Special moment as Butt reaches 100 driving wins
By Jonny Turner
Having her grandmother waiting in the winner’s circle gave Kimberly Butt a special moment after she notched her 100th win as a driver at Forbury Park on Thursday night.
Jenny Butt bred and owns Imran Khan and she was waiting to greet him and congratulate her granddaughter, who reached her milestone by producing a patient and well timed drive on the trotter.
That moment added a special touch to reaching 100 winning drives in New Zealand, Kimberly said.
“It was pretty special and to do it with a horse she bred and owns was pretty cool.”
“It was obviously a massive buzz.”
“I only had month left as a junior, so to get it before then was good.”
Imran Khan is trained by Amber Hoffman and raced on lease by a large group of owners.
The family connection to her 100th win was appropriate – Butt credited her family for the support they have given her to succeed in the sulky.
Her fiancé, Jonny Cox, and father, Anthony Butt, have been important in helping her develop as a driver, she said.
“Definitely, family has been a massive part of it.”
“From the driving side of it my dad and Jonny Cox have been the biggest supporters.”
“From the training side my employers Gavin Smith, Mark Jones and Tim Butt have given me opportunities.”
Butt notched her second career highlight at Forbury Park with her win with Imran Khan.
The victory came on the same track she scored her first driving win, around five and a half years prior, with former injury plagued pacer, Saveapatrol.
Butt gave Imran Khan an economical run in a chaotic affair, before launching him for a sustained finish from the 400m.
The reinswoman wasted no time in notching up her 101st win.
She steered the Brent Borcoskie trained Jungle Gem to victory in the next race on the Forbury Park card.
Jonny Cox made it a hat-trick of wins for he and his fiancé, when Lightfoot Lady won the following race.
There was no time for Butt to celebrate the hat-trick or her 100th win after the Forbury Park meeting.
She hopped straight in a car and commenced the journey of more than 600km to Marlborough for Friday’s meeting at Waterlea.
Butt took out a training licence earlier this season and has produced a small number of starters.
She said training her first winner was next goal in her career.
“I have been so focused on getting the 100 I haven’t really thought about what is next.”
“But, training my first winner is the next thing I’d like to do.”
Butt has the opportunity to add another accomplishment to her junior driving career before she graduates to being a open drive in August.
She had been chosen to represent the South Island team at the next month’s New Zealand Junior Drivers Championship.