Huge NZ Cup for the Butcher family

Win or lose Tuesday November 8, 2022 will be a day to savour for the Butcher family.

David Butcher and sons Zachary and Benjamin will all line up in the IRT New Zealand Cup - it's the first time in nearly 80 years that a father and two sons have all driven in the great race.

David will drive Kaikoura Cup winner Kango, while Zachary (31) links up with Old Town Road and Benjamin (27) takes the reins behind B D Joe.

It will be David's 16th New Zealand Cup drive and he has been involved in Cups with one of his sons before, just not both of them.

In 2020 Benjamin was 11th with Check In and David 14th with Triple Eight.

And in 2012 Zachary finished sixth with Pembrook Benny and David 14th with Jarcullembra.

David's sole Cup success was with Changover in 2008.

The next year David and his brother Phil were both involved, with David and Changeover finishing fifth, and Phil 15th with Awesome Ambro.

David and Phil were the second generation of Butchers to drive in the Cup following on from their father John who drove Tobias three times in the mid to late 1960s. His best finish was a fourth in the Cup won by Lordship in 1966.

Zachary heads into the Cup after bringing up his 900th driving success with Jack The Builder at Alexandra Park on Friday night. Jack The Builder is trained by John Dickie who also prepares his Cup drive, Old Town Road.

The Butchers have spoken regularly of the race within a race when it comes to their rivalry.

Just recently Benjaim said “there’s only two people you love beating in racing – your dad and your brother. There’s always a lot of banter and a bit of fun but we’re all very competitive and it’s always the goal to beat each other.”

Since the first New Zealand Cup in 1904 there have only been five instances of a father and two sons driving against each other. This will be the first time in 79 years.

In 1927 there was James "Scotty" Bryce with sons James Junior and Andrew, with Andrew winning with Kohara. And the Holmes family did it four times in 1936,37,38 and 43. Freeman Holmes was the father, and his sons Maurice and Freeman Junior drove in the same Cup in 1936,37 and 38 while in 1943 it was Freeman Holmes senior, Maurice and brother Allan.


The $100,000 Guaranteed Terminating Pick Up won't be on the last six races, as is the tradition. Instead it will be between races 6 and 11. Race 6 starts at 2.30pm with the IRT New Zealand Cup (R11) set to go at 5.36pm.


While the Cup is the undoubted highlight of what will be a huge day the rest of the card promises to be spectacular as well, with the first going bang on midday.

The Group 3 Alabar Junior Free For All (1.57pm) has a cracker field featuring Republican Party, True Fantasy will start a short-priced favourite in the Group 1 $140,000 Nevele R Fillies Final (3.06pm), as will Bolt For Brilliance in the first ever Group 3 Worthy Queen (3.42pm).

Then in the $170,000 Group 1 Woodlands Stud Sires' Stakes for the two-year-old Colts Geldings (4.17pm) can the unbeaten Merlin overcome being on the outside of the second row and extend his winning sequence to 9 and beat the strong All Stars contingent including Sherlock and Don't Stop Dreaming?

All up nearly $1.2m in stakes will be on offer throughout the day.


For the first time ever, the North American Harness Racing community will be able to watch and wager on the New Zealand Cup on Monday night 7th November (US date/time). From last month New Zealand harness racing has featured on the Sky Racing World Harness channel giving punters access to top harness racing six nights a week from the Southern Hemisphere.


Useful information for Cup racegoers

No cash will be accepted for food and drink on-course, Wayver (cashless way of paying) will be in operation. Wayver wristbands will be issued when they enter via the main entrance at Christchurch Arena. You then load your money onto the wristband at the various Wavyer tents located on course, via Credit Card (2.3% fee applies for first transaction), Eftpos or Cash. Your first transaction will activate your card and a fee of $3.50 applies – that is the only fee you pay. You can check your balance at any time during the day by asking one of the staff who will be roaming the venue. If you are running low on funds on your wristband you can also top up at any time during the day at a Wayver facility. General admission tickets can be purchased at the gate for $60 using eftpos only.Cash can be used to bet (or you can use Wayver).There are very limited ATMs on course.


The latest information from the TAB :

Market Movers

R1 Masterly (7) $7.5 into $4.5
R2 Ohoka Le Bron (6) $10 into $4.2
R3 Streaming Live (3) $15 into $10
R4 Millwood Indie (6) $5.5 into $4.8
R5 Cranbourne (13) $8 into $7
R7 Queen Of Diamonds (10) $6 into $4.5
R9 Don't Stop Dreaming (2) $1.75 into $1.65
Merlin (15) $7 into $5
R10 Chal Patch (8) $9 into $7
IRT NZ Cup Rock N Roll Doo (13) $6 into $5
Alta Wiseguy (16) $31 into $18
R12 El Conqueror (10) $5 into $4
R13 Here's Herbie (5) $5 into $4.2


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