Kimberly Butt, daughter of champion reinsman Anthony, added to the family legacy by reining the Mark Jones trained Saveapatrol to a 2 & ¼ length victory at Forbury Park last night.
In doing so, she became the fifth generation of her family to don silks successfully in New Zealand.
But, Butt didn’t always want to follow in her father’s footsteps.
“Early on I wanted to be a vet, but I soon realised that would involve me staying at school and going to university afterwards,” laughed Butt. She gained her early experience with her uncle, Tim Butt, before spending just over a year with master trainer, Mark Purdon.
“As soon as I started driving a lot of fast work I caught the bug and realised this is what I want to do,” said Butt.
Butt is now employed by Mark Jones, who provided her with her first win last night.
“Mark is a great boss who has been very helpful with my driving,” said Butt.
“I am very thankful to him and the owner for giving me the opportunity to drive such a nice horse,” she added.
Saveapatrol was crossed from the gate, but once the dust was settled Butt was able to come out, and quickly took the imposing son of Christian Cullen to the front.
From there it was game over, with Saveapatrol racing away over the concluding stages to win in a slick time of 2-43.6.
Fellow female Junior Drivers’ Samantha Ottley (Rock Of Tara) and Katie Cox (Cullen’s Mercy) filled the minor placings.
A Harness Plus race at Gore on Saturday week may be next on the agenda for Saveapatrol.
Meanwhile, later in the night at Forbury Park, Alleluia impressed greatly when winning heat three of the NRM Sires Stakes over favourite Regulus. Both horses have now guaranteed themselves spots in the Group One final on Cup Day.
By Mitchell Robertson