CHAMPION reinsman Anthony Butt may be looking for some extra staff to help work his horses after suddenly adding a big stable of classy pacers to his team in the space of a few days.
With leading trainer Noel Daley likely to return to the US, Butt has suddenly gained a big team, just over 12 months after relocating to Sydney to drive for his trainer-brother Tim.
And it’s straight in the deep end for Anthony at Tabcorp Park Menangle today where he will have five runners, all of them formerly prepared by Daley and at the peak of their form.
The first of Butt’s new starters will go around in Race 2 when Anthony drives star mare Moonshine Stride, who has been installed a $2.75 favourite and should add to her record.
Moonshine Stride has won three races for Daley’s big-spending owner Emilio Rosati in the past few months and should add to that record today after drawing perfectly in gate three, a 1609m race for the square-gaiters.
Daley had been using his dedicated young reinswoman Ashley Hart to drive beautifully-bred mare Crystal Stride, and Butt will stick with her in Race 3 where she is listed as a $26 shot but could easily add to her record of a third and a fourth from her only two starts.
Yet it will be Race 6 where the fun really starts for Butt’s new stable acquisitions when he sends around three starters Typhoon Stride, Always A Stride and Kiwi Stride in the same race.
Hart gets the drive on the polemarker Typhoon Stride ($6), who won at Menangle in July and has raced consistently since then without being able to break through.
Butt himself will drive lightly-raced pacer Always A Stride ($8), who won at Penrith in September and has looked close to success in three runs at Menangle since then.
And the astute Butt has snared champion reinsman Todd McCarthy to drive his other runner, Kiwi Stride ($2.50), who had just four runs under Daley’s tutelage for three placings and one poor effort when he galloped and lost all chance.
Todd has driven Kiwi Stride at his last two starts for two narrow defeats and should give Butt a great start to his new-found team.
Anthony still has some time to help out brother Tim too, and will also drive $3.50 second favourite Ideal Star for big brother in Race 7. Tim also has the favourite Tact Maggie (Jason Grimson) in that race.
By MICHAEL COURT