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Harness racing trainer Tim Butt has his insurance policy heading into Saturday night’s $200,000 Chariots of Fire at Menangle -- his brother. Butt prepares the big post-draw shortener Let It Ride in the four-year-old Group 1 mile, with the exciting pacer securing the ace. Butt, who has only been training at Menangle for a few months after making a surprise move from his New Zealand homeland, admits the draw could be good or bad. And that is where his brother, champion driver Anthony comes in. Anthony has driven Let It Ride six times for five wins and the only time they were beaten was a second to subsequent SA Cup winner Shadow Sax. He is also the leading ever driver of Grand Circuit winners, well clear of Mark Purdon, and between them the Butt brothers have won almost every race that matters in Australasia. “Having Ants on him in a Group 1 gives me so much confidence,” says Butt “I have actually been really happy with my regular driver Chris Geary and I think he has great hands but Ants has been doing it at the highest level for decades.” Butt says that could be important because while many punters will expect Let It Ride to lead, there could be plenty of early speed before the other favourites Jilliby Kung Fu and Atomic Red coming pouring the pressure on. “Leading would be good but so would trailing one of the good horses and Ants can make that decision based on the early sectionals. “But the horse is ready to do the job and has options.” Butt is enjoying his new life in New South Wales, with 12 horses in work and on his way to his capacity of 18. “I just needed a change and have always wanted to give living here a crack. We are loving it. “And to have one of the favourites in this race is a real bonus because just a month ago it looked like Vincent and Ultimate Machete were going to dominate this.” That pair both broke down, leaving three main chances at the head of Saturday night’s market, all probably feeling they have been gifted a Group 1 shot. Jilliby Kung Fu was awesome winning his qualifying race at Melton and won’t need to perform much better Saturday night, with his racing style suited to Menangle even though he is yet to race there. And Atomic Red is one of the brightest staying hopes in NSW and judging by his prelude win three weeks ago he could easily break 1:50. *A newcomer to the Butt team Saturday night is Afterdinnerspeaker (R3) but he is only set to arrive in the country on Friday. By Michael Guerin

Former top Kiwi trainer Tim Butt expected to be a feature race player at Melbourne’s Summer of Glory, but just not with the horse it’s turned out to be. Before a minor setback late last year, the Hunter Cup was firmly on Butt’s radar with his stable star My Field Marshal. It was such a focus, he surprised many by turning his back on the Perth Inter Dominion series. But My Field Marshal was sidelined with a minor hoof injury and a limited lead-up preparation has Butt leaning towards skipping next Saturday night’s $500,000 Hunter Cup to focus on the Miracle Mile. So now Butt’s major Melbourne hopes rest with the talented but sometimes frustrating trotter Daryl Boko in this Saturday night’s $300,000 Group 1 Great Southern Star (2760m) at Melton. Although a $16 outsider, Daryl Boko has drawn well in gate two and heads into the race an impressive last-start winner, albeit in a much weaker race at Menangle. “He’s really heading into this race and draw is a huge help,” Butt said. “We think he’s a genuine upset chance now he’s drawn so well in a pretty open race.” Given the lack of a standout trotting superstar racing on either side of ditch right now, the opening Aussie market for the Great Southern Star was $4 the field. But emerging Aussie mare Red Hot Tooth has been sensationally-backed into clear favouritism for Australasia’s richest trotting race. The Kari Males-trained mare has been crunched in from $5 to $2.70 favouritism after her sparkling last-start Group 1 George Gath win at Shepparton. Although this is clearly the next step-up against such a hot field over the longer 2760m trip and against genuine Group 1 opposition, but she did rip home in a 56.6sec last half last outing and looks the leader again this time. “I might be biased, but I think she’s the better trotter in the land right now and she gets the chance to prove it,” Red Hot Tooth’s driver Zac Phillips said. “She’s got speed, she can stay and she absolutely bolted in last time. “I was saying on radio the other day, it’s a good time to have a really nice trotter like because there isn’t a champion winning everything like say a Keystone Del was here a couple of years back.” For Phillips, teaming-up with Males and her husband Paul, makes it extra special. “Kari and Paul, along with Robbie O’Connell were the people who got me going. To win a really big Group 1 for Kari and Paul would be as good as it gets,” he said. “I can’t wait for Saturday night to give it our best shot.” Another emerging Aussie trotter Sparkling Success has eased from $4 to $4.60 second elect from gate 11. Kyvalley Blur, back from his ultra-consistent Kiwi campaign shares the line of betting with Tony Herlihy’s Temporale at $6.50. Temporale’s chances were hurt by an inside back row draw (gate eight), negating his sparkling gate speed. The other class Kiwi raider, Speeding Spur, is the best-credentialed runner in the race, but drawn outside the back row (gate 13) and under a form cloud given his recent Kiwi defeats. He is a $6.50 chance. Back to My Field Marshal and Butt said a final Hunter Cup decision would be made on Monday. “It’s unlikely, but we want to watch this weekend’s racing and wait as long as possible to see if Lazarus is definitely running,” he said. In other stable news, classy four-year-old Let It Ride will have another crack at forcing his way into the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on Saturday week. He ran way below his best when, after a midrace burn to find the lead, he wilted to finish at the rear of the field in last Saturday night’s Hondo Grattan at Menangle. “He checked-out fine after the race,” Butt said. “He was a bit disappointing, but he did burn a bit so we’ll give him another chance next week.” Adam Hamilton

It is scary to think this is just the tip of the iceberg. The All Stars’ barn unleashes stars at two key Aussie meetings this weekend, but there are lost more to come over the next couple of months. Newly-crowned Perth Inter Dominion champ Lazarus headlines Aussie racing this weekend when he starts from gate five in the Group 1 Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He’s a $1.30 favourite on the Aussie TAB even though he has fast beginners Bettors Fire (gate one), Vultan Tin (three) and Chicago Bull (four) drawn inside him. Lazarus won’t lead unless either a Bettors Fire and/or Chicago Bull elects to surrender the front to him. Just for good measure, Lazarus’s exciting young stablemate, Ultimate Machete, is the $7 second favourite in the Fremantle Cup from gate two. Natalie Rasmussen will take the drive on Ultimate Machete before heading back to Sydney where she has key stable drives on Our Bare Knuckle and Partyon at Menangle on Saturday night. Our Bare Knuckle has gate four, but now moves into the three alley with emergency Lisa Lincoln already scratched from the $30,600 Group 3 Raith Memorial (1609m). It’s a fascinating race with so many different and strong formlines. The biggest name is last season’s glamour juvenile filly My Sweetchillyphilly, who is first-up since an aborted Breeders Crown campaign and drawn deep-ish in gate seven. Tim Butt’s Lady Chatto also resumes in the race from gate 10, while Jimmy Rattray’s Queensland Group 1 winner Arts Treasure has gate six and in-form Victorian raider Macey Jayde has the outside (gate 11). The Allstars’ classy mare Partyon slips back down in class big time to a metro maiden race (race two) under the NSW handicapping system. She’s better than her rivals, but will need to be from the outside draw (gate 11). The other must-watch Menangle race is the free-for-all (race five) where reigning Hunter Cup champ Bling It On steps outs again from the outside draw (gate 11). Adam Hamilton

Top class former Kiwi pacer My Field Marshal won’t return to racing until the New Year. Trainer Tim Butt, now firmly making Menangle home, revealed his stable star was overcoming a minor hoof issue and had been shifted from Victoria to his Menangle base. “I’d say it’s more likely he will return in the Bendigo Cup now (January 6),” Butt said. “It’s nothing serious, but I wanted to get him up to Menangle to keep a close eye on him.” Butt had planned to race My Field Marshal through December, including a sprint race at Ballarat on Boxing night. My Field Marshal hasn’t raced since as strong second to Lennytheshark in the Yarra Valley Cup on November 9. Butt is glad he skipped the Perth Inter Dominion. “It would’ve been great to be part of it, but it wasn’t in the best interests of the horse,” he said. “Now I can have a fresh horse going into races like the Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile. “That was a pretty brutal Inter Dominion on the horses. “I know I’ve got a horse who, with the right draw and luck, can match it with any of them.” In other news, Butt spoke out strongly urging officials in Victoria, NSW and NZ to bring back the trotting section of the Inter Dominion over the next three years. “It’s got to happen. It’s the ultimate,” he said. “It adds another dimension to the Inter Dominion.” Harness Racing Victoria CEO David Martin confirmed there would be “some type of trotting” component to next year’s Inter Dominion. “Just what that is we aren’t sure as yet,” he said. “We should be in a position to talk more about it in February.” Adam Hamilton

ULTIMATE Machete’s powerhouse NZ free-for-all looks to have given him stranglehold on the major four-year-old races during the Perth Inter Dominion Carnival. But there are two locals who are showing enough to say they will make the emerging Purdon/Rasmussen superstar really earn the prize. Former Kiwi entire Rocknroll Lincoln, now in the Justin Prentice barn, made it two wins (and a close second) from just three WA runs when he led throughout in slick times to win the Golden Nugget prelude at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The effort of Gary Hall Sr’s Herrick Roosevelt to work early, sit parked and run a close second in a 1min55.8sec mile rate and 55.2sec last half was outstanding. Another eye-catching was former Victorian Wrappers Delight, who had no luck in third spot for new trainer Ross Olivieri. Throw in classy former Kiwi and now Victorian-based Motu Meteor and at least there will be some competition for Ultimate Machete in the three four-year-old features, the first of them this Friday night. _________________________________________________________________________________________ MOST thought Tim Butt would take advantage of Lennytheshark’s time in Perth and grab what he can in Victoria with My Field Marshal. Instead, Butt is thinking longer term and has given his stable star a freshen-up. “He’s having a couple of weeks out and will be back for the sprint at Ballarat on Boxing night,” Butt said. “Perth wasn’t going to suit him, so we decided to keep him hear and target the big races in the New Year. “I think he’s shown in a couple of his recent runs he can really match it with Lenny, but we haven’t had any luck in the barrier draws.” _________________________________________________________________________________________ THE problem child has found winning form again just at the right time. Gifted but headstrong and enigmatic WA pacer Run Oneover broke a long run of outs and looked quite good doing in in a free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Gary Hall Jr worked him to the front and let him roll over the 1730m sprint trip and Run Oneover scored quite well in a 1min54.1sec mile rate. It’s worth noting though he beat the B and C-graders and would need to lift again to be a serious player like he was during last year’s Inter Dominion heats. Remember it was Run Oneover who led, took charge and then choked-down in the back straight of last year’s Inter Dominion final. Another win of note at the Gloucester Park meeting came from exciting three-year-old filly Cott Beach, who won by 30m in a 1min57.1sec mile rate for 2130m. It was the daughter of Advance Attack’s eighth win from just 12 starts. _________________________________________________________________________________________ THERE isn’t much young Queensland trainer-driver Brittany Graham can’t do. Graham, daughter of decorated trainer-driver Darrel, has carved out a successful training and driving career in her own right. She added another credit when she won the Seymour Group Lady Drivers Invitation Series at Albion Park last Saturday night. Graham beat megastar Kerryn Manning in a close finish with SA’s Danielle Hill in third spot. The series included other big names like Amanda Turnbull, Kate Gath and Trista Dixon. In recent times, Graham has also been making waves by dabbling in some media work for Sky Racing. _________________________________________________________________________________________ HOW can you not be in awe of the story around the pacer Love Ina Chevy. Remember back to January, last year and he’s the horse Lance Justice, his staff and friends cared for around the clock, day-after-day just to save him after a suspected snake bite. It was half a miracle he survived because he was so sick. The fact he’s made it back to races was incredible, let alone the success the six-year-old has enjoyed. Love Ina Chevy posted his seventh and by far most important win – albeit in a dead-heat – at Melton last Friday night. The gelding surged along the sprint lane as the $36 outsider of the field to split the prize with leader, It Is Billy, in the Markovina free-for-all. It was a race where Victorian buzz pacer Tee Cee Bee Macray – third to Lennytheshark and My Field Marshal in the Yarra Valley Cup at his previous run – was expected to dominate, but instead flopped back in second-last spot at $1.40. _________________________________________________________________________________________ FRESH back from enjoying NZ Cup Week, top young driver Todd McCarthy snared the feature race at Menangle last Saturday night. McCarthy partnered Tiger Tara to a monster third in the NZ Cup then second to Ultimate Machete in last Friday’s NZ FFA. Back home, he teamed with trainer Mark Callaghan and veteran mare Cullinary Delight to win the Group 3 Sue Kelly Ladyship Stakes in a 1min51.4sec mile. _________________________________________________________________________________________ IT might have been a ho-hum Cranbourne meeting, but debutante War Dan’s win provided a real highlight. The Amanda Turnbull-trained gelding carried a buzz into the race being a brother to former Victoria Cup winner Caribbean Blaster and turning heads in some recent trials. And he didn’t disappoint. Sent out a $1.20 favourite, driver Nathan Jack took War Dan to the lead, but he copped plenty of pressure in front and still won as he liked in a 1min58.6sec mile rate for 2080m. Adam Hamilton

The Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen stable have a team of twenty horses entered at the NZ Metro harness racing meeting to be run at Addington on Friday night. Top pacers Ultimate Machete, Heaven Rocks, Dream About Me and Have Faith In Me go around in a 2600m standing start rating 76 & faster pace. Heaven Rocks, Dream About Me and Have Faith In Me will all be starting off a 30m handicap, while last start winner Ultimate Machete gets a 20m headstart on the big guns starting off 10m. The All Stars stable have seven runners engaged for the final Sires Stakes Heat, which is sure to be a competitve race, with many horses still chasing a spot in the $170,000 final to be run on New Zealand Cup day in three weeks time. Spankem looks to be the best chance for the All Stars stable after his big effort for third at his last start, but with a tricky second row draw and some classy 3yo's drawn off the front it will not be easy for him. Two races after the Sires Stakes heat, Auckland Reactor gelding Chase Auckland, will look to remain unbeaten when he takes on stable mates The Devils Own and Ashley Locaz in a rating 55 to 75 pace. The speedy pacer is following a path similar to his father Auckland Reactor who was unbeaten when he won the Sires Stakes final at his fifth start. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Gentleman Sir is in the process of being sold to the Tim Butt stable. The Love You gelding finished second in the harness jewels last season behind Wilma's Mate in a time of 1-55.7 for the mobile 1609m.  Gentleman Sir will do a good job when he gets to Australia, with the mobile starts suiting his style of racing.    Gentleman Sir running second in the harness jewels. Harnesslink Media

The Perth Inter Dominion if off the agenda for My Field Marshal. Trainer Tim Butt confirmed he would keep the classy former Kiwi pacer in Victoria for a string of races before relocating to Sydney where he will soon set-up his base at Menangle. “We just don’t think the four races in two weeks, especially with a couple being longer races, will suit him,” he said. “He’s had his issues with the wind operation and we’re better to space his races and target the shorter races as well.” Meanwhile, Butt’s exciting four-year-old Let It Ride steps out again at Cranbourne tomorrow (Tuesday). “He’ll have this run, then another at Cranbourne before that 4&5YO Championship at Melton next month,” Butt said. Butt confirmed he would share a barn with Ashlee Grives at Menangle. Grives has formed a partnership with Kiwi horseman Mark Jones, who will rotate horses from NZ to her Menangle barn to increase racing opoportunities. “I’ve got Rocker Band, Delightful Memphis and Whittaker here now and they aren’t far off racing,” Grives said. ____________________________________________________________________________________ JIMMY O’Sullivan landed one of Aussie harness racing’s biggest accolades when crowd the Gordon Rothacker Medallist last night (Sunday). The Kiwi-born horseman, who now lives in Queensland, is best known for his 1987 Christchurch Inter Dominion and NZ Cup wins with My Lightning Blue. O’Sullivan’s other stars included the likes of Quite Famous, Its Motor Power, Our Brenray and Margaret Shannon. On the same night, Lennythshark edged-out stablemate Hectorjayjay in a very tight vote for Victorian Horse of the Year honours. ____________________________________________________________________________________ THE stirring clash between Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca wasn’t the only big talking point at Gloucester Park last Friday night. A veteran former NSW pacer called Sokys Bigbullet set tongues wagging with the most breathtaking of WA debuts for new trainer Tony Svilicich. Svilicich is the man who worked such wonders with veteran stars Mysta Magical Mach and Has The Answers. Word was out Sokys Bigbullet would run well, but he did more than that. He scored the most dominant wins and stamped himself as a potential feature race player. The big striding eight-year-old, who won 19 of his 80 starts in NSW, led and driver Colin Brown just let him roll. Instead of tiring, he just ran a handle field of rivals ragged and won by almost 10m in a flying 1min54.8sec mile rate for 2130m. The mile rate was just 1.9sec outside Beaudiene Boaz’s track record. ____________________________________________________________________________________ NO wonder they call him the whiz kid. Victoria’s top young driver Jason Lee etched yet another milestone into his bounty when he drove half the card – four of the eight winners – at Melton last Friday night. The wins included emerging mare Keayang Kallisto for his mum, Marg Lee, in the feature race, the Blossom Lady for mares. Lee surprised some by leading and opting to park hot favourite Carlas Pixel then stave her off late to win by a half-neck in a slick 1min56.9sec mile rate for 2240m. They ripped home in 55.6 and 27.5sec. Just as satisfying to Lee was another win for his mum when veteran and stable favourite Keayang Steamer returned to winning form in race eight. Just for good measure, the nine-year-old posted a flying 1min52.9sec mile rate for 1720m. Keayang Steamer has been plagued by injuries since looking an emerging superstar when he beat Smoken Up in the 2014 Horsham Cup. Lee’s other wins came aboard Peter Manning’s trotting mare Garston Girl in race three and Bad Billy in race four. Adam Hamilton

Jonny Cox became the latest driver to win 500 races when he drove Rah De Rah which he also trains, to success in the Auckland Reactor At Alabar Mobile Pace at Winton today. He'd been sitting on 499 wins since June. "I wasn't too worry about it really. It was good to get it and move on," he said after the race. His first winner came on the Winton track almost fifteen years ago to the day when he reined the Tony Barron trained Godet to win. He compared the way races are driven these days to when he first started driving in 2002. "You used to be able to sit back and roar home and pick them up. Now they're running faster times and are faster off the front. You definitely need to be a lot handier these days." Win number 500 for Jonny Cox                                   - Photo Bruce Stewart                                                The former Southland driver has slowly migrated north. He was based out of Otago for a while and in recent years has worked for a number of Canterbury trainers. Up until this month he was working for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. He's also trained a small team of his own in the region.  "Happy to be a part of it (Canterbury Racing Scene). That's where it's at really. I've picked up some nice drives and had some good owners up there that have looked after me."  He rates the Dominion Handicap win on Jaccka Justy in 2014 as the highlight of his driving career. "I don't think I can top that."  Recently Cox became Tim Butt's new training partner in New Zealand as Butt looks to concentrate more on his Australian stable. "It's exciting and a new challenge. Tim has taken some nice horses to Australia but has left some nice ones here as well." Cox was Southland Junior Driver of the Year in 2005 with 40 wins and again in 2006 with 33 wins. He was also New Zealand's leading junior driver in 2005.  He rates Jasmyn's Gift, Lets Get Serious and Classic Cullen as some of the nicest horses he's driven outside of Jaccka Justy.  Later in the today's programme Cox drove the Brett Gray trained Jen Jaccka to win the Phillips Horse Transport Handicap Trot. Cox has a long association with Charlie and Ailsa Smaill who own Jen Jaccka, and has driven many of their horses over the years.  Winning in New Zealand record time - Jen Jaccka            - Photo Bruce Stewart Cox took the short way home in the race, and the six year old mare won easily by two and a quarter lengths in a new track, Southland and New Zealand record time of 3-00.9 for the 2400 metre stand. The previous track records were held by Spotlight The Valley (mares- 3-02.1), Santorini Sunset (open - 3-02.8) and the New Zealand record (mares) was held by her half-sister Jess Jaccka (3-01.9). Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing   Jonny Cox getting win 500

Leading New Zealand harness racing trainer Tim Butt believes he can win his second TABtouch Inter Dominion with a pacer that has announced himself on the big stage over the last six months in My Field Marshall.  Tim Butt is no stranger to big race success in Australasia, he's won a record five Hunter Cups, two New Zealand Cups and Butt said My Field Marshall can deliver him his second Inter Dominion come December, after with the 2009 Gold Coast Inters with mighty pacer Mr Feelgood.   "I think so, I think he's right up with the good horses and I think it’s just about the getting the right luck in the running in these top races and getting them right on the day," Butt told TAB Radio's Sports Daily program.  "He's a sort of horse that would handle the Inter Dominion set up pretty well and sometimes it makes them stronger, so we are looking forward to it." My Field Marshall shot into TABtouch Inter Dominion calculations with a dominant victory in the Len Smith Mile at Menangle in June, his first open class Group One. He proved that was no fluke with a gutsy second behind Hecotryjayjay in the final Grand Circuit event of the season 'The Blacks A Fake' a month later at Albion Park.  The son of Art Major has had two runs back this preparation and Butt said he's complete package.  "Probably his speed, he can follow speed and come off their backs when he's right," he said. "I think the other day at Menangle is against his pattern doing it tough, but he has got more versatile and stronger with the Grand Circuit Racing." My Field Marshall is rated a $12 chance with TABtouch for the Inter Dominion, and Butt said the market is right, declaring the $4.35 favourite Lazarus, trained by Mark Purdon the horse to beat.  "He's the yard stick he's so versatile, he has a champion trainer and he's tough, a bit of hard racing and travelling, its not easy but he's the best horse in Australasia," he said.  Tim Butt will arrive in Australia next week to prepare My Field Marshall for October's Victoria Cup before he returns to Western Australia to try and win the race that he loves so much.  "Its the best race in Australasia," he said. "I'll put it ahead of the New Zealand Cup, when you are part of it the drama unfolds, and its a test for horse and trainer and driver with those three heats in a week and then the final a week later, not very often a good horse doesn't win it."   "I enjoyed my time in Perth when I brought Mister DG over and that was one of the great series I have ever been involved with, when four top horses went across the line together." The TABtouch Inter Dominion starts on November 24.   Audio from this mornings interview can be heard here  Gareth Hall

Next stop Victoria for My Field Marshal. Trainer Tim Butt declared his stable star right on target for the Victoria Cup after a narrow, but impressive Menangle win last Saturday night. My Field Marshal’s next and only other lead-up run will be in the $50,000 Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m) at Melton on October 6. The rescheduled $200,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup is eight days later at the same track. “He’s right where I want him,” Butt said. “We’ve had to drive him outside of his comfort zone in these two recent Menangle races because he’s been the best horse in the race and drawn the outside. “The problem with sitting parked with him is that he’s a bugger for wanting to loaf when he hits the front. “He did that when Little Rascal nabbed him two starts back and wanted to do it again the other night, but lifted enough to hold them off. He’s got more left that it looks, but he’s a better chaser than leader.” Despite doing all the work, My Field Marshal hit the lead early in the straight and held-off Allblack Stride to win by a neck in a slick 1min51.9sec mile. Butt, who announced last week he was setting-up a Menangle stable and spending much of his time in NSW, will first head to Melbourne on Tuesday week. “I’ll be down in Melbourne for five weeks. Let It Ride, who is a serious horse, is coming across to join My Field Marshal down there,” Butt said. “The 4&5YO Championship (November 11, at Melton) is the main goal with him down there.” Butt said it was a busy, but exciting time for the stable. “It’s great to be going into partnership with Jonny Cox back home and to be getting serious about a team at Menangle,” he said. “I’m really excited about the Menangle team and committed to making a splash with a nice bunch of horses.” Adam Hamilton

Top NZ harness racing trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen won the New Brighton Cup on Saturday with their speedy pacer Have Faith In Me. Have Faith In Me got home quickly from a nice spot on the outer to down an ex-stablemate Titan Banner and last year's Auckland Cup winner Dream About Me. The winner ran his last 800m in 55.2 with a closing 400m in 26.89 seconds, proving he is back to somewhere near his best. ____________________________ Blair Orange won four races over the weekend to move to twenty two wins for the season, nine wins clear of second place David Butcher. Orange won three races at Addington on Saturday and added another win at Methven yesterday behind the Nigel McGrath trained Goodlookin Chick. Last years drivers premiership winner Dexter Dunn is languishing back in the pack on three wins, after missing some early season racing while he was overseas at the World Drivers Championships.. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Destiny Jones has won this years Ordeal Trotting Cup for trainer Kevin Townley and driver Ricky May. Destiny Jones finished quickly from midfield on the outer to down last years winner Ameretto Sun by a length. The two favourites Habibti Ivy and Harriet Of Mot both blew their chances with early breaks shortly after the start. Destiny Jones (The Pres - Galleons Destiny) has now won eight races and $85,379 in stakes. She trotted the 2600m mobile in 3-16.1 with a closing 800m in 59.4 and 400m in 29.9 seconds. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Jonny Cox will train in partnership with Tim Butt from the beginning of December. Tim Butt is shifting most of his stable horses to Australia shortly and will be training from a 20-horse barn at Menangle, outside Sydney. Cox will be running the satelite stable here in New Zealand. The Tim Butt trained My Field Marshall won the Garrards Horse And Hound pace (Group 3) over 1609m at  Menangle on Saturday night in 1-51.9 _______________________________________________________________________________________ Canterbury amateur harness racing driver Ray Reekie was suspended for 2 1/2 years for driving in a manner which diminished his chances of winning a race at Addington on Saturday.  Of particular concern to the Stewards was his decision to maintain his challenge for the lead for such an extended period, after his initial challenge had been unsuccessful. After hearing the explanation tendered by Mr Reekie, Stewards issued him a charge under Rule 869(3)(g) in that he drove in a manner capable of diminishing Zakspatrol's chance of winning the race.  The JCA subsequently suspended Reekie's Amateur Horseman's licence from the conclusion of racing today up to and including 15th March 2020, a period of 2 1/2 years.   Harnesslink Media  

KIWI star My Field Marshal headlines another big weekend of Victoria Cup and Perth Inter Dominion lead-up racing in Australia. Tim Butt’s stable star looks a class above his rivals in the Group 3 Garrards Horse and Hound Pace (1609m) at Menangle on Saturday night. My Field Marshal is drawn the extreme outside, but the added race fitness of a narrow first-up defeat and the early scratching of Little Rascal – the horse who tipped him out first-up – makes him a stand-out. If he is to be a serious player in the Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion, My Field Marshal really needs to beat a handy field lacking any genuine A-grade stars at Menangle. His most interesting rival is former star Kiwi juvenile Messini, who is not only down to run against My Field Marshal at Menangle, but also to tackle the $20,000 VHRSC Classic (2240m) at Melton 24 hours earlier. Messini certainly looks better suited at Menangle where he will challenge for favouritism in an even field from gate five. His major rivals look to be Flaming Flutter (gate six) and Maximan (seven). Still in Victoria and the state’s buzz pacer, San Carlo, is shooting for his 18th win from just 21 starts in the Alabar Pace (2150m) at Bendigo on Saturday night. San Carlo lost no fans when he dipped in open-class feature racing for the first time when a close third to the flying mare Ameretto in the Group 2 Breeders Crown Graduate free-for-all at Melton at his most recent run on August 25. Trainer Steve O’Donoghue is keen to tackle both the Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion with San Carlo, who has been plagued by injuries through his career. The key Inter Dominion flavour race at Gloucester Park on Friday night is the Spring Pace (race seven) where the Gary Hall Sr four of the 11 runners: Ideal Alice (gate one), American Boy (four), Novic Nightowl (seven) and Beaudiene Boaz (11). And even the Friday night Hobart meeting in Tasmania has some Inter Dominion interest. Father and son combo Barrie and Todd Rattray are considering Perth raids with stable stars Devendra, Pachacuti and Roger Ramjet. The trio all line-up in the free-for-all (race three) at Hobart. The Aussie TAB’s latest Inter Dominion market has Lazarus favourite at $4.50 from Chicago Bull ($5.50), Lennytheshark ($8) then My Field Marshal and Tiger Tara at $12.   Adam Hamilton

Tim Butt's relationship with New Zealand racing is about to change but it is a case of "it's not you, it's me". The most successful ever Grand Circuit trainer will move to Australia in November and spend most of his time there, even though he will maintain a base in Canterbury. Butt intends campaigning stable star My Field Marshall wherever the best money is in Australia as well as class four-year-old Let It Ride. But his main Australian base will be a 20-horse barn at Menangle, outside Sydney. "I will still have a stable in Canterbury but that will be as part of a training partnership," says Butt. "I am getting close to announcing that and that will start from December or January. "So I will still be coming home but for much of the last two decades I have spent nine months in New Zealand and three months in Australia, now it will probably be the other way around." Butt has had enormous success in both countries with a string of harness racing heroes like Lyell Creek, Flashing Red, Take A Moment, Mr Feelgood and Mister D G but he has been especially good at picking the eyes out of the Australian riches. And while New Zealand harness racing is finally going through a boost with some major stakes increases, Butt says the time is right for him to make the move. "I am coming up 50 at Christmas and I want to try something different to invigorate my career. "Things have stagnated here a bit because they go in cycles and we don't have the same owners we had a decade ago. I have only bought one yearling at the sales here in the last three years." But the restlessness goes further than that. "I have been doing this my whole adult life and I don't want to be going to the same meetings, especially some of the smaller ones, that I was 20 years ago in another 20 years' time. "I like the idea of Menangle, how it is set up with a barn at the track and racing there two or three times a week without as much travel. "And in Australia there is so much more racing, not just for a top horse like Field Marshal but good bread and butter horses. "There are nice, steady free-for-all horses in Sydney who have won $300,000-$400,000. So with those opportunities and the fact our kids are older now the time is right to try something different. "But it's not about how the industry is going here, stakes are starting to pick up momentum. It's about how we want to live our lives." Butt's brother and long-time stable driver Anthony is an obvious blueprint for a successful Australian move as he has re-established himself as one of Australasia's best reinsmen since moving to Victoria three years ago. "Ants has always been a top driver but his drives were drying up here as my team got smaller and again, these things go in cycles. But he is flying in Victoria now." New Zealand trainers of both codes setting up satellite stables in Australia is nothing new but many don't last because of the difficulties of finding the right staff to implement their exact training philosophies. "That is why I will be spending most of my time in Sydney because I want to set the stable up and do it right. "So after Cup week in Christchurch I will be taking six or seven horses across and then hopefully be available for other New Zealand-owned horses who are better suited over there." Who: Timothy Grant Butt New Zealand career: 821 wins (175 in partnership with Phil Anderson). NZ Cup (twice), Auckland Cup, Dominion (eight times), Rowe Cup (four), Harness Jewels (four). Australian career: Leading Grand Circuit trainer ever with 50 victories, including Inter Dominion Pacing Final, Interdom Trotting Final (three) and Hunter Cup (five times). Michael Guerin

Star Kiwi pacer My Field Marshal lost no fans in defeat when he resumed from a freshen-up at Menangle last Saturday night. Tim Butt’s stable star came from the extreme outside draw, punched the breeze from the middle half and went down fighting in slick time by a half-head to another former Kiwi, Little Rascal, who had a cosy trip. Just when it seemed My Field Marshal was sent for victory, driver Luke McCarthy extricated Little Rascal from a peg run to the running line, the three-wide to launch a late challenge and snatch the win. My Field Marshal couldn’t much more considering the closing splits of 54.7 and 27.3sec at the end of a 1min51.8sec mile. Butt’s plan is to give the classy pacer at least two more Menangle runs before heading south to chase the $200,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup at Melton on October 14. The win was Little Rascal’s biggest since making NSW home. He managed just three wins from 22 starts last term. ___________________________________________________________________________________ THE new season started just as the old one did for Chris Alford. Alford, who topped 6000 career wins and snatched a string of major races last season, bagged four wins at Melton last Saturday night. It took him a few races to hit top gear, but Alford won the last four races on the card, starting with the charming story of Emma Stewart’s comeback 11-year-old stayer Mister Onetwo. Alford’s other wins came aboard Maree Caldow’s trotting mare Miss Noelle, Dean Braun’s claimer Beach Boy Adios and Emma Stewart’s four-year-old mara A Victor. The other star of the opening Melton meeting of the season was Greg Sugars with three wins. He partnered claimers Washmepockets and Saint Flash to win heats of the Battle of the Claimers as well as veteran free-for-aller Flaming Flutter. Flaming Flutter showed a hint of his vintage best when he sustained a strong three-wide run to win in a slick 1min53sec mile rate in the My Lightning Blue free-for-all (1720m). ___________________________________________________________________________________ VETERAN Queenslander Avonnova continues to amaze. Trainer Ian Gurney retired him after a feature win at Albion Park late last year, but opted to bring him back because he “simply too unhappy in hid paddock.” Avonnova won two of five comeback runs between April and July, then had a let-up. The 11-year-old opened this season with a scorching Albion Park win last Saturday night, beating the classy Ultimate Art in a 1min51.5sec mile rate for 1660m. It was his 52nd win with another 49 placings from 160 starts and took his earnings to a thumping $913,769. ___________________________________________________________________________________ CLASSY former Kiwi pacer Shandale continues to make his mark in Western Australia. Now with the Mike Reed stable, Shandale won impressively when second-up from a spell in a 1min55.8sec mile rate for 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The five-year-old son of Art Major has raced six times for Reed for four wins, a second a seventh. The test will come over the next few weeks when he steps into open grade against the likes of Chicago Bull, Ohoka Punter, Beaudiene Boaz, Run Oneover  and others. Adam Hamilton

Trained by champion New Zealand mentor Tim Butt, My Field Marshal in the final part of last season, defeated a star-studded harness racing line up in the Len Smith Mile at Menangle in June, before running gallant seconds in both the Queensland winter features behind Hectorjayjay in July. The son of Art Major and outstanding mare Foreal, a multiple Group One winner who ran third in the 2007 Inter Dominion at Globe Derby behind Blacks A Fake, has won 18 of his 39 starts and amassed over $500,000 in career prizemoney. Tim and Anthony Butt were perilously close to winning the 2004 Inter Dominion at Gloucester Park, when their charge Mister D G was fourth behind NSW pacer Jofess in one of the all-time great Inter Dominion finishes, with a Short Half Head the official margin between each of the first four across the line. The Butt’s also had great success in 2012 when they campaigned Raglan, who was second behind Im Themightyquinn in the Fremantle Cup and unlucky not to have finished closer when held up for a run in finishing fourth once again behind the local champion. Tim Butt has also indicated that My Field Marshal will stay in Western Australia for the $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Cup on Friday, 12 January 2018 and the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup a week later.   My Field Marshal is into $14 with TABtouch after as much as $101 was on offer. Spaces are filling up on the official TABtouch Inter Dominion Tour, through Harness Racing Travelworld. This year’s tour will be based at beautiful and historic Fremantle for the first five nights, followed by a two-night tour to the Margaret River region, where some of the best food and wine in the world is produced. It will also include premium restaurant bookings for the heats and Grand Final. To book freecall 1800 628 383 or visit the website www.harnessracingtravel.com. Nominations for the 2017 TABtouch Inter Dominion close with the offices of Racing and Wagering Western Australia by 4pm (WST) Friday, 8 September 2017. Conditions and nomination forms can be downloaded at www.perthinterdominion.com.au. The TABtouch Inter Dominion will commence with the first set of heats on Friday 24 November, before travelling to Bunbury for the second set of heats on Tuesday 28 November. The third set of heats returns to Gloucester Park on Friday 1 December and the $1.1M Grand Final will be conducted on Friday 8 December.   For further information regarding the series visit www.perthinterdominion.com.au.  

Giant pacer Ultimate Art is back in Brisbane. With the 2017 Queensland winter carnival wrapping up this weekend, Ultimate Art has arrived and will campaign in the Sunshine State in the coming months for trainers Shannon Price and Scott Miller. Originally, the Modern Art gelding was being considered for the open class features in recent weeks but he didn’t find his best form and connections felt the trip wasn’t warranted. Last year, when previously under the care of Price/Miller, Ultimate Art won 9 of his 14 starts which included 8 in a row at Albion Park. The multiple feature race winner is raced by Mick and Kirsty Formosa. ********************************************************************************** The bulk of the visiting stars of the winter carnival have returned to their respective homes. But My Field Marshal has remained in the Sunshine State. The last start Blacks A Fake runner-up behind Hectorjayjay will spend the next two weeks in the winter warmth of Brisbane having a well-earned break before heading south for his next campaign. Trainer Tim Butt is eyeing the Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion series in Perth later this year. *********************************************************************************** Millionaire pacer Bling It On will be available to breeders in the upcoming breeding season. The American Ideal entire will stand at Cobbitty Equine Farm in New South Wales and will command a fee of $3000. Bling It On has been sidelined following a crash at Albion Park in the Lucky Creed Pace on June 17 as a result of interference and immediately ended his winter carnival campaign. The half-brother to Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling heads to stud with a record of 42 wins and 17 placings from 77 starts for earnings of $1,591,076. ************************************************************************************ A notable omission from Friday’s Listed $25,000 Chris Garrard Patrons Purse at Redcliffe is the richly talented Mattgregor. Prepared by Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen, the Rob Roy Mattgregor gelding was sent straight to the spelling following his 5th placing behind Hectorjayjay in the Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park on July 8. A winner of 10 races from 22 starts, connections are looking at heading interstate again next season. Mattgregor is being aimed at the $75,000 4 & 5yo Championship at TABCORP Park, Melton on November 11. McMullen has withdrawn his appeal against a three-week driving suspension he incurred from the Lucky Creed race fall at Albion Park on June 17. ************************************************************************************* Connections of classy fillies Shartin and My Casino Belle are looking at options before seasons end. Both fillies were gallant when filling the minor placing’s behind The More The Better in last week’s Queensland Derby. Trainer Dean Braun is keen to start Shartin again given how well she has come through her Brisbane campaign while trainer Brad Hewitt is keen to push on with My Casino Belle in the coming weeks. Shartin is not eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown series while My Casino Belle was placed in last year’s 2yo Final behind Partyon and Petacular. ************************************************************************************** Leading Queensland trainer Grant Dixon is heading to Melbourne next month with his exciting prospect Colt Thirty One for the Australasian Breeders Crown series. Fresh from his demolition of his rivals in last week’s Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Final at Albion Park in 1:53.9, connections are keen to test their rising star against the best. Unbeaten in Queensland from six starts, his only defeats came earlier this season at Menangle during the Australian Pacing Gold series. The Mach Three colt is drawing comparisons with former freakish juvenile Majestic Mach, also prepared by Dixon. Making the trip with Colt Thirty One is feature race winning filly Red Charmer. The winner of the Wayne Wilson Memorial Paleface Adios earlier this season, Red Charmer finished 7th behind Arts Treasure last week in the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Fillies Final. **************************************************************************************** Inter Dominion winning horseman James Rattray has remained in Brisbane. Last week, Rattray claimed the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Fillies Final with Arts Treasure and will focus on another feature before seasons end. Up next for the Roll With Joe filly is the Gr.1 $100,000 Australian Pacing Gold Brisbane Graduates series starting on August 4, the final is scheduled for August 12. Rattray will start last start Rising Stars Championship winner The Bettormack at Albion Park this weekend. ***************************************************************************************** Last start feature race juvenile Lucky Unlucky arrives back in Brisbane today (Thursday) for a well-earned break. Lucky Unlucky proved successful in last week’s Gr.2 $50,000 NSW Breeders Challenge Blue Final at TABCORP Park, Menangle in a time of 1:54.0. Owned by Vicki Rasmussen, the Roll With Joe youngster has campaigned in Sydney in recent months for trainer Craig Cross. Lucky Unlucky won twice from 11 starts during his rookie term while banking close to $50,000 in stakes. ****************************************************************************************** Leonard Cain makes his Saturday night debut this weekend. The fresh-faced rising star has enjoyed considerable success during his first season of race driving which has netted him 49 winners to date. A third generation horseman, Cain is a key member of the Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham stable. ****************************************************************************************** Redcliffe curator Greg Franklin will finish his role with the bayside club next week. The talented horseman retires from his role with the club and will spend more time with his small team of pacers from Knight Street for the time being. Franklin has enjoyed considerable success with the likes of African Violet and Motor Parade while his current performer is the classy Remember Them. ****************************************************************************************** Gold Coast trainer Graeme Gavin has sent around his final runners. Last Friday night at Albion Park, Gavin prepared Mickey McRooney and Hotshot Anvil before sending them home with different trainers. Formerly from New South Wales, Gavin has been based on the Gold Coast for a number of years and enjoyed good success with the likes of Cracka Stride, Real Magic, Jack Starzzz, Black Shiraz, Therufusonfire, Nash Street Matt, Scarecrow and Intense Gold among many others. Gavin trained close to 300 winners. Happy retirement Graeme. ******************************************************************************************* And that’s a wrap for the 2017 Queensland winter carnival…..until next year. Chris Barsby

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