Four-year-old trotting mare Lady Mackendon gave her driver and co-owner Kimberley Butt an early birthday present when overhauling her 12 rivals in the first race at Forbury Park last night.
Butt, who turns 20 today, owns the mare in partnership with her not-so-better half Matthew Cross, who enjoyed his first taste of success as an owner.
The win spearheads what is going to be a big weekend for Cross, who is a broadcasting cadet for Trackside. Cross is set to make his commentating debut at Rangiora on Sunday.
“I was hoping I would get to call a race by the end of the year, but I never expect the opportunity to come along this early,” said Cross.
Cross was full of praise for his mentors, commentator Mark McNamara and presenter Greg O’Connor.
“They have both been a huge help and I definitely wouldn’t be calling on Sunday if it wasn’t for their guidance.”
Lady Mackendon, who is trained by Butt’s employer Mark Jones, had three unplaced runs for Terry O’Sullivan before being leased by Butt and Cross. She had indicated that she would go close in her debut for the Jones stable with an impressive win at the Rangiora workouts on the 21st of June.
Lady Mackendon, who was bred by Butt’s Grandmother Jenny along with Don McKenzie, hails from the family of smart trotters Genius, Dream Machine, and Vulcan.
By Mitchell Robertson