Day At The Track

Braun and Butt dominate heats

05:03 PM 29 Mar 2021 NZDT
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Our Princess Tiffany, Harness racing Photo

It was a big night for trainer Dean Braun and driver Anthony Butt in Launceston on Sunday night, with the duo combining to take out both heats of the Group 2 Ladbrokes Easter Cup.

Our Princess Tiffany ($1.85 out to $3.30) was without a doubt the most impressive heat winner when coming from last in a fast half to score.

Butt positioned the daughter of Art Major at the tail end of the field after a slow, but safe get away from her 30-metre handicap.

The mare raced one-out, and three-back over the final mile before the five-year-old mare was allowed to improve out three and four wide over the final 700 metres, in a slick last half mile which was ran in quarters of 28.4s and 28.1s.

Local hope Ryley Major ($2.90 into $2.20 fav) swept to the lead at the top of the home straight after having a lovely run with a one-out and one-back trail for a large portion of the race but was no match for the Kiwi-bred mare late with a neck between them.

The mile rate for the 2698-metre trip was 1m 59.8s, only 0.7s outside the track record, which is held by Harjeet when winning the 2018 Cup.

Lightly raced four-year-old Willie Go West ($2.20 into $2.00 fav) won the series opening heat, justifying his short quote.

The gelded son of Auckland Reactor stepped away cleanly from his second-row draw and was able to find the lead with just over 2000 metres to travel.

Butt never moved a muscle over the concluding stages, with the Dean Braun-trained pacer scoring by 7.2 metres over Scooterwillrev ($13), who had the gun run on the back of the leader.

While Willie Go West dashed home in 29.1s and 27.3s, the mile rate was significantly slower than the other heat in 2m 2.8s.

Sectional comparison
Heat 1: Lead Time: 86.0s, Quarters: 32.6s, 30.9s, 29.1s and 27.3s, Time: 3m 25.9s.
Heat 2: Lead Time: 86.4s, Quarters: 30.7s, 29.5s, 28.4s and 28.1s, Time: 3m 23.1s.

The first seven placegetters qualified for the Group 2 Easter Cup Final which will be held this Saturday night in Launceston, with the barrier draw to be released on Tuesday afternoon.


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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