Near perfect night for Butcher and Green

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Ray Green and Zachary Butcher enjoyed near-perfect nights at Cambridge on Thursday, recording a training treble and driving ‘quaddie’ respectively.

The pair combined for wins with Blue Glory, Rupert Of Lincoln and Lincoln Road while Butcher also reined home Naholo for Steven Reid.

Green is a pretty unflappable type and was pretty relaxed about the tidy start to the new season.

Blue Glory, a rare ‘home-bred’ for Lincoln Farms, by American Ideal, carried a large amount of punter support to the winners’ circle in the first of the night.

“To be fair, it wasn’t a great field of horses plus she had a good draw and was trialing well.

“We were pretty confident she would be hard to beat and she got the job done.”

She’s probably an ‘Auckland horse’ on ability, but seems to be more serviceable left-handed at this stage, according to her trainer.

And that may well be her only start for the stable and in the country.

“There is a fair bit of interest in buying her and there’s a good chance she could be sold.

“We’ll just play that by ear, but she definitely won’t go out if she stays here.”

Rupert Of Lincoln got the speed wobbles and broke when presented with clear air in his debut at Alexandra Park last week.

He drew one last night and Butcher didn’t use him off the gate, backing the horse’s ability to get over the top of them late.

The son of Sir Lincoln justified his driver’s faith, out-muscling the well-backed Arden Voyager and Just Wing It to win.

“He’s come 27.4 home three-wide and done it pretty well,” said Green.

“Zac had to nurse him a little bit that first hundred metres as he didn’t want to mess him up like he did at Auckland.

“He got the big shuffle up but a bit of luck to get off a lap out was the winning of the race.

“He’s very green and inexperienced and has gone from a few trials in small fields to all of a sudden being thrown in the deep end against ten of them and it’s a bit of a culture shock.

“There is still plenty of improvement in him yet.”

Lincoln Road is a year older than the other two and had 11 starts under his belt before last night.

That doesn’t many he’s the finished product just yet, but he is heading that way.

Last night he sat last on a hot tempo and blew them away down the outside in the run home.

“He’s come a long way in the last two or three months,” said Green.

“He was a little bit ‘hot’ and one-dimensional but he’s become quite versatile now.

“We saw that last night with him relaxing at back and coming over the top of them; he couldn’t have done that three months ago.

“But he’s learning to mellow out a bit and turning in to a nice, tractable racehorse.”

Green says the benefits of having Butcher working full-time at the stable is showing on race night, as he has that little bit of extra knowledge about each horse he drives.

“He’s been well-schooled and has developed in to a top professional driver.

“Having him privy to the horses when he jumps in the cart on race night is a big help.”

Butcher is about to head off on a month-long holiday in Europe through September, including visiting relatives in Poland.

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