A confident Anthony Butt drive saw talented three-year-old Thebestlove prove far too strong for his 12 rivals in tonight’s $100,000 PGG Wrightson Trotters Final at Addington.
After negotiating Thebestlove away from the inside from his tricky one on the second-line barrier draw, driver Anthony Butt quickly had Love You three-year-old up vying for the lead, before taking over with a lap to run.
Butt then let the free-running type roll along in front, taking the sting out of his rivals down the back straight, before kicking on strongly in the home stretch to hold K D Muscles, who enjoyed a nice run in the trail after leading early, at bay by ¾ of a length.
Hot Pants finished a further 3 & ¼ lengths away in third, while Rocky Six rounded out the first four.
“He got going again when he saw Murray Edmond’s horse (K D Muscles) coming through, and actually won quite easily in the end,” said driver Anthony Butt.
“He still has a bit to learn, but he has a lot of scope and he simply ran them into the deck down the back straight,” he added.
Thebestlove was an emphatic winner of his first two starts, before disappointing slightly when third in the Hambletonian Classic. However, Butt was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt on that occasion.
“I think he is a better horse when rolling along at this stage of career,” he advised.
Thebestlove trotted the 1950 metre journey in 2-25.4, which is just 0.3 of a second outside of Royal Aspirations New Zealand record for a three-year-old male trotter.
“I’m looking forward to the Derbies with him as I think the longer trips will really suit him,” said Butt.
Thebestlove, who is trained by Anthony’s brother Tim, is owned by Graham Beirne of Small Car Word, along with Mrs V G Duncum, R W Davison, Mrs R E Davison, N P Bent, and Mrs P F Bent.
“It is good to win a big race for a great group of owners,” said Butt. “It should keep Graham Beirne off my back for a few weeks anyway,” he joked.
Meanwhile, Butt is expecting big runs from both Mah Sish and Elusive Chick at Menangle on Sunday.
“Elusive Chick is absolutely flying at the moment, and Mah Sish’s form is a lot better than it looks.”
“If he can lead he will be awfully hard to run down,” said Butt.
By Mitchell Robertson