By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Bob Butt loves it when a plan comes off.
The Woodend Beach trainer identified the Gr.3 Harcourts TA – Waikato Trotting Breeders’ Stakes (2700m) as a good chance to gain some black-type for his mare Gold Chain and she duly delivered at Cambridge Raceway on Friday.
In the hands of local reinsman Matthew White, Gold Chain made a solid start from her 30m handicap. White sat patiently at the back of the pack before hopping on the back of Silver Power to sit in the one-one.
Gold Chain remained in the coveted position until White navigated around a tiring Silver Power at the 400m and she continued her run, putting two lengths on the field turning for home, and she was able to maintain her advantage, winning by 2-3/4 lengths over Ruby Ridge, with a further 1-3/4 lengths back to Rain Mist And Muscle in third.
Butt was thrilled with the win and he was full of praise for White, who has been looking after the mare while she has been in Cambridge.
“It worked out perfectly, Matty drove her well and he has done a great job looking after her this week. I am rapt,” Butt said.
Butt said the race was ideal for Gold Chain and he thinks there should be more races dedicated to trotting mares on the racing calendar.
“She is pretty much a free-for-aller now, so it is hard for her down here (Canterbury) racing against the good ones all the time, but she has been going great races,” he said.
“When I saw those couple of mares races up there I thought they would be ideal for her.
“From a broodmare perspective these races are great, it is a pity they don’t have a Group One for them.”
Gold Chain will remain in the north and try to add the Gr.3 Northern Trotting Breeders’ Stakes (2700m) to her resume at Alexandra Park on February 25.
“I will talk with Matty and see how she comes through this race,” Butt said. “She will probably have a run at Auckland next week because she thrives off racing and she can have another look around there and if we need to change any gear we can.”
Closer to home, Butt was over the moon with Heavyweight Hero’s run for fourth in the Lamb And Hayward Mobile Trot (2600m) at Addington Raceway on Friday.
“I was rapt with him,” Butt said. “He has had a tough preparation with things going wrong and he hadn’t raced for a long time.
“He didn’t have a trial going into that, he missed away last week so that wasn’t a run, so I am rapt with the old fella.
“He has had a lot of issues. He broke a bone in a hock and then he came back up and was really good before he got caught in a fence, so it was good to see him do that tonight.”
Butt hasn’t got any immediate plans with the Group One winner and will bide his time with the trotter until the autumn.
Meanwhile, Butt is looking forward to lining up Cover Girl in the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 3YO Fillies Final (2200m) at Alexandra Park on Saturday but said she will need luck from her outside draw.
“She has got a tough draw (8), but she has come up pretty good after giving her a freshen-up. I just hope that she can get a bit of luck,” he said.
Butt will also take the reins behind the Paul Nairn-trained pair of El Conqueror in the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 3YO Trotters Final (2200m) and Bitamuscle in the Gr.2 Lone Star Alexandra Park Lyell Creek Stakes FFA (2200m)
El Conqueror will take on just the two competitors in his race, while Bitamuscle will be met by star trotters Sundees Son and Bolt For Brilliance.
“El Conqueror should be a good place chance,” Butt quipped.
“Bitamsucle is a lovely horse but he is up against two great horses. Hopefully he can go a good race.”