CHAMPION reinsman Anthony Butt has admitted that he expected life to slow down a bit when he made the move from Victoria to settle in Sydney and do the bulk of the driving for his trainer/brother Tim.
Yet the former Kiwi reinsman has blazed a trail of wins at not just Menangle but all the tracks around the Sydney provincial circuit, and is shaping up for one of his best days yet when he heads for the premier track this afternoon.
Butt has a drive in every race, including five for his elder brother Tim on Menangle’s eight-race program.
Victorian trainers Leroy and Danny O’Brien have been quick to snap him up to steer lightly-raced filly Mollys Purse in the Group 2 $30,000 Trot NSW 2YO final, where she will have to account for just four rivals over the 1609m journey.
Mollys Purse has had just one start for a fifth at Maryborough in a standing-start event and with the master reinsman in control should be much better suited by today’s mobile conditions.
While the TAB has listed the filly as a $5.50 third favourite, she could easily start the top pick among an evenly-matched bunch of two-year-olds.
Butt also looks the one to beat in Race 2 where he will drive promising filly Running Free for his brother Tim.
Running Free has had just nine career starts for two wins and five placings and after drawing perfectly in gate one looks the hardest to toss over the 2300m mobile journey and as such has been listed as $3.50 favourite.
Tim Butt also has The Golden Lion (James Rattray) in the race and looking to improve on an eighth, after being well backed at his first race start, at this track last week.
Anthony drives yet another favourite when he takes the steer on odds-on favourite Majestic Courtney ($1.75) in Race 3.
First-up since scoring back-to-back wins for the stable in February, Majestic Courtney has been fitted for this race with a strong second to talented trotter Castlereagh in a three-horse trial at Menangle last week.
The gelding is the only horse drawn on the second-row in a strong field and Butt should be able to pick and choose who he wants to follow once the mobile lets them go.
Butt’s big day should continue when he drives the consistent Reign On Me ($5.50) for his partner Sonya Smith in Race 4.
His other drives include Zadaka (Race 5), Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Race 6), Colby (Race 7) and Majestic Major in Race 8.