Day At The Track

Butcher leads premiership

08:07 AM 05 Jun 2017 NZST
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David Butcher

The North Island’s leading reinsman, David Butcher, who is also fourth of the national driving premiership,drove half the card at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

And in doing so the Cambridge driver also shot five wins clear at the top of the ‘Alexandra Park Driving Premiership’.

His 31 wins are five more than his son, Zac, who has 26 wins with Maurice McKendry – and six more than Tony Herlihy (MNZM) 20, who is followed by Brent Mangos with 19.

“It’s been a good season and it was a good night tonight. I just want to keep chippin' away and clocking up the winners – it doesn’t matter where it is.

“The Alexandra Park premiership is far from parceled up, but I’d like to keep that young fella of mine at bay and win it so I can have the bragging rights. That would mean a lot because I cant him thinking he’s better than me just yet,” Butcher joked.

The man they call ‘The Chief’, who has been victorious 66 times and amassed just under $700,000 in 2016-2017, drove the winners of four of the eight races at northern headquarters.

They were behind the Ross Paynter trained Royal Willie in race two; the Geoff Small trained Zadaka in race three; the Ray Green trained Royal Lincoln in the fifth event; and the Peter and Vaughan Blanchard trained Lovely Bundy in race seven.

Butcher thought the latter mare won nicely.

“It’s the first time I’ve driven her and she felt real nice throughout - though she did switch off a bit when she hit the front. She seems to do things right and Peter and Vaughan appear to have her manners sorted out.

“The other three were goodwins too also, but I thought that mare felt nice in winning,” Butcher said.

Butcher sat parked with the Love You - Kelly Bundy mare for the final 1100m of the 2200m stand. In the lane they had too much sprint for place-getters, Torbjorn (Richard Brosnan) and Tereskova (Dr Luk Chin).

The 5-year-old bay got home by one-and-three-quarter lengths and a nose, trotting the $14,999 Fresher Foods Handicap for the R61 to R89 squaregaiters in 2:50.8 (mile rate 2:04.9), and came home in 61.3 and 30.5.

Lovely Bundy was the $2.60 favourite and it was her third win in 14 starts for owners Garrick Knight, Susan Grant, Dan Magill, Revel Knight, Wendy Robinson, and the Hoof It Racing Syndicate.

She was bred by Magill and Trevor Hansen.

 

Duane Ranger

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