“WELCOME to life as a trainer” Anthony Butt declared as he packed gear and loaded a squad onto the truck at 4:30am.
Butt is heading over the border with several members of the team he prepares with his partner, Sonya Smith, for Saturday night’s South Australia Cup meeting.
Along with a pair of runners in the Pacing Cup, the power couple have two entrants in the Derby.
“We’re leaving nice and early so as to be there around lunch time,” Butt said. “That gives the horses, and me, plenty of time to settle in before it gets dark.
“It’s a pretty straight forward, albeit lengthy, trip to Adelaide.”
Group One winner Boots Electric heads the crew as he aims for another major triumph of the season when he takes his position in the Cup.
Three starts ago the son of Somebeachsomewhere captured the Group One Four-Year-Old Bonanza.
To be driven by Butt, Boots Electric has drawn barrier six, with his stablemate Perfect Stride to come from nine.
Zac Phillips, who drove Perfect Stride to secure the Warragul Cup at his previous outing, will once again partner the stallion.
“The draws aren’t ideal, but they’re in with a shot,” Butt said. “Boots Electric is a little wide, but at least he’s off the front.”
Radar Stride and Platinum Stride are engaged in the Derby, with the three-year-olds receiving similar draws to their open class stablemates.
Phillips will take the reins behind Radar Stride from barrier five, with Butt to drive Platinum Stride from the inside of the back row.
“Again the draws aren’t ideal, but they have both been working well and will run a good race,” Butt said.
“Both races are pretty even, and like all of them, we’ll need the right runs on the night.”