Day At The Track

Former Kiwi favoured for Aussie debut

05:37 PM 07 May 2015 NZST
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merv and meg butterworth.jpg
Merv and Meg Butterworth

Former New Zealander Blue Sky Commander is a raging favourite to make a successful Australian debut at Globe Derby on Saturday night.

Transferred to leading Victorian horsewoman Kerryn Manning by owner Merv Butterworth last week, Blue Sky Commander is engaged in the time-honoured South Australia Trotters’ Derby.

Triumphant at three of his last five starts, Blue Sky Commander has been posted as a $1.35 hot shot by TAB Fixed Odds after drawing perfectly in barrier two.

Fellow Victorian youngster Amarula is regarded as the biggest threat despite drawing the outside of the front line.

Unbeaten from four starts since arriving in Australia, Amarula is listed at $3.30.

Thrilled with the squaregaiter’s form before leaving the Shaky Isles, Butterworth is extremely confident Blue Sky Commander will emerge victorious in the Blue Riband.

“I think he will prove too classy from the draw,” Butterworth said. “He is a very talented trotter and is capable of winning some bigger races.

“The only slight query is lack of fitness, but I’m not really concerned.

“There are no set short term plans for him after this, but the Victoria Trotters’ Derby in July is the reason I brought him over here.

“Whatever he does this weekend he will be a lot better for the run.”

Butterworth, who co-owns his team with his wife Meg, also revealed his long term plans for star pacer Arden Rooney.

With the son of Bettors Delight enjoying a well-earned spell, Butterworth has set his sights on next season’s New Zealand Cup.

That will mean bypassing the Perth Inter Dominion in November.

“He is having a break at the moment,” Butterworth said. “The plan is to definitely take him back to New Zealand for the Cup, which means the Inter Dominion isn’t part of his agenda.”

  • PAUL COURTS

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