CHAMPION reinsman Anthony Butt joined a select group of drivers at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight.
By capturing the state’s two pacing Blue Ribands, Butt became just the fifth reinsman to win the Victoria Derby and Oaks in the same season.
Given the change on the racing calendar this term, Butt is the first to secure both on the same night!
The Group Ones have been conducted simultaneously since the Oaks was introduced as a two division event in 1952.
Australia’s oldest classic, the inaugural Derby was won by Lucap in 1914.
Bill McKay was the first to win both in 1955 by driving Explicit to glory in the Oaks and Mighty Warrior in the Derby.
Neville Welsh followed suit in 1972 when Annastere upstaged the ‘boys’ in the Derby before outclassing the fillies in the Oaks.
Brian Gath won the Oaks with Maria Vassallo and Derby with Sammy Karamea in 1977, before Gavin Lang achieved the feat in 2008.
Lang drove Kept For Pleaure in the Oaks and Tanabi Bromac in the Derby.
Chris Alford joined the crew in 2017 after Miss Graceland proved too good in the Oaks and Our Little General surprised his rivals in the Derby.
As for Butt, he completed the first part of the equation when he combined with Dr Susan in the Oaks.
After causing a false start during the first attempt, Dr Susan was her best behaviour the second time to work to the lead from barrier five.
Striding clear of the field turning for home, the daughter of Bettors Delight scored by four-and-a-half metres from Stylish Memphis, with Rockingwithsierra 10 metres away third.
Prepared by Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon, Dr Susan rated 1:56.6 for the 2760-metre trip.
“As frustrating as it is, that little skip she did at the start is a family trait,” Dalgety said. “Her dam and grand dam both did it.
“It’s a strange thing to hand down. Once they get going though they’ve all been fine.
“After Ants was able to find the front she was always going to be difficult to run down.”
Butt then led throughout the Derby with Line Up in what was almost a carbon copy of his heat victory in Ballarat last weekend.
After finding the front from barrier three, Line Up opened a gap on his rivals around the final bend before registering a metre-and-a-half win from Governor Jujon.
Perfect Stride, a stablemate of the winner, was six metres away third.
“When I was able to lead I knew he’d take a lot of beating,” Butt said. “Then when Youaremy Sunshine gave a little ground from the ‘death’ around that last bend I tried to get a few lengths on them as I knew Governor Jujon was in the one-one and ready to pounce.
“He got to the line really well.”
Undefeated from two Australian starts, Line Up rated 1:55.2 over 2760 metres to take his record to five wins and three placings from 11 starts for earnings of $184,492.
With the New South Wales Oaks and Derby the next targets for Dr Susan and Line Up, Butt is hoping to repeat the dose in Menangle on February 29 and March 7.