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This story was initiated by my interest in the connection Menangle trainer Tim Butt has to harness racing in southern New Zealand, the way in which My Field Marshal has very much put him back on the Australian Harness map, and the fact that Southland bred pacer Tact Tama looks like his next star. However, in looking into the background of Tim Butt, the story frame expanded because as a trainer this former Canterbury horseman has forged a remarkable career. His record in both countries speaks volumes of his ability to pick stock, train to win and target the big races on both sides of the Tasman. Then there was that remarkable run on the Dominion Handicap when between 1999 and 2011 he won the race as a trainer an incredible eight times, something fellow trainer Mark Jones has been reminded of. “When I won it the first time (with Master Lavros) he walked past and said ‘Congratulations, seven more to go. And when I won the second time he walked past and said ‘Still six to go’. Cheeky bugger,” said Jones who drove many winners for Butt. The feats of horses like millionaires Lyell Creek, Flashing Red, Take A Moment and Stunin Cullen are well documented. But when you look at the list of other winners (printed below) a host of very good horses have helped to shape this trainer’s outstanding record. And a handful of these horses came from other stables with Butt reinvigorating their careers – Mah Sish, Report To Duty, Mister DG and Mr Feelgood are examples. “He’d get horses from other trainers and improve them, which is the sign of a very good trainer,” Jones said. Camtastic gelding Mister DG won nine races for Manawatu trainer Stephen Doody before Butt secured him. “We tried to buy him early on. As a seven year old they got an offer to sell him to America because he was on his mark in New Zealand. As a courtesy they rang us. We paid quite a lot of money. He might have won 100 k when we got him and I think he ended up winning 600 grand in four months. One of my big disappointments though was not winning the Interdominions in Perth. He just ran out of track. He got fourth – a short half head and short half head and a short half head behind three great horse, Jofess, The Falcon Strike and Sokyola. Another ten to fifteen metres he would have won it,” said Butt. Tim also rates Vulcan as another great horse which to some extent lived in the shadows of some of the trainer’s more illustrious trotting stars like Lyell Creek and Take A Moment. “He won two Jewels. He was a bit underrated. He came along at the wrong time when there were horses like Stig and I Can Doosit. He won five Group One’s in twenty two days.” That winning streak included a Great Southern Star Heat, Great Southern Star Final, Trotting Grand Prix, The Knight Pistol and New Zealand Trotting Championship. “That’s unheard of. He still didn’t get trotter of the year which annoyed me a bit, but never mind.” Winning connections after Vulcan’s Dominion Handicap win      – Photo Race Images Another horse Butt had success with was American bred Grinfromeartoear stallion Mr Feelgood. “We bought him out of Kentucky. Basically Kevin Seymour wanted a horse for the Interdominions because he was sponsoring it. We sourced a horse through Nifty Norman who was a good friend. We paid $600,000 US but he won it back in his first season.” Mr Feelgood won thirty nine races, banking $3,336,157. He won the 2009 Interdominions at Albion Park beating Blacks A Fake by half a neck. Washington VC gelding Report For Duty was another horse Butt trained at the end of it’s racing career. He was developed into a cup horse by Patrick O’Reilly. “He was a little tradesman. He ran third in two Hunter Cups.” Tim took Mah Sish to Australia. He won seven races for Ladbrook trainer Dean Taylor before Butt took over the reins. “Dean developed him and he looked a good horse. Dean didn’t travel that much and we just thought the horse needed to be in those good races in Australia. He nearly won a million dollars. He ran second to Themightyquinn in the Interdominions and won the Hunter Cup.” Mah Sish was part owned by Greg and Leigh Ayres. Leigh is Derek Jones’ daughter and Tim’s aunt. The Mach Three gelding ended his career winning fifteen races and $955,165. The Ayres also had a share in a number of other Butt runners including Raglan, Report For Duty and Elusive Chick. But there was one budding grand circuit horse that got away; Soky’s Atom gelding Quick Step Bromac which Butt bought off David Butcher. “He was really promising. He was heading up to Auckland on the float with a real good trotter I had called Sonofadon. We bought him down and he won on Show Day and was just starting to hit his straps. I thought he was my next Cup horse. He hopped on the float and headed north but they rang us from Bulls and said the horse had died of travel sickness. They all had blood tests before they left and they were all perfect.” Butt began his training career in 1989 with his first winner being Dubois Moss at Nelson in January 1989. From 1995 he was consistently training over twenty winners a season and his first two good horses Swan Creek and Happy Asset were both winning their first races in that season. It didn’t take long for Butt to realise there were also good pickings for the right horses in Australia and in 1998 he took a small team across the ditch lead by trotter Novander Whiz. The Gee Whiz 11 square gaiter won his first start in Australia beating Aussie champion Noopy Kiosk in the McNamara Memorial Trotters Cup at Geelong. Lord Lester was also part of the team and he won a heat of the Victoria Derby before running third in the Derby won by Holmes DG. On that same trip Happy Asset ran fourth in The Hunter Cup. “That was a pretty good first introduction to Australian racing,” Butt said. From that point he began making regular trips to Australia chasing the big dollars. “We always like to chase races like the Hunter Cup and the Interdominions. They were special races back in those days. They had a lot of hype. The final of the Interdominion was worth a million dollars when Shakamaker won and Lyell Creek won the mile. Harness racing was pretty big then.” By 2018 Butt was away from home quite a bit and relocating to Australia became a reality. “I had to travel a lot when I took Field Marshal to Australia. The way things were transitioning in New Zealand was when you got a good horse you had to spend most of your time in Australia.” Another reason for Butt relocated to Australia was because he found it was easier to place horses around a fairer handicap system, and there were more weekly race meetings within close proximity to his home base. “When I came over, the only horse I took over to Australia that would have been competitive in New Zealand was Let It Ride. I think we won 60 odd races in that first year.” Butt has a 24 horse barn at Menangle which is says is the toughest place he knows to win a race. The Menangle Barn                                     – Photo Kate Butt “Tact Tama at his second start had to go 1-51 to win so that’s about the level you’re at.” He says locally there are around ten to fifteen races meetings where he can race a horse every week and be competitive. “Very seldom is there a horse in my barn that I can’t take somewhere and win. There’s tracks like Newcastle, Wagga and Dubbo.” Butt says training from a barn complex without grassy paddocks requires a different mindset. “I did a lot of homework before I came over. Guys like Chris Waller train from establishments like ours. Most of the successful galloping trainers train from complexes. It’s the same in Honk Kong and Japan.” He says without a doubt the profile he’d developed over the years of successfully winning big races in Australia, helped him procure facilities at Menangle. “I was lucky with my profile. Every time we had a hit and run mission we were generally pretty successful. We’ve won Group One races in just about every state. You have to apply to get in. I only got a few boxes originally but after being there for sixteen months they built a barn especially for me.” Butt has three full time staff with his wife Andrea doing all the organising. “She organises all the horses, the paddocks and washes down. We start at about six, or about five o’clock in the summer. We’re pretty much under control by one o’clock. The boys come back at three and the horses go back on the walker. There are no fences to mend. It a pretty easy lifestyle. We put the float on and we’re at the track in three minutes.” Andrea and Tim Butt with Flashing Reds New Zealand Cup   – Photo Race Images. Daughter Kate does all the media. She has a degree in Hotel and Business Management and has Fridays off to do any media work like Twitter and Facebook. “My generation doesn’t understand it so much but I can see the benefits of being in touch with all your owners. We get a lot of good reports back on how we contact them and the photos they get. We use My Stables which is an app that’s pretty easy to work.” Over the last while Butt says he’s attracted new owners to his barn. “There’s such a big pool of wealthy owners. In New Zealand you could probably count them on one hand.” Butt says he’s been lucky that some of his New Zealand owners have stayed with him. He cites Shona and Syd Brown. “Syd was good friends with my father. Syd’s a great stockman and his horses come up in immaculate condition. He’s got a great breed. He breeds to the best stallions and he looks after his stock so you’re halfway there.” “Syd still loves his New Zealand racing but sometimes you’ve got to see where the best opportunities lie.” Another New Zealand owner is Virginia Duncum who has a share in recent Ascot Park winner American Lightning. He says the style of racing in Australia is different to that in New Zealand and he’s had to change his training regime. “When I first arrived my horses were staying. At the start they were lost for speed but in the finish they were clawing the ground back again. I had to get them a bit sharper. The kiwis are great conditioners who take a long term view with horses. The Aussies are probably better week to week because they race so much. We’re better at setting a horse for a particular race. Here there’s a $30,000 race every week so you don’t hone your skills in the same way.” He says another thing that’s different is that many of the products he uses to treat his horses are available at the local Saddlery Store. “It keeps the cost of things down. For a lot of things in New Zealand you have to go through a vet. Things like iron injections are twenty bucks a shot here. In New Zealand they may be a hundred. I also think with processed feed the trainers in Australia have closed the gap.” His son Riley is part of the set up and is starting to create his own career in the industry as a driver. “It’s quite good. He’s had a bit of everything, he’s driven some roughies. He’s got good hands and he can nurse them around but he has to learn the tactics and the aggression and not to be too aggressive. Southland bred and developed Tact Tama’s been good for him because he gives you a bit of power and confidence.” Riley Butt and Tact Tama                            – Photo Kate Butt Butt says Southland has always been a great source of quality bloodstock and he’s continued to buy the right stock out of the province. “Southland’s such a great breeding ground going back to Son Of Afella and Washington VC. Horses down there are given time to develop. Back then a nice horse could run fourth or fifth. Nowdays a nice horse wins by five or six lengths and everyone wants it. There’s not the depth there was, but there’s still plenty of nice horses that come out of Southland.” He says he also has a good network of friends around the South Island that are always on the lookout for race horses. “People like Craig Thornley keep an eye out for me in Christchurch. There are people I prefer to buy off because I know they develop their horses.” He continues to keep a close eye on the New Zealand racing industry and says that during the Covid19 lockdown NZ had the opportunity to reshape it’s handicap system. “It’s great to get back racing but with Covid it gave New Zealand a chance to start on a blank page and get the handicap system right. There’s so much more they could do.” He also says New Zealand owners are treated poorly compared to their Australian counterparts. “The owner doesn’t get a fair crack. If a horse gets up in the grades too quickly they get exported to Australia. Ideally you want them racing in New Zealand with the owners having the time with them. It’s about making money. It’s trying to get back 80 cents in the dollar or close to it. “ He says there are more options when racing a horse in Australia. “Our (New Zealand) horse population is bigger that Queensland or Perth but they seem to race more often. In New Zealand we trial horses too much. Those horses should be racing. When you’re at the trials there’s no earning capacity.” One recent purchase from Southland is the Christian Cullen gelding Tact Tama which was bought out of the Winton stable of Trevor Proctor. “We took a bit of a punt of him. Brent Barclay liked him at the trials when he drove him. We like to buy horses before everyone else is trying to buy them and take a bit of a risk. He’s come up really well. He’s got a good attitude. He’s a lovely laid back horse.” He also recently purchased another Proctor trained pacer, Tact Tory which is unqualified. “He was a bit of a punt because he hadn’t done a lot. The same owner that bought Tact Tama bought this one. I liked his breeding. He’s a big sort of guy. He was actually in the yearling sales in Canterbury but was withdrawn because he had bone chips in his hocks which is not a problem.” He was also interested in buying Tact Fergie – another Proctor trained gelding. “They’re going to keep this one. I think I’ve given them a little too much money” (for Tact Tama –laughter). Another horse heading Butt’s way soon is the Kirk Larsen trained Forsure which is owned by Shona and Syd Brown of Mosgiel. “We had a stable down in Southland thirty odd years ago so we’ve always had a relationship with Kirk. I trained Honour Bromac to win a couple and I said to him that he should breed from her. He did and she left Howard Bromac.” Forsure’s full-brother My Field Marshal undoubtedly restarted Butt’s career and after showing sensational form at four in New Zealand he developed into a Grand Circuit horse in Australia. “He’s back in work. He probably put me back on the map after having a quiet time with good horses. This will probably be his last campaign. We’re looking at taking him back to Perth.” Butt is excited about a young French trotter Holzarte Vedaquais which has just arrived at the barn. “It’s been a bit of a challenge with Covid and the exchange rate. He got out of quarantine on Wednesday and they closed the Victoria border on Wednesday night but they let the horses through so we were bloody lucky.” Tim Butt and Holzarte Vedaquais                                – Photo Kate Butt The horse was purchased in a joint venture between Aldebaran Park principal Duncan McPherson, well known trotting owner Pat O’Driscoll from Haras des Trotteurs, Greg and Leigh Ayres, Fred Cruz and Sydneysider Bob Jones who bought half the horse. “Le Trot (French Trotting Organisation) took a group of us up there for ten days. They took us to all the studs and race meetings. I was the only one that bought a horse but I’m sure a lot more will be bought in the future.” Butt says the young trotter was up with the best two year olds in France. “You couldn’t get a better horse. I’ve bought French horses before and this one’s streaks ahead of them on credentials.” And down the track, all going well, Butt would like to bring him to New Zealand. “It’s a big investment. I want to bring him down to New Zealand if he’s good enough and race in races like the Dominion and the Rowe Cup.” Another recent purchase is Knockawarwon a full-brother to American star Shartin. “He’s just a three year old. Craig (Thornley) did the deal for me. I’ve got a few fingers in a few pies and I know what I want. I like to buy horses a bit above average. I don’t go for the middle of the road horses.” Although Butt doesn’t have a lot of trotters in the stable, one that’s making her mark is Dizzysjet (Quaker Jet filly) which finished second to Elite Stride in the NSW Trotters Derby. Tim acknowledges that part of his success on both sides of the Tasman is due to his brother Anthony’s driving skills. Anthony drove 535 of his 832 winners. “Yep Ants was a big part of the stable. He’s a big race driver. Cool, decisive, and he drives with the right amount of aggression.” Canterbury horseman David Earnshaw was also an integral part of Tim’s operation. He worked for Butt for over 20 years and drove 45 winners from the stable. “One Cup meeting he ran second in the Dominion with Roydon Flash and third in the Cup driving Tribute.” Prop Anderson also worked for Butt for over 15 years and travelled around the world with Lyell Creek. Anderson and Butt trained in partnership for four seasons from 2007 to 2011 and notched up 175 wins. Butt has had numerous success in the past, and it’s clear to see that there’s plenty for him and his family to be getting on with. Plenty of exciting young talent and by the law of averages another star is probably just round the corner. Not that he’s forgets his former champions like Lyell Creek. “Yep he’s still alive. Mum looks after him. He’s running around in the same paddock as Vulcan.” Some of the numbers: Won 90 Group races in New Zealand. 39 Group One races, 40 Group Two, 11 Group Three and 14 Listed races. Won 21 Group One races, 9 Group Two, 7 Group Three and 5 Listed races in Australia. Total 127 Group races in Australasia. Trained 4 Rowe Cup winners Lyell Creek (2000, 2001 and 2004) and Take A Moment (2003). Has also owned a Rowe Cup winner in Stig (2013). This season so far he’s trained 56 winners in Australia for stake earnings of $540,666 and currently sits in eighth position in the highly competitive NSW premiership. Current Australian Grand Circuit Trotting Master as the leading trainer of Grand Circuit trotters between 2000 and 2019. His leading trotters on the Grand Circuit were Lyell Creek in 2000 and 2001, Take A Moment in 2003 and 2004, Lyell Creek in 2005, Mountbatten in 2008 and Vulcan in 2013. Butt has won 8 Dominion Handicaps as a trainer. 1999 (Lyell Creek) 2000 (Lyell Creek) 2001 (Take A Moment) 2002 (Take A Moment – Dead heated with Martina H) 2003 (Take A Moment) 2004 (Lyell Creek) 2007 (Mountbatten) 2011 (Vulcan) NB: He also had a share in 2008 winner Stig. Won New Zealand Trotting Cup twice with Flashing Red Took out the Interdominion Trotting Championship three times with Take A Moment (2001 and 2003) and Lyell Creek (2000). Won Interdominion Pacers Championship with Mr Feelgood in 2009. Won Auckland Cup with Happy Asset (1999) and Flashing Red (2007). First Group win was with Lord Lester in the 1997 Group Two Members Golden Mile at Thames beating Holmes DG by a neck. First Group One win was with Lyell Creek in the 1999 Dominion Handicap at Addington. Best New Zealand season as a trainer was in 2005 when he trained 60 winners second only to Geoff Small who trained 82. In that season he trained horses like Foreal, Take A Moment, Tuherbs, Tribute, Lyell Creek and Mister DG. Trained 832 winners in New Zealand; 648 on his own account, 175 with Prop Anderson and 9 with Jonny Cox. Of the 832 winners Tim trained in New Zealand, 535 were driven by brother Anthony, 45 David Earnshaw, 28 Mark Jones, 23 Dexter Dunn, 23 Blair Orange, and 21 by Kim Butt. Trained three Hunter Cup winners: 2012 Choise Achiever, Mister DG 2004 and Mah Sish 2013. Miracle Mile winner: 2018 My Field Marshal. Winner of the Blacks A Fake: 2018 Let It Ride. NSW Breeders Four Year Old Challenge: Let It Ride: Millionaires while under Butt’s care: Lyell Creek 113-56-15-11 $2,961,137 Stunin Cullen 42-18-4-2 $1,493,716 My Field Marshal 75-29-18-7 $1,492.582 Take A Moment 67-39-9-3 $1,164,356 Flashing Red 16-6-3-2 $1,065,988.38 Vulcan 127-20-20-11 $1,025,892 Other big winners for Butt are (hopefully I’ve got them all!!): Foreal (18) Tribute (16) Happy Asset (14) Choise Achiever (13) Raglan (13) Pocket Me (13) Elusive Chick (13) The Flyin Doctor (12) Novander Whiz (11) Cam Before The Storm (11) Roydon Flash (11) Mister DG (11 and $704,233,.05) Let It Ride (9) Cullen’s Creek (9) Tuherbs (9) All Talk (9) Theaneson (9) Eastnor Lad (9) Hilarity Lobell (9) Mountbatten (8) Greenburn Creek (8) Ray (8) Mah Sish (8) Centreofattention (8) Novander Whiz (8) Swan Creek (8) Red Tip Governor (7) Another Moment (7) The Big Mach (7) Astral Traveller (7) Smart Seeker (7) Hostile Grins (7) Hanovander (6) The Sniper (6) Jungle Jane (6) Lord Lester (6) Genius (6) Lota Speed (6) Dudinka’s Cullen (6) Report For Duty (4 and $407,373.52) Mr Feelgood (4 and $896,487.00)     Bruce Stewart

One of France's top four juvenile harness racing square-gaiters is on his way to Australasia. Menangle trainer Tim Butt's quest to secure the Southern Hemisphere's next trotting superstar has emerged in the form of four-year-old entire Gatsby Perinne. The winner of more than 200 thousand Euro ($321,000) the striking entire Gatsby Perinne was last season in the top four three-year olds in France. He was secured by Butt during a Le Trot sponsored tour coinciding with the French yearling and all-age sales and 100th running of the Prix D'Amerique at Haras de Troteurs last week. Gatsby Perinne has three wins and eight placings in his 21-start carer, but virtually all of his racing has been at Group level. He was previously trained by the powerful Philippe Allaire stable. "He's broken two minutes over 2900 metres at three years old and he's finished first four 15 times in 19 starts against the very best in France," Butt said. "He's won his races over 2150 metres and 2775 metres and he's just turned four, so that's perfect for what we were looking for," he said. Gatsby Perinne In addition to having stamped himself as a first-class race horse, Gatsby Perinne is bred in the purple. By Bird Parker (Ready Cash- Belisha (Fakir du Vivier) ($2.5 mill) the son of dominant French sire Ready Cash (Indy de Vive-Kidea) ($3.3 million), Gatsby Perinne is out of Unabella Perinne (Diamant Gede-Minnie Perinne Viking Sun $400 K). "His breeding is probably good enough for him to have had a stud career in France. Bird Parker is regarded as the new up-and-coming stallion in France and I went looking for modern breeding," Butt said. "Our goal in France was to identify the best modern bred trotting stallion we could afford, to race him down here in the good races, and to set him up for a stud career," he said. "Gatsby Perinne is exactly the type of horse we were looking for and would have been worthy of a stud career in France - so the people who are on board with us are making a long-term investment and, we're hoping, a profitable one." Gatsby Perinne Limited shares were still available in Gatsby Perinne, who will now go into quarantine ahead of arriving at the Butt stable. "I'm still not sure what he will be assessed here but he is aiming at top level, including the Inter Dominion at Menangle in December and the Great Southern Star," he said. "His sire Bird Parker just got better with age, so I'm expecting this guy to do the same." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Master New South Wales trainer Tim Butt has mapped out an ambitious and exciting program over the next few months for his millionaire harness racing campaigner My Field Marshal. And it'll be a three-State "blitz" for the pacer, who made a promising return to the racetrack at the weekend. "I'm still smiling about his first-up run after being away from the races for over eight months," Menangle-based Butt said. "There are some nice races on offer and he's at the stage of his career where we're going to take off the gloves-so that means competing in West Australia, Victoria and then back home in Sydney," he said. My Field Marshal (Art Major-Foreal (Washington VC), is nicknamed "Monty" after Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, considered one of history's great military commanders. Retired in the $1 million Miracle Mile at Menangle back in early March, "Monty" ran an eye-catching second to Alta Orlando at Menangle in the McLaren Real Estate Alf Phillis Group Three Free For All on Saturday night. "He's been in work probably four months after he went amiss - then we had to go back to the trials and requalify because he got stood down in the mile," Butt said. "That was about 12 days ago and we'd done a few private trials at home, including one when he stopped the clock at 1.52 which is close to race speed. "He's been doing a fair bit in the water walker at the Aquagait Equine Centre, generally after his hopple-up runs. He enjoys that. He's really more like a thoroughbred because he's athletic, fine and good winded." See Our Field Marshal taking it easy in the Aquagait water walker here: My Field Marshal heading out to work at home at Menangle   With Tim's brother Anthony in NZ with Inter Dominion duties, substitute reinsman Jack Trainor did a splendid job. "We know Jack from back home in New Zealand where he worked for Cran Dalgety and he looked after the horse nicely. He drove a really good race and 'Monty' will improve on that run," Butt said. The trip west will be nothing new for "Monty" - a similar trip last December and January saw him take out the $50,000 Village Kid Pace and $300,000 Fremantle Pacing Cup. He then ran a gallant fourth (beaten 3.3m) to Rocknroll Lincoln in the $450,000 WA Pacing Cup. Butt said he planned to target just the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups this time. "Then he will be flown back to Melbourne and aimed at the A.G Hunter Cup. Then, all going well, we'll head back home for another crack at the Miracle Mile," he said. My Field Marshal has 26 wins and 22 placings for $1.3M in stakes - and one of these wins was in the $750,000 G1 Miracle Mile in February 2018. "If we stick around home, he's more than likely going to keep drawing the outside at Menangle which makes it extremely difficult," Butt said. "In saying that, it's still tough to win over in WA," he said. "And fingers crossed that the Purdon-Rasmussen All Stars team doesn't show up or we'll all be in trouble!" Another comeback kid in Tiger Tara (trained by Kevin Pizzuto) certainly didn't go unnoticed, either, in the same race. "Tiger" was a strong third placing after leading up. He was resuming from a short let-up following a fourth in the $30,000 G3 BP Narella Pace nearly three months ago.     Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The all-conquering harness racing Butt brothers, Tim and Anthony, have wasted no time in making their presence felt in Queensland. And there's sure to be more to come as the Multiple Group One winning pair call the Sunshine State their home for at least the next month during the rich Winter Carnival season. "We plan to have a team of perhaps a dozen between us competing in the carnival at Albion Park and Redcliffe," Anthony said. "Both of us have some special memories from our previous Queensland trips. One of the best was in the 2001 Inter Dominion Trotters Final at Albion Park, which we took out with Take A Moment," he said. Take a Moment was without a doubt one of New Zealand's greatest-ever trotters, the winner of 39 of his 67 starts. In 2009 the Butts also landed the Inter Dominion Pacers' Final with Mr Feelgood at the Parklands circuit on the Gold Coast, and more recently Tim won the Blacks A Fake feature with Let It Ride last year. While Anthony posted a winning driving treble on Saturday night at Brisbane, Tim trained a popular double, which would have pleased punters. "It was nice to kick off in the right direction. We both love the Albion Park track, and personally, it's one of my favorites," Anthony said. The New Zealand Hall-of-Famers combined with Im RocknRoll Magic (RocknRoll Hanover USA-Foreal (Washington VC) in the $12,970 Qualifying Pace and then Majestic Courtney NZ (Majestic Son-Courtneyrae NZ (Armbro Invasion USA) in the $8500 Haras Des Trotters Discretionary Handicap. Anthony Butt scores with Majestic Courtney - (Dan Costello Photo) Anthony was also successful when he picked up the drive for training partners Mark Jones and Aaron Goadsby on their promising three-year-old Barrett (Bettors Delight USA-Priceless Gem (Art Major USA) in the $12,970 Silks Qualifying Pace. The colt recorded his fourth career win in a handy 1.52-7 mile rate, impressing Anthony. "He's a nice type who is only going to get bigger and better. He certainly looks an ideal Queensland Derby prospect," he said. "We were pleased with Tim's winners, particularly the square gaiter Majestic Courtney. He's a four-year-old now, and he's built a picket fence with consecutive wins at his past five - I think he should be in free-for-all class in another 12 months." The Butt brothers will be based in the Logan-Jimboomba district, about an hour south of Brisbane during their Queensland campaign. While Tim is already there, Anthony and partner Sonya Smith will drive up with three horses this week from their base at Camden, near Menangle. "We'll end up with a pretty nice team because All About Dreams and Cheesy Fingers have some class. They'll compete in suitable races with their main goal being the Queensland Oaks," Anthony said. "Unfortunately, we won't have our grand campaigner My Field Marshall with us. After he injured himself in the Miracle Mile, Tim made the decision to give him a long spell," he said. And while the visiting NSW raiders are sure to be busy with preparing and racing their big team, they are all looking forward to the warmer weather. "There were no arguements when the idea was put forward to head north for a while-it's starting to get a little cool back home in Sydney," Anthony said. "I don't think any of us can imagine anything better than getting a little bit of the sunshine on a working holiday!" Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Premier Kiwi trainer Tim Butt was looking to the future in making the leap from New Zealand to Menangle last year – and his latest crop of yearling purchases is now providing prospective owners with the same opportunity. Team Butt was buzzing with excitement at some of the top-line babies they secured at the recent APG sales, and settling the youngsters in to their state-of-the-art surrounds has only boosted their confidence. “We’ve had terrific early interest from owners because these youngsters are beautifully-bred, but a share in them is still very affordable,” Tim said. “But they’ve settled in well, they’re smart and we’re really keen about the potential of all of them,” he said. The babies will certainly get their best chance to produce the goods. Tim Butt has trained more Grand Circuit Winners than any other trainer in Australasia, including champions such as great Lyell Creek and My Field Marshal (who currently holds the Australasian record of 1:46.9 in his 2018 Miracle Mile Victory). “We think these four yearlings represent some of the world’s best stallions and Down Under's best mares, and we’re hoping the affordability of an interest will attract new clients, potentially even international clients, to enjoy the thrill of harness racing in Australia,” Tim said. To contact Tim Butt email: Or Phone +61447864456 The four yearlings; Lot 104 by Bettor's Delight - Rocknroll Rama - Rocknroll Hanover Just a great individual as his photo suggests A grandson of freakish mare - Pelican Rama - 55 wins. By the great Bettors Delight Looks like a 3 year old now 30% left in this colt Lot 104 Pedigree ................................................................................................................................................... Lot 218 by Captaintreacherous - Glenferrie Alexis - Courage Under Fire By the great racehorse and now sire Captaintreacherous. From a top NZ family Glenferrie Alexis ran 2nd in the NZ oaks and was a great race mare Great attitude colt - all class Trainer - Tim Butt - to keep 20% Lot 218 - Pedigree ......................................................................................................................................................... Lot 355    By Rock N Roll Heaven - Lettucereason - Art Major Fantastic Cross from a full sister to outstanding horse - For A Reason Very strong type - looked exactly like Let It Ride Trainer - Tim Butt - to keep 20% Lot 355 Pedigree ............................................................................................................................................ Lot 482  by Warrawee Needy - Bettor Believe It - Bettor's Delight Outstanding looking filly Great walk and confirmation Spectacular bloodlines with Cam Fella and Ambro Emerson Coming through sire and great fillies family Trainer - Tim Butt - to keep 20% Lot 482 Pedigree Harnesslink Media

The defending champion may have an unusual problem in Saturday’s A$1million Ainsworth Miracle Mile.  Because trainer Tim Butt believes the field of hotshots may not go fast enough to suit Australasian mile record holder My Field Marshal.  My Field Marshal came from near last to win a supersonic Miracle Mile last year in an Australasian record 1:46.9, in the ten fastest miles in the history of harness racing.  But while Saturday’s field contains local hero Tiger Tara, New Zealand Cup winner Thefixer and new superstar Poster Boy, Butt is worried the race time could be up to two seconds slower than last year.  And that could leave My Field Marshal struggling when the sprint goes on. “Our horse is a great stayer who loves it when they go the first half (800m) in 54 seconds and he just keeps going,” says Butt.  “But I don’t see it being that sort of mile this time. I think the front line is pretty even on gate speed so the inside ones should be able to hold their spots without too much pressure. “So without that sub-26 opening 400m the horses who settle back can be in trouble and that could be us.  “I am not saying he can’t win but from barrier eight we are going to need to some pressure early and in the middle stages and I am not sure where that is going to come from.” Punters and bookies agree with Butt with the expected move in the TAB market coming for Thefixer, who opened $3.80 after drawing barrier two but is now the $3.50 favourite with the Australian TAB, with Poster Boy out from $3.60 to $3.90.  That comes as the scenario of Thefixer leading with Poster Boy on his back and Tiger Tara having to do the bullying sitting parked becomes the conventional wisdom about Saturday’s great race.  Butt says while he can see the race bring a tricky one for My Field Marshal the flashy stallion is racing as well as when he won the great race last season/  "He went his final 400m very fast very wide last week so I am not worried about his form.  "But the draw does worry. Still, there isn't much I can do about it and that will be Ants's job (brother and driver Anthony)."   Michael Guerin

The Miracle Mile’s forgotten Kiwi hero could be carrying a get out of jail free card at Menangle tonight.  Because My Field Marshal may not have to meet the same qualifying criteria as his rivals heading into the two $100,000 preludes for next Saturday’s $1million sprint.  There will be eight starters in the Mile, with two spots already taken so six vacant, all to come from horses who compete at tonight’s meeting.  The first two home in he preludes are automatically invited so the Club Menangle selection committee will have to make the call on the final two invites and chief executive Bruce Christison says prior form will be one factor considered.  “The first two home in the preludes will get in and it could even pan out that the first three home go in but the committee will take into account previous form, especially if a horse is unlucky tonight.  “The two most obvious horses that could affect would be Tiger Tara, because of his form this season, and My Field Marshal because he is the defending champion and race record holder.  “I am not saying they can perform poorly and get it but we have seen in recent years a horse like Lennytheshark finish fourth in his prelude and get a Miracle invite. “But different committee members have different views on that.” Tiger Tara’s spot in the Miracle Mile looks a formality as he should lead and win the first prelude tonight and he is now the $2.80 favourite for next week’s great race.  But My Field Marshal faces a far trickier night at the office, drawn wide in the very strong second prelude and likely to have to make up a lot of ground in a sub 1:50 mile.  Christison says there is even latitude for his club to invite a big-name age group pacer like Chase Auckland, who competes in race two tonight, since he started in an official Mile lead-up in last week’s Chariots of Fire. “But they would have to come out and do something special on Saturday.”  Tonight’s meeting looks set up for short priced favourites, with both the NSW Derby and Oaks heats to be dominated by hot pots and perfect for multi bet punters.   Michael Guerin

UP, UP and away (hopefully to the winners’ circle) is the best way to describe the results of last weekend’s Ladbrokes Australian Pacing Gold Sale in Brisbane. With a tremendous depth in quality yearlings on offer, the sale’s average increased, gross turnover is up and interstate interest was at a level never seen before! The lots averaged $18,593 which represents an increase of eight per cent on the previous year, while gross turnover is up four per cent on 2018 – a figure which is set to rise during the coming fortnight as buyers purchase some of the lots which were passed in. New South Wales buyers were the most active with more than half the sold lots heading south. Prominent horseman Tim Butt purchased the top priced colt and filly for a combined total of $91,000. Butt parted with $55,000 for a son of Captaintreacherous and Forever Gold and $36,000 for Roll With Joe and Save Me Christian’s daughter. “The most pleasing aspect of Sunday’s Sale was our ability to attract interstate buyers,” APG General Manager David Boydell said. “They were all keen to take advantage of the additional earning opportunities available to Brisbane Sale horses courtesy of APG’s $100,000 Albion Park Sales Race and the outstanding QBred For Life bonus scheme. “Over 50 per cent of all sales were to New South Wales buyers, headed by the likes of Tim Butt, Robbie Morris, Josh Farrugia, Chris Frisby and Tumby Park, whilst Matt Craven was also active, purchasing one and missing out on a couple of others. “Overall, it was a really positive start to the sales season. There was good money available for quality horses, and this was reflected in both our sales averages and our gross turnover. “Looking forward to next year, we would like to look at ways to generate more buying activity from local owners and trainers, and we probably also need to work through a few issues with the reserves, because there were a few horses this year that had reserves on them that were higher than I’d like to see and which would have exceeded many buyers expectations.” A list of results, including a list of those passed and their reserves, is available on the APG website by clicking here Anyone wishing to place an offer on a passed in Lot can do so by clicking on the “Make An Offer” link on the results page, or by phoning John Coffey on 0418 500 211. APG Media

Top harness racing trainer Tim Butt has purchased the top lot at the APG yealing sale held at Albion Park in Brisbane yesterday.   Lot 16 sold for $55,000. The sale topping colt by Captaintreacherous is out of the champion racemare Forever Gold (1-51.7) who won 42 races and had career earnings of more than $700,000 from her 92 starts.  Butt was busy during the sale also purchasing a Roll With Joe filly out of handy nine win race mare Save Me Christian for $36,000 along with a Western Terror colt out the 24 win mare Billabong Girl for $10,000. 27 lots were sold from the 46 entries with the sale average being $18,593.  Several lots were passed in with reserves higher than the top priced lot. Captaintreacherous won 23 of his 33 starts, with seven placings and $3,148,657 in the bank. The next APG sale is in Melbourne on the 3rd february 2019 at Oaklands Junction commencing at 11am. For full results click here. Brisbane Lot Sire Dam Sex Vendor Status Price Buyer 1 Artspeak USA Walking On Air Filly BURWOOD STUD SOLD $8,500 W Crosby 2 Pet Rock USA Wheres Holme NZ Colt Monarch Farm SOLD $4,000 C Towns 3 Grinfromeartoear USA Arks Crystal Colt G MITCHELL PASSED IN (reserve $25,000)  Make an Offer     4 Hes Watching USA Babe Mattgregor Filly Brisbane Pastoral SOLD $8,000 D Searston 5 Western Terror USA Billabong Girl Colt Cameron Spencer SOLD $10,000 T Butt 6 Roll With Joe USA Blue Eyed Suzie NZ Colt Ross Patrick PASSED IN (reserve $50,000)  Make an Offer     7 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Cold Mountain Sue USA Filly Tobias Raeth SOLD $6,000 R Carkeet 8 Western Terror USA Crazy Mach NZ Filly Monarch Farm SOLD $4,500 C Frisby 9 Bettors Delight USA Courageous Annie NZ Colt Montana Park P/L PASSED IN (reserve $60,000)  Make an Offer     10 Sportswriter USA Bubby Doll Filly Brisbane Pastoral SOLD $6,000 Veivers Purchases Pty Ltd 11 Mr Feelgood USA Early Harvest Filly Trent Smith SOLD $11,000 T Smith 12 Western Terror USA Doubting Darcey Filly Trevor & Louise O'Reilly SOLD $12,000 B Cotterill 13 Captaintreacherous (US) Evelyn Dee Filly Cameron Spencer PASSED IN (reserve $20,000)  Make an Offer     14 Heston Blue Chip USA Exclusif Colt Lindsay & Mary Vagg SOLD $32,500 Tumby Park Pty Ltd 15 Art Major USA Empty Promises Colt Trevor & Louise O'Reilly SOLD $40,000 J Farrugia 16 Captaintreacherous (US) Forever Gold Colt M t cole. ,B Watson SOLD $55,000 T Butt 17 Badlands Hanover USA Half Moon Bromac NZ Filly Testmating Pty Ltd PASSED IN (reserve $10,000)  Make an Offer     18 Art Major USA English Elegance NZ Colt G MITCHELL PASSED IN (reserve $30,000)  Make an Offer     19 Mach Three CA Joy To Behold Filly G MITCHELL PASSED IN (reserve $60,000)  Make an Offer     20 Western Terror USA Kidabout Filly Monarch Farm SOLD $10,000 C Frisby 21 Art Major USA Find Fake Cash NZ Colt G MITCHELL PASSED IN (reserve $40,000)  Make an Offer     22 A Rocknroll Dance USA Mardys Victree Filly Lindsay & Mary Vagg SOLD $22,000 Kriden Investments Pty Ltd 23 Sunshine Beach USA Layback Cullen Filly M t cole. ,B Watson SOLD $14,000 J Riseley 24 Mr Feelgood USA Goldplay NZ Filly Brendan Sippel SOLD $5,000 D Wearne 25 Mr Feelgood USA Miss Real Colt Rob Jones PASSED IN (reserve $19,000)  Make an Offer     26 Hes Watching USA Our Sweet Melody Colt Patrick Croghan SOLD $35,000 c Lusby 27 Hurrikane Kingcole USA Left Dancing Colt Brendan Sippel SOLD $11,000 R Veivers 28 Safari Making Gold Colt M t cole. ,B Watson SOLD $10,000 J Nieuwenburg 29 Warrawee Needy CA Presidential Night Colt A Class Carriages       30 Artspeak USA Paris Highlights Colt Monarch Farm SOLD $15,000 J Mammino 31 Betterthancheddar USA Queens Up Filly anadate pty ltd PASSED IN (reserve $12,000)  Make an Offer     32 Roll With Joe USA Save Me Christian Filly William Hill SOLD $36,000 T Butt 33 Mr Feelgood USA Strip Sir Filly M t cole. ,B Watson SOLD $10,000 M Sparkes 34 Heston Blue Chip USA Our Sweet Victree Colt Lindsay & Mary Vagg SOLD $40,000 R Morris 35 Hes Watching USA Romancing Ashley USA Colt Rob Jones PASSED IN (reserve $23,500)  Make an Offer     36 Rock N Roll Heaven USA Shesgotemgood Filly Trevor & Louise O'Reilly PASSED IN (reserve $27,500)  Make an Offer     37 Mr Feelgood USA The Oval Office NZ Colt Liz Donohoe PASSED IN (reserve $30,000)  Make an Offer     38 Follow The Stars Spirit Messenger Filly Monarch Farm PASSED IN (reserve $4,000)  Make an Offer     39 Courage Under Fire NZ Starofmydream NZ Filly Brisbane Pastoral SOLD $10,000 M Craven 40 Artspeak USA Victree Bette Filly Lindsay & Mary Vagg       41 Sunshine Beach USA Teamenup Filly Trevor & Louise O'Reilly SOLD $23,000 P Crennan 42 Art Major USA Tatachilla Filly Felgate Holdings Pty Ltd PASSED IN (reserve $45,000)  Make an Offer     43 Mr Feelgood USA The Tom Boy Colt Liz Donohoe PASSED IN (reserve $18,000)  Make an Offer     44 Hes Watching USA Tout Le Monde NZ Colt BURWOOD STUD SOLD $37,500 G Mitchell 45 Artspeak USA Victree Bonita Filly Lindsay & Mary Vagg SOLD $26,000 Tumby Park Pty Ltd 46 Rock N Roll Heaven USA Truly Famous Filly Dr John mammino PASSED IN (reserve $45,000)  Make an Offer      

Champion horseman Tim Butt, who has prepared more grand circuit winners than any other harness racing trainer in Australasia, is poised to set more records when his brilliant seven-year-old My Field Marshal contests the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 51-year-old New Zealand-born Butt, who relocated from Christchurch to Menangle in New South Wales early last year, is confident that My Field Marshal will prove the best stayer and win the testing 2936m mobile group 1 classic in the stallion’s first attempt over a distance beyond 2700m. “He’s fantastic and has come through his wins in the Village Kid Sprint and Fremantle Cup absolutely terrific,” he said. Asked if the 2936m was a concern, Butt said: “It’s only 400m longer than last week’s Cup and I couldn’t be happier with the barrier draw (No. 3 on the front line).” Queried about the likely driving tactics to be employed by his elder brother Anthony, he said: “We haven’t done the form yet, but we’ve got options from that draw. “The horse hasn’t done a lot since he led and won the Fremantle Cup. He had a hoppled run this morning (Tuesday) and I just ticked him over like I normally do. He’s bright and he loves it here.” The Butt brothers are full of hope that they will be able to go one better than they did when Flashing Red finished second to Tealsby Karita in the 2007 WA Pacing Cup. Flashing Red, second favourite at 3/1 from barrier five, raced wide early and three wide again in the middle stages before working hard in the breeze. He fought on doggedly behind Tealsby Karita, the 11/4 favourite who made most of the running. “Flashing Red was a great horse and a great stayer, but My Field Marshal has got a bit more brilliance,” Tim Butt said. If My Field Marshal is successful this week, it will give the famous Butt family a special record, with the first set of brothers training a WA Pacing Cup winner. Roddy Butt, the youngest of the three Butt brothers, prepared Justaboyden, who was driven by Fred Kersley jnr and produced one of the most spectacular bursts of speed in a Pacing Cup when he was ninth at the 400m and sprouted wings to charge to the front at the 250m mark and career away to beat Southern Knight by more than three lengths in the big race in 1995. The WA Pacing Cup was first run in 1913 and the inaugural Fremantle Cup was in 1928 and, if successful, My Field Marshal will become only the eighth pacer to have won the WA Pacing Cup-Fremantle Cup double in the one season, a feat that has been performed by Black Bertha (1942), Pure Steel (1980), Village Kid (1988 and 1989), The Falcon Strike (2002 and 2004), Baltic Eagle (2003), Im Themightyquinn (2011 and 2012) and Chicago Bull (2017). My Field Marshal, bred and owned by Syd and Shona Brown (who also bred and owned the horse’s dam Foreal, a winner of 18 races and $664,800 in stakes. My Field Marshal has earned $1,324,712 from 26 wins and 21 placings from 61 starts, has won six group 1 features --- the Taylor Mile and Messenger Championship at Alexandra Park, the Four-Year-Old Emerald at Cambridge (in successive starts in 2016), the Len Smith Mile at Menangle in 2017, the Miracle Mile in 1.46.9 on the same track last February and last week’s Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park. Anthony Butt, who will return to Perth from Sydney on Friday, was full of praise for My Field Marshal after the horse’s exciting all-the-way victory in the 2536m Fremantle Cup last Friday night, saying: “To lead and cop that pressure just shows what a great horse he is. He did a mighty job; he had to burn out of the gate and then never got any peace. “He kept running fast quarters and it was a great effort. It won’t be easy this week when I’m sure it will again be a truly-run affair. But he has got that class on his side and no matter what race he’s in, he’s always hard to beat.” Tim Butt said that My Field Marshal would not contest the $500,000 Hunter Cup at Melton on February 2 and that the horse’s main mission after the WA Pacing Cup would be the Miracle Mile at Menangle on March 3. “My Field Marshal will return to Sydney next Wednesday and he’ll probably have one lead-up run before the Miracle Mile.” With My Field Marshal starting from barrier three on Friday night, Anthony Butt will be ready to make snap decisions after the mobile barrier releases the quality field of 12 runners. He knows that Maczaffair (barrier one) and Rocknroll Lincoln (two) will come out flying in bids to take the early lead. Whether the speedy My Field Marshal can burst straight to the front is highly problematical. Sharing the Butt camp’s confidence is Mike Reed, the trainer of Maczaffair, and Gary Hall Jnr, who will be in the sulky behind the Justin Prentice-trained Rocknroll Lincoln. Maczaffair is the only mare in the field and Reed is bullish about her prospects of becoming the first of her sex to win the WA Pacing Cup since Pyramus beat Chief Attain and Sir Alex in 1972. She will again be handled by Reed’s son Mark, who was most impressed with her effort when an unlucky sixth in the Fremantle Cup, only one and a half lengths behind the winner. She was ninth at the bell and was badly blocked for a clear passage before flying home along the pegs in the final few strides. Maczaffair, the winner of five group feature events, showed her class against all-male opposition when second to Ultimate Machete in the group 1 2536m Golden Nugget championship in December 2017. Hall, who has driven the winner of seven WA Pacing Cups, said that Rocknroll Lincoln was travelling strongly and was a sound winning chance before being badly checked approaching the home turn in the Fremantle Cup. Rocknroll Lincoln broke into a gallop and finished 11th. Hall said that the 2936m journey this week would not worry Rocknroll Lincoln. “Barrier two looks good on paper and he’s got genuine gate speed,” he said. “If we get to the front, and I think he can, I won’t consider handing up.” Galactic Star, a gallant second in the Fremantle Cup, is in peak form and must be considered, despite drawing awkwardly at barrier seven. Ryan Warwick looks certain to opt out of any early speed battle and is likely to drive conservatively before deciding when to send the six-year-old forward. Galactic Star raced in eighth position in the one-wide line in the Fremantle Cup before Warwick sent the gelding forward, with a three-wide, burst approaching the bell. He sustained the effort and his performance was full of merit. Galactic Star is prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who will also be represented in the Cup by Our Max Phactor (Dylan Egerton-Green), Vampiro (Colin Brown), Our Jimmy Johnstone (Michael Grantham), El Jacko (Aiden de Campo) and Saying Grace (Chris Lewis). El Jacko and Saying Grace will start from the back line and have sound place prospects after unlucky runs in the Fremantle Cup in which El Jacko, a smart sit-sprinter, was badly blocked for a clear passage in the final circuit before going across the line, full of running, in seventh position. Saying Grace, who trailed the pacemaking My Field Marshal throughout, went to the line, bolting under lock and key, in fourth place. Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr, who has won the WA Pacing Cup a record 11 times, is pinning his faith on Runrunjimmydunn, who will be driven by Clint Hall from barrier five. Runrunjimmydunn fought on from tenth in the middle stages to be a sound fifth in the Fremantle Cup. The WA-bred Vultan Tin, trained in Coolup by Phil Costello, is the only non-New Zealand-bred runner in the race. He will be driven by Chris Voak and will start from the outside of the back line. Vultan Tin was seventh at the bell in the Fremantle Cup before finishing fast, out six wide, to be an eye-catching third. Ace trainer Ross Olivieri, who prepared Saab for his WA Pacing Cup victory in 1999, has engaged Shannon Suvaljko to drive Im Full of Excuses from the awkward No. 6 barrier. Im Full of Excuses bounced back to form and ended a 22-month drought when he charged home with as three-wide burst from eighth at the bell to win narrowly from Gotta Go Gabbana in a 2130m mobile event last Friday night. He will again be at long odds this week.   Ken Casellas

Mister Bushido, a lightly-raced six-year-old, will make his Australian debut when he starts from barrier six on the front line in the $20,000 TABtouch Race Replays Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He arrived in Perth from New Zealand just over four months ago and is being prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr for his breeders and owners Syd and Shona Brown, who race champion pacer and Fremantle Cup favourite My Field Marshall. Mister Bushido was trained in New Zealand by Tim Butt, who said that the Bettors Delight gelding’s strength was his ability to produce a powerful finishing burst. “He’s a pretty handy sort of horse, is good and honest and should pay his way here,” said Butt. “He’s probably more of a finisher late in the race.” Mister Bushido, who will be driven by Stuart McDonald, has not been produced at trials. His latest appearance was in a 1980m event at Addington on August 17 last year when he was trained and driven by Jonny Cox. He was restrained from barrier seven, raced in seventh position and went five wide on the home turn before finishing sixth in a field of eight behind the brilliant pacer Ana Malak. His most recent win in a career of 21 starts for four wins and five placings was six starts ago when he rated 1.55.5 in beating Joey Maguire by a half-head over 1950m at Addington. It was a most impressive victory. He started from barrier 14 the outside of the back line and was a $23.80 outsider. He was 12th at the bell and 11th with 600m to travel before he charged home, out six wide, to get up and win in the final stride. He won at his previous start, also over 1950m at Addington, when he was restrained at the start from barrier eight, was eighth at the bell and seventh on the home bend before surging home, four wide, to get up and beat the favourite Cindy Bromac by a neck, rating 1.57.6, with a final; quarter in 27.7sec. Mister Bushido’s chief rivals on Friday night appear to be his stablemate Liberty Rose and the Colin Joss-trained eight-year-old Lagoon Stride. Liberty Rose was an odds-on favourite last Friday night when she started from the No. 2 barrier, set the pace, but was kept under pressure by Mary Catherine, who overraced in the breeze. She wilted after final quarters of 27.6sec. and 28.1sec. to finish third behind the fast-finishing Lady De La Renta and Mary Catherine. Liberty Rose is sure to enjoy a much more comfortable run this week and will take plenty of beating. Lagoon Stride has not been successful for 34 months, but he should pay to follow after he set the pace and refused to give in when a fighting second to Bronze Seeker over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week.   Ken Casellas

The Barrier Draw has been conducted for the 2019 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup worth $450,000 at Gloucester Park this Friday night. Last week’s Fremantle Cup winner and Australasia’s fastest pacer, My Field Marshal has once again fared well, drawing barrier three. The Tim Butt trained star should retain favouritism to win the big Western Australian double. The Justin Prentice trained and Gary Hall Jr driven Rocknroll Lincoln will start from an ideal barrier in two with the only mare in the field Maczaffair drawing the coveted rails ally. Once again, despite having six runners, the Greg and Skye Bond Stable were without luck with the majority of their runners drawing the outside of the front line. Galactic Star in seven, Vampiro in eight and Our Jimmy Johnstone out in nine, with El Jacko inside of the back line (10) and Saying Grace on his immediate outside in barrier eleven. Popular local pacer, Vultan Tin has drawn the outside of the back line in barrier 12.   The Barrier draw for the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup for 2019 is as follows; Maczaffair Rocknroll Lincoln My Field Marshal Our Max Phactor Runrunjimmydunn Im Full Of Excuses Galactic Star Vampiro Our Jimmy Johnstone El Jacko Saying Grace Vultan Tin Gotta Go Gabbana (1st Emg) Mitch Maguire (2nd Emg) The first race scheduled for 5.50pm WA time, with the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing set to jump as race five at 7.55 WA time. There is live trackside entertainment all night and tables are still available for bookings in our premier restaurant The Beau Rivage. To book contact Gloucester Park on 9323 3530.  Gloucester Park

The Southern Bred Southern Reared breeding group received a real boost on Friday night when two horses bred by the group quinellaed the Group One $300,000 Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park in Perth. My Field Marshal bred by Syd and Shona Brown of Mosgiel won the race by 1.2 metres, beating Galactic Star which was bred by Tuapeka Lodge in Lawrence. Some talk beforehand asserted that My Field Marshal wasn’t a true stayer but part owner Syd Brown was quick to dismiss it. And the Art Major entire proved that he can definitely stay, giving a dominating performance in front. “People make talk like that. You ask any good trainer or driver they’ll tell you that a sub 1-50 mile horse (like My Field Marshal) can’t do that (run a fast mile) unless they can stay,” he said. Trained by ex-pat Tim Butt and driven by his brother Anthony, Brown says their comments after the run were very positive. “They were thrilled. They did expect him to improve on his first run up and they’re confident that he can improve on that run again.” The win was My Field Marshal’s twenty sixth, elevated his stakes to close to 1.5 million dollars and he gets a chance to add to that tally in this Friday’s $450,000 Group One West Australia Cup on the same track. Brown has a three quarter brother to My Field Marshal entered in next month’s NZB Standardbred Yearling Sale in Christchurch. He’s by Art Major out of Washington VC mare Ednalea which is a full-sister to Foreal the dam of My Field Marshal. “He’s just a strong Art Major colt. He’s not too big, not too small and he’s very wide in the front with a good strong head but people need to look at that themselves rather than hear an owner tell them that.” SBSR horses have won the Fremantle Cup three times in the last four years with Chicago Bull winning the race in 2017 and Beaudiene Boaz in 2016. Another SBSR horse I’m Themightyquinn won the race in 2011. Im Themightyquinn in 2011 and Chicago Bull in 2017 won the prized Gloucester Park double: the Fremantle and West Australia Cup. Meanwhile former Southlander Graham Cooney bred two of the winners at the Bay Of Plenty Harness meeting at Te Aroha yesterday. Cooney now resides in Tauranga and he bred Misty Memory and Comic Book Hero which are both out of Deja Vous. Both horses were originally trained by Hamish Hunter at Ryal Bush. He won two races with each horse. Comic Book Hero is now trained by Ray Darby at Patumahoe while Misty Memories is trained at Tuapaki by Frank Cooney and Tate Hopkins.   Bruce Stewart

Champion trainer Tim Butt hotly disputes persistent suggestions that millionaire pacer My Field Marshal is purely a brilliant sprinter who will struggle to win the $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Cup over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. There is no doubting that the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old is a magnificent speedster over short trips, but Butt said that he had no concerns whatsoever that the stallion would be found wanting over the 2536m journey. “It takes a strong stayer to excel over sprint trips,” said Butt, who is bubbling with confidence that his brother Anthony will guide My Field Marshal to victory on Friday night, particularly after drawing favourably at barrier two on the front line. “My Field Marshal has done everything right and has pleased me with his work since he led and won the Village Kid Sprint two Fridays ago. He is showing no breathing problems after two successful wind operations.” My Field Marshal, who rated 1.54 when he was untroubled to win the 1730m Village Kid Sprint, became the fastest pacer in Australasia when he won the Miracle Mile in 1.46.9 at Menangle in February last year. He has raced 60 times for 25 wins, 15 seconds and six thirds for earnings of $1,132,712. His wins have been over 1609m (11), 1650m (one), 1700m (one), 1730m (one), 1950m (five), 2000m (one), 2200m (one), 2240m (two), 2400m (one) and 2700m (one). His 2700m victory was as a four-year-old at Alexandra Park in the group 1 Messenger Championship when he started from barrier four and enjoyed a perfect trip, one-out and two-back in sixth position before finishing strongly out wide to convincingly beat My Kiwi Mate at a 1.56.6 rate in April 2017.     “His runs over middle distances in Australia have been good,” said Butt. My Field Marshal finished a one-metre second to Hectorjayjay in the 2680m Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park in July 2017 when Tiger Tara was third and Lennytheshark fourth. The winner rated 1.56.1. In October 2017 My Field Marshal was a one-length second to San Carlo (1.56.6) in the group 3 Maryborough Gold Cup over 2690m and two weeks after that he was a wonderful 4m second to Lennytheshark, who rated 1.55.4 to smash Restrepo’s track record. My Field Marshal started from the back line and he raced in sixth position before moving into the breeze 1200m from home. He fought on with admirable determination, with the final quarters whizzing by in 26.9sec. and 27.3sec. My Field Marshal finished his 19-start campaign as a six-year-old with a well-beaten ninth behind Let It Ride in the 2680m Blacks A Fake Championship last July. He started from the back line, raced at the rear and three wide in the final circuit. Her resumed after a spell with an easy 1609m victory in 1.50.9 at Menangle on December 17 before his impressive win in the Village Kid Sprint 11 nights later. The Butt brothers are aiming to make amends for Raglan’s splendid second to champion Im Themightyquinn in the 2012 Fremantle Cup when Raglan surged home from last at the bell. They first campaigned in Western Australia in 2004 when Mister D G won two heats and finished second in another before finishing a desperately close fourth behind Jofess in a four-way photo finish in the final of the Inter Dominion championship. Tim Butt decided just over a year ago to move from his property in Christchurch to set up stables at the Menangle complex and he is currently preparing My Field Marshal at leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond’s stables in Forrestdale. My Field Marshal faces strong challenges from the Bond camp, which dominates the Fremantle Cup with a record of seven of the 12 runners, the New Zealand-bred band of Galactic Star, Saying Grace, El Jacko, Our Jimmy Johnstone, Our Max Phactor, Mitch Maguire and Vampiro, who between them have won 142 races and amassed $2,135,457 in prizemoney. Greg Bond has fond memories of his first runner in a Fremantle Cup Money Magnet, who was an 8/1 chance and was driven to an easy all-the-way victory by Colin Brown in a 2907m stand in January 2006, a week after he started at 14/1 and came from last to win the Australian Pacing Championship consolation, a mobile over 2143m. Not surprisingly, Greg Bond rates Galactic Star as the stable’s best winning prospect 12 months after the gelding was the rank outsider at tote odds of $228 and finished 11th behind My Hard Copy, who charged home to win the Fremantle Cup in a thrilling finish from Lazarus and Chicago Bull. Then, in February, Galactic Star was beaten into second place in the Albany Cup by Major Stare. Galactic Star’s form this season has been outstanding. He started with wins in the group 3 Don Randall Cup over 2631m at Pinjarra and the Cranley Memorial, a listed classic over 1730m at Gloucester Park in November, before winning a heat and being placed in two other heats of the Inter Dominion championship in Victoria in December before finishing an unlucky sixth in the final after he was badly checked and lost valuable ground soon after the start. Ryan Warwick, the State’s leading reinsman with 88 winners this season, has chosen to drive Galactic Star, who will start from the inside of the back line. The winner of 25 races and $417,335, he possesses dazzling point-to-point speed and has outstanding winning prospects. Brown has been engaged to drive Vampiro, whose prospects slumped when he drew the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line. Mitch Maguire (Aiden de Campo) also faces a tough test from barrier eight and ten-year-old warhorse Our Jimmy Johnstone (Michael Grantham) will need luck from the No. 7 barrier. Our Jimmy Johnstone finished solidly along the inside when third behind Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca in the 2017 Fremantle Cup. El Jacko (Nathan Turvey) has sprinted home fast to win on the past two Friday nights and he is capable of a bold showing from barrier two on the back line. Our Max Phactor (Dylan Egerton-Green) will start from the outside (barrier three) on the back line and will be at liberal odds despite his splendid second to My Field Marshall in the Village Kid Sprint after working hard in the breeze. He boasts a remarkable record in WA of 14 starts for 12 wins and two seconds. Bond considers lightly-raced five-year-old Saying Grace a realistic chance from the prized No. 1 barrier. The American Ideal gelding who has had only 25 starts for 11 wins and six placings will be driven by Chris Lewis, who has won the Fremantle Cup six times with Black Irish (1983), Village Kid (1988 and 1989), John Albert (1995), Sandy Bay (2005) and Dasher VC (2013). Saying Grace also started from barrier one at his latest appearance, over 2130m last Friday week, when he was first out and then broke into a gallop and lost six lengths. He settled in fifth position before quickly dashing forward to the breeze and finished a close-up fifth behind El Jacko. Gary Hall Jnr, who has won the Fremantle Cup a record eight times, will drive Rocknroll Lincoln for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice. Rocknroll Lincoln, a smart winner at two of his past three starts, will begin from barrier four and should be prominent. Gary Hall Snr, who has trained the winner of the Cup eight times, will be pinning his faith in the tough and consistent Runrunjimmydunn, who will start from an awkward draw at No. 5 with Clint Hall in the sulky. The Mike Reed-trained Maczaffair (barrier six) is the only mare in the Cup and the only non-New Zealand-bred runner is the WA-bred Vultan Tin, who is prepared at Coolup by Phil Costello and will be handled by Chris Voak. Vultan Tin, who set the pace and finished second to El Jacko over 2130m last Friday night, will start from the No. 3 barrier. Ken Casellas

The Barrier Draw has been conducted for the 2019 Retravision Fremantle Cup worth $300,000 at Gloucester Park this Friday night. The big winner was Australasia’s fastest pacer, My Field Marshal who came up with barrier two. The Tim Butt trained star will now be a short price favourite to take out the time-honoured Group One event. Despite having seven runners, the Greg and Skye Bond Stable were not so lucky in the draw, with their main chances Galactic Star drawing inside the back line (10) and Vampiro on the outside of the front line. Their inform pacer, El Jacko has come up with their best draw, following out My Field Marshall from the second line in barrier 11. Local favourite Vultan Tin is in barrier three with the Justin Prentice trained and Gary Hall Jr driven Rocknroll Lincoln outside him in barrier four. The only mare in the field Maczaffair has draw barrier six. The Barrier draw for the $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Cup for 2019 is as follows; Saying Grace My Field Marshal Vultan Tin Rocknroll Lincoln Runrunjimmydunn Maczaffair Our Jimmy Johnstone Mitch Maguire Vampiro Galactic Star El Jacko Our Max Phactor The Bucket List (1st Emg) Waylade (2nd Emg) The first race 5.50pm WA time Gloucester Park

Star Sydney pacer My Field Marshal has stamped his claims as the one to beat for next month’s feature Cups double, following a scintillating win in the Village Kid Pace (1730m) at Gloucester Park last night. This year’s Miracle Mile winner showed his dazzling burst of speed when the arms folded back to find the front with ease and reinsman Anthony Butt was able to control the race from there. Butt was able to back the speed off after running a slick first quarter of 27.7, before running home in 56.3 to score by 5m. Our Max Phactor and Runrunjimmydunn both turned in big performances in second and third respectively to enhance their claims of getting a start in both the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups. Mr Mojito, who was vying for favouritism for much of the week with My Field Marshal, got too far back in the run and finished last. Trainer Tim Butt, who is also the brother of Anthony, said he was pleased to see My Field Marshal perform well at his first shot at the tight Gloucester Park circuit. “He handled the track great, particularly at the start,” he said. “Once you’re in the lead here over the mile, it’s pretty hard to run them down. “It’s a different kettle of fish once you get to the staying races, but we’ve started how we wanted to.” Butt said My Field Marshal would take plenty of improvement from the $50,000 event and said the seven-year-old would be the one to beat in both in the upcoming Group 1 races. “He’s had a bit of a hard week,” he said. “He had to float down to Melbourne and fly over here after running 1.50 on the Monday (December 17). “My Field Marshal has got a great record against Tiger Tara, so we’re not too worried about him coming. “We’re progressing well and we’re happy.” Meanwhile, El Jacko has staked his claims to get a spot in both Pacing Cups, after he upstaged stablemate Saying Grace in the JP’s Sportsbar Pace (2130m). Saying Grace was forced to settle in the breeze after the mishap at the start, which allowed El Jacko to sit on his back and get the perfect trail into the race. Reinsman Nathan Turvey was able to urge El Jacko past leader Maczaffair in the closing stages and win by 5m. It was the first leg of a double for Turvey, who teamed up with Carter Micheal later in the night. The other feature event of the evening was the Group 3 Coulson Final for the fillies and mares, which was taken out by the Mike Reed-trained and Mark Reed-driven Our Angel Of Harlem. The four-year-old was able to hold the front from barrier one and was never troubled from there, as she made it four wins from six starts this campaign. The Reed’s enjoyed further success later in the program when Golden State broke through for a well-deserved win in the Follow Gloucester Park On Facebook Pace. It was Golden State’s first start since the Golden Nugget a fortnight ago and he relished the drop back in class last night. Stefsbest was also coming out of the Golden Nugget on December 14 and he was also able to lead all of the way from barrier one. In the final event of the evening, Patrickthepiranha made it five wins in a row against a star-studded field of three-year-olds, including Golden Slipper winner and hot favourite Franco Edward. Patrickthepiranha was able to get to the front from barrier four and score a comfortable victory to his stablemate Its Rock And Roll.   Tim Walker

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