Day At The Track

High fives for Butt

05:00 AM 03 Jul 2016 NZST
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Harness Racing trainer/driver Bob Butt may have won the feature at Phar Lap on Sunday but his second win of the day was the most satisfying.

Butt topped off a big weekend by winning the Timaru Winter Cup when driving Easy Rider to victory for his parents David and Catherine Butt who train the winner of four races at their Woodend Beach base.

However, Hall Of Fame's win in the last race, a c1 pace, gave Butt a race-to-race driving double but more importantly a training win of his own.

An eight length winner on debut at Addington in October, Half Of Fame went to Alexandra Park for the Christmas carnival but was never able to show his best. 

"I took him up north and he got really crook so I had to give him a long spell," Butt said.

The Rocknroll Hanover three-year-old was a one and three quarter length winner in a c1 pace on Sunday - his first start since December 18.

Sunday's win was a major relief for Butt as the talented pacer returned to form.

Butt said Hall Of Fame is likely to have one or two more starts before being sent for a spell in preparation for a cup week campaign.

Easy Rider was quick away from the front tape in the Timaru Winter Cup and Butt drove him hard to beat Well Armed to the lead but with just over a lap to run he give it away when Blair Orange sent Highview Freddy, who started off 20m, forward.

"Highview Freddy's always better in front so I knew if I could hold the lead he would be coming around at some point."

Easy Rider was then able to sit in the trail until he was let loose up the passing lane.

"He's just that sort of horse, if he gets that perfect run he's always dangerous," Butt said. 

Easy Rider, raced by Tony McGrath, beat home Highview Freddy by a head with a further length back to Well Armed.

The Art Official four-year-old made it back-to-back victories after winning a c1-c2 junior drivers race at Rangiora in the hands of Matt Anderson on June 19.

Hall Of Fame's win was Butt's second training win over the weekend with Matatoki winning a c1-c2 trot at Addington on Thursday night to give him a 100 per cent success rate with just the two runners being lined up.

Matatoki was Butt's third driving win at Addington with earlier wins coming in Breeders Crown heats behind the Paul Nairn-trained pair of Conon Bridge and Wilma's Mate.

Matatoki is likely to have another start before also being spelled for cup week.

Matt Kermeen

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