Day At The Track

The southern invasion is well underway

12:41 PM 03 Dec 2015 NZDT
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Bob Butt - Has two quality three year olds with him for a northern campaign
Bob Butt - Has two quality three year olds with him for a northern campaign

It has now become an annual event on the New Zealand harness racing scene that as soon as December rolls around so does the influx of South Island horses to Alexandra Park.

The number of big money races for both age group and older horses attracts the very best available and is usually supplemented by plenty of other horses from the south looking to take advantage of the higher stakes available in the north.

One trainer looking to do that this year is young North Canterbury trainer Bob Butt who has brought two quality three year olds north this year mainly for the experience but also to take advantage of the bigger stakes on offer.

The two horses that Bob brought north both have plenty to recommend them to northern punters over the next month.

The three year old trotter Matatoki has one win to date from one start when he beat the older horses at Addington in July when still a two year old.

The son of Revenue S showed he was forward for the trip when he won at the Ashburton trials last week.

The second of the two horses Bob has brought north is the exciting three year old pacer in Hall Of Fame.

Like his stablemate, Hall Of Fame has had one start for one win when he bolted in by eight lengths at his debut run at Addington in a 2:00 mile rate for the 2000 metres stand.

The son of Rocknroll Hanover also won a trial at Ashburton last week, finishing off with a very sharp 25.6 last 400 metres

Bob is lining up both his horses tomorrow night and is happy with their condition leading up to their northern debut.

" They both travelled up north really well and I have had no problems with either of them."

" They have settled in well at John+ Josh Dickie's place and everything is on track at this point."

" Their work this week has been good but I would expect both to improve a touch with a run under their belt," Bob said.

Bob has brought both his three year olds north to race in grade racing only with no thought being given to attacking some of the age group classics coming up over the next month.

" Both are pretty short on race experience and ring craft and that was the main reason for giving them a trip away from home, to help them grow up a bit."

"I think they are really smart horses and this trip away will make them."

" If they keep improving like I think they will, then we can maybe look at some bigger targets later in the season," Bob said.

As for tomorrow night Bob is leaning towards Matatoki as the better chance of his two runners.

" Hall Of Fame has drawn one on the second line and could end up three or four deep on the inner so I think Matatoki might be the better chance tomorrow night," Bob said.

Whatever transpires tomorrow night, it would pay to follow these two horses over the next month as they are both capable of winning more than once on this trip.

Harnesslink Media

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