Butt's surprise NZ Cup plans

By Adam Hamilton

TIM Butt is planning a trip back home for the NZ Cup and it won’t be just to catch-up with old friends and family.

Butt revealed he is seriously thinking about tackling the Cup with new stable addition Bettermatch, who has his first for the trainer in a ho-hum midweek race at Menangle tomorrow (Tuesday).

When Bettermatch appeared in NZ Cup nominations a few weeks back, he hardly rated a mention.

The former star juvenile won the Leeton Breeders Plate and NSW Saplings Stakes in his freshman season for trainer Colin Thomas before spending three years on the sidelines with injury.

He has returned with four impressive wins from five starts this campaign, including his farewell run for Thomas in the Country Series final at Menangle on August 25 where he won in terrific style.

“I really like him,” Butt said. “He feels like a very good stayer. We hope to go if he keeps improving like he feels as though he will.

“It’s the year to have a go. Chicago Bull is the one to beat and Ultimate Machete if he’s right, but it’s a thin lot that’s for sure.

“Put it this way, on what Bettermatch is doing at home, he’s up to those who horses who ran in the main race at Addington last Friday.”

Bettermatch is the lone back row runner (gate 11) in the sixth race at Menangle at 7.07pm NZ time tomorrow (Tuesday).

In other stable news, Butt has ruled-out the Victoria Cup with his sparkling Blacks A Fake winner Let it Ride.

“It was always unlikely. We wanted to give him a good break after Queensland,” he said.

“He won’t be ready and the Inter Dominion is his first target.”

And Butt’s Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal will return to training at he end of the month, but the Inter Dominion is not on the agenda.

“He’s not an Inter Dom horse. We’ll bring up with a view to returning to racing around Christmas time,” Butt said.

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