

While the blaze added some unwanted drama ahead of New Zealand harness racing’s biggest week, Princess Leia was unfazed by the situation and came out a day later to win the Sky Major At Wai Eyre Farm Mobile Pace (2000m) at Rangiora on Friday.

“She went really well. We got a great run in transit and it all worked out well,” Butt said.

He is hoping his New Zealand Cup Day contenders will be in similar form on Tuesday, with his stable represented by Chris Kyle in the Harrison Bloy Mobile Pace (1980m), Come Together in the Garrards Horse And Hound Mobile Pace (1980m), and Happy Place in The Box Seat ‘On Every Wednesday’ Mobile Pace (1980m).

“They all seem good. It is a tough day of racing so they will need a bit of luck,” Butt said.

“Chris Kyle has been going well, but he has a tough draw (11). Come Together will be a good place chance from her draw (10).

“My best chance is probably Happy Place, he is going really well, but he will need the race to be run to suit.”


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