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Champion expat reinsman Anthony Butt has a word of warning for Kiwi punters as our interest in the Breeders Crown heats ramps up at Shepparton tonight.
Talented juveniles Zeuss Bromac and Perfect Stride contest different heats of the male series, which has a A$300,000 final at Melton on August 24, with Butt to partner Perfect Stride.
Regular reinsman Zachary Butcher is actually in Victoria and will drive Zeuss Bromac, who he trains, but Butt will drive Perfect Stride as he has become the go-to man for big-money NSW owner Emilio Rosati.
Butt partnered Ultimate Stride, owned by Rosati, to win the A$50,000 Redwood Trot at Maryborough on Sunday and is engaged to partner four of the eight New Zealand reps in the Breeders Crown.
“It works well for me and I hope well for the horses connections,” says Butt mater-of-factly.
“Obviously I watch the racing back home very close but also do the form for over here. And I have been thrilled by the support I am getting.”
While former Canterbury-based Butt rates Perfect Stride a real speedster who can shock the Aussies in his heat tonight he does say changes to the series suggest punters on horses not drawn to lead should be careful.
“With the changes to the series (all heats now in Victoria) all the horses starting in those two heats are guaranteed a place in the semi final next week.
“So they could be tame races because those drawn to get back might not be able to win.
“A horse like Perfect Stride follows out a good beginner and should be handy on the outer but he looks best driven with a sit.
“And with this heat and semi make-up and maybe not much pressure in the heats I can see him having a hard job to win, unless somebody goes hard up front.”
The usual leader bias of Breeders Crown heats, and often semis, could aid Zeuss Bromac tonight because while he is in by far the stronger heat he should settle handy from a front line draw
Butt will also partner Pukekohe filly Best Western in her three-year-old fillies heat at Kilmore on tomorrow night but she also faces a second line draw but more importantly series hot favourite Princess Tiffany, who has drawn barrier one.