Exciting debut a family affair for Butcher

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

South Auckland horseman Zachary Butcher is excited to have his favourite owner trackside at Alexandra Park on Friday night, his Nana.

Colleen Butcher will be making the trek north to watch Zarias, who she races with her late husband John’s estate, make his debut in the SBSR Diamond Creek 2YO Prelude 10 Apr Mobile Pace (2200m).

The three-year-old son of Changeover has been faultless in this three trials to date and Butcher is hoping he can transfer that winning form to raceday.

“It’s pretty exciting, Nan own’s him and he’s in Pop’s estate,” Butcher said.

“It would be nice to get a win for Nana. I am pretty sure she is coming up to the races to watch him go around.

“It will be good for her to get to the track and even better when she has got one going around in her name. It will be a big thrill if we can get him home over the line first.”

Zarias hails from the breed established by John Butcher, which Zachary Butcher said adds even more sentimentality to the horse.

“He’s out of Pops breed so he is a bit of the golden child of the horses,” he said.

“It’s been a while since Pop’s breed produced a nice one, so it’s always exciting when the old breed comes back and they can get one going around.”

Butcher has been pleased with what Zarias has shown in his trials and he is confident of a solid debut despite drawing barrier seven.

“He is trialling up well, has a bit of speed and ability,” Butcher said. “He gives me the impression that he should be right there in the maiden field.

“The draw doesn’t help a lot, but in saying that I don’t see a lot of gate speed inside of him and the way he has been getting off at the trials he should be able to land handy enough early.”

Butcher will also line-up the only other member of his team, Call Me Trouble, in the SBSR Follow Us On Facebook & Harnesslink Handicap Trot (2200m).

The son of Superfast Stuart will be vying to make it three wins on-end and Butcher said if he does everything right he is a chance of doing so.

“It is a bit of a step up. There are some nice enough trotters in there that have been going some nice races,” Butcher said.

“He has got the ability, but in the same breath he is going to have to do everything right. He will be there at the finish if he does.”

Last start at Cambridge, Call Me Trouble broke at the start from the mobile and Butcher believes a return to a standing start will assist his charge.

“The start before he stepped away from the stand no problem, so starting off the mobile may have lit him up a wee bit and Andrew (Drake, driver) said he was probably a bit too keen. Back to a stand he will be a lot more relaxed.”

Butcher also has a handful of other drives but has highlighted Raven Banner in the SBSR Diamond Creek 2YO GRP 2 Classic Sun May 2 Mobile Pace (2200m) as his best chance.

“Raven Banner has been racing well,” he said. “He did a few things wrong last time up the home straight, but to me he felt like when I lined up at the 200m mark he was going to go straight on by them and win it for fun.

“He is in a small field and if he sits near enough to them he has got enough speed to go past those horses.”


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