Group One test for Cover Girl
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Cover Girl will get her chance to grab headlines at Alexandra Park on Friday when she lines-up in the Gr.1 Woodlands Stud Caduceus Club Fillies Classic (2200m).
The promising filly impressed on debut at the Auckland track last week when closing late to secure a runner-up result behind Suntan.
TAB bookmakers took notice and have subsequently installed her as a $2.90 favourite for Friday’s juvenile feature.
Trainer and driver Bob Butt was pleased with how she handled Alexandra Park and said she has thrived at Joshua Dickie’s Clevedon barn this week.
“It was a really good run last week,” Butt said. “It was obviously her first time around Alexandra Park and she handled it well.
“She has licked the bowl and her work this week has been good, I have just been ticking her over. She seems great.”
Butt enjoyed his first Group One win as a trainer last November with Heavyweight Hero and he is keen to taste elite-level success once again.
“It is what you are in the game for,” he said. “It is even more pleasurable when you train them yourself.”
Cover Girl has drawn the ace marble and Butt said she should get every opportunity from there.
“It’s a step up again but she seems to have a bit of class on her side. She has got the draw so hopefully she can go a good race,” he said.
Cover Girl will remain in the North Island over the next month with plenty of northern spoils up for grabs.
“She has got the Sires’ Stakes next week and then the Harness Millions, and hopefully if she is going alright she will stay up for the Jewels,” Butt said.
Meanwhile, Butt is looking forward to lining up a handful of stable runners in Canterbury this weekend.
Last start winner Roll With Eunice will contest the El Alamein Fillies & Mares Mobile Pace (1609m) at Rangiora on Sunday and Butt said she will have her work cut out for her starting from the outside of the second row over the mile.
“It’s a funny race since she is in a mile,” he said. “They start on the bend and she hasn’t drawn that well. She should hopefully be a good chance, she has got good speed. She won’t be far away.”
Butt will head to Methven’s Monday meeting with two chances - Creme De La Creme in the Yaldhurst Hotel Trot (2400m) and Terror Maria in the Carrfield Livestock Junior Drivers Mobile Pace (2300m).
“The maiden trotter is still learning the game. They will be a place chance if everything goes right,” Butt said.
“Terror Maria never runs a bad race. She hasn’t got the best of draws (outside of the second row), but it is a junior race so hopefully they go hard up front and she will be running home late.”