Patience key to Cover Girl

By Michael Guerin

The only reason Cover Girl is at Ashburton today rather than in Victoria is because trainer-driver Bob Butt wants to look after her.

And that theme will extend to today’s feature pace the $22,000 Dunstan Feeds Sires’ Stakes Fillies heat (Race 6, 3.54pm) which has drawn a hot field.

Cover Girl won this year’s Harness Million for the juvenile fillies at Alexandra Park and Butt toyed with the idea of sending her to the Breeders Crown in Australia, where his good friend Josh Dickie who moved there last weekend was to have looked after her.

“But I thought better of it,” says Butt.

“She is still a touch weak and improving so I wanted to keep her close to home and let her develop.

“She has this series with a final at Alexandra Park next month and then all the Oaks races next season.”

Cover Girl has a seemingly good draw (3) in today’s heat over Ashburton’s new 1700m distance but Butt is loathe to use it.

“I used her off the gate at Alexandra Park one night and it was the worst she has gone.

“And there seems to be a fair bit of gate speed here with Allegra drawn inside me and True Fantasy outside so I think I will drive her with a sit and if we get the breaks she will run at them hard late.”

The small field has great depth but True Fantasy will de understandably short after her two huge wins so far this campaign and the near total domination of the All Stars at Addington on Tuesday.

Butt rates Terror Maria (R11, No.15) a good each way chance in a huge handicap field later in the programme.

Meanwhile, Butt has some good news for open class trotting fans with last season’s NZ Trotting Free-For-All winner Heavyweight Hero back in work after a spring injury and set to race over the summer.

Those looking for an each way bet today could do worse than Navara (R10, No.11) who has been racing in far stronger fields and falls into what looks an ideal race.

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