Cambridge tests for Butcher pair
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Auckland horseman Zachary Butcher will take his entire racing team to Cambridge Raceway on Thursday, and he is hoping to go home with a couple of winning cheques.
Butcher will do the steering himself behind Call Me Trouble in the Group 3 Les Harrison Transport Cambridge Flying Stakes Mobile Trot (2200m) and he is hopeful of a bold showing in the five-horse field.
The seven-year-old gelding was third in the Group 3 Greenlane Cup (2700m) at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve, and Butcher would be satisfied with a similar result this week.
“He seems well. There are some handy horses in there, so he is going to have to step his game up to be a chance of winning,” Butcher said.
“His work has been good so we will give him his chance and if he is good enough, he will be right there in the finish.”
Butcher is unsure what his next steps will be with the Superfast Stuart gelding, however, he is keen to freshen him ahead of autumn targets.
“This was our main goal and I have been wanting to give him a little freshen-up. With the lack of numbers up north, I have done my best to keep him in and get those races off the ground,” he said.
“If there is a chance to have a little freshen-up, we will definitely be doing that.”
Butcher will also line-up his other stable runner Zarias in the Waikato Summer Cup Handicap Pace (2700m).
The five-year-old gelding will be first-up and while Butcher believes he will need the run, he hasn’t discounted him as a winning prospect.
“I have only got the one trial under his belt, but his trial was pretty good the other day, he beat Soundsofcash home,” Butcher said.
“Moni (Monika Ranger) is driving, so I will let her know that we will be driving him a bit cold. He is probably going to need the run a little bit, but there is no reason to say he can’t win.”
Zarias will be met in the Summer Cup by the Ray Green-trained My Copy, who is hopeful of a solid performance from the ace draw.
“He hasn’t raced for a couple of weeks, but he seems pretty well. It is a bit of a test for him. It is the best field he has fronted up to, but he keeps improving,” Green said.
“It is his first time from a stand. He has had two stands at the trials and he has stepped really well. I am picking he will step well and be handy, but there are some pretty nice horses behind him like Zarias.
“I would be thrilled if he was in the first three.
“He doesn’t miss many kicks. He is very honest and he keeps getting better. He is not spectacular like his brother (Copy That), but he is a nice horse.”
Meanwhile, his full-brother Copy That has arrived safely in Melbourne ahead of his two-race Victoria campaign.
“He has landed there now,” Green said. “The Ballarat Cup on the 21st will be his first run and two weeks later is the Hunter Cup. They are our two main targets with him over there.
“He is a good traveller and is a pretty laidback horse, he is not a worrier.”
Back at Cambridge, Green and Butcher will team up for what they believe is their best winning chance of the meeting with Lincoln River in the Hidden Lake Hotel & Apartments Mobile Pace (2200m).
“The way he has been racing at Auckland, and it is a bit of a step down for him in grade (on Thursday), you would have to say he was the one to beat,” Green said.
Butcher echoed Green’s thoughts.
“His form in Auckland in stronger fields has been good,” he said. “He has been doing it tough, so coming down to Cambridge I think he will be pretty hard to beat.”