By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
It was a night of celebration for Shane Butcher at Cambridge Raceway on Wednesday.
The South Auckland horseman recorded his first New Zealand training success courtesy of Sharkine in the Team Teal Fundraiser 10 March At CR Mobile Pace (2200m).
While pleased to get the win, Butcher was more animated for his partner Monika Ranger who reined home the mare, posting her second driving success.
“When I was in Perth, I trained a winner over there, but it was pretty good to get a winner in New Zealand, especially when it was my partner Moni driving her. She drove her a treat,” Butcher said.
Butcher purchased Sharkine last month with the plan of giving Ranger further raceday driving experience.
“Sheridan Rapley owned her and was wanting to sell. I thought I would buy her and try to give Moni a drive every week, just to help Moni and give her a few drives.”
The daughter of Shadyshark Hanover was having her second start for Butcher and he said she had taken plenty of improvement from her fresh-up run at Alexandra Park last month.
“Her first race I was a little bit disappointed (when she finished seventh) but looking back on it she hadn’t trialled or raced in over a month, so needed the run,” Butcher said.
“Her work was pretty good after that and leading into this. I thought she would be thereabouts if she got the right run.”
Butcher was pleased with the way his mare won on Wednesday and he believes there is plenty left instore for the four-year-old.
“She is well rated, she is quite low, and she definitely feels like she will keep improving. I think she has got a few more wins in her,” he said.
Butcher was a frequent visitor to the winner’s circle on Wednesday, having been there a race prior when welcoming back Aeonian after her victory in the Happy 90th Birthday Bryce Espin Handicap Trot (2200m).
Butcher owns the daughter of Pegasus Spur, who was posting her second consecutive win after recording her maiden victory at Hawera last month for trainers Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett.
“Bernie and Michelle have done a terrific job with her. I always knew she could run a bit but I couldn’t get her to do it on raceday,” Butcher said.
“Bernie and Michelle have had her for a bit now and she seems to be doing everything right and trotting super.
“It was nice to see her do it like she did.”