House, O'Reilly and Butt star in Palmy
by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
It was the Michael House- Sarah O'Reilly - Bob Butt show at Manawatu Raceway yesterday.
With Sarah O'Reilly driving a treble on the day, including two at double figure odds, House's team won four races. The Red Army landed the trifecta twice, and the quinella in the remaining two.
O'Reilly's wins were in the last three races with Tasman Tempest ($6.30), Glitz And Glam ($15.20) and Piiki Whara ($14.20).
In race 2 the recently-acquired and well-travelled Taliesin made it win number one at start number 33. And he did it in style, winning by over five lengths from stable-mates Leconte and Wriggles Rufus.
The other House trifecta was in race 6 with Tasman Tempest, Immer Besser and Mosaic Art
O'Reilly's treble was matched by Bob Butt. It was Butt's first appearance at Palmerston North in ten years and he made up for lost time, winning with all three horses he brought up from his Woodend beach base.
"I would have been happy with one," Butt said, "it went alright didn't it?"
With Ice won the opening trot after making a mid race move from his 60 metre handicap. It was Butt's 100th training success.
He then doubled up with hot favourite Come Together in race 3 before taking out the day's feature, the Iplex/Ecolab Hawera Cup with A Taste Of Honey.
The favourite got off to a flier from her front draw, going straight to the front. Despite pressure from placegetters Betterzippit and Boudica she lasted by half a length.
"She's a lovely mare," says Butt , "and those off marks had to do some work."
The likes of Taipo and Franco Hoffman weren't helped by breaking at the start while the well backed Bad Medicine and Last Tango In Heaven ran on well but couldn't chase down the leaders.
The only non House - Butt winner on the day was the Stephen Doody-trained Greatest Showman, driven by Andre Poutama.
And how did Butt celebrate his northern success? By eating pizza and watching the Blues' win over Moana Pasifika on the telly.