By Josh Smith – Harness News Desk
Northern horseman Zachary Butcher is looking forward to backing up Whiskey Neat in the Go On “Lather Up” With Woodlands Stud Mobile Pace (2200m) at Alexandra Park on Thursday night.
The three-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight made her debut over 2200m at Cambridge on Sunday and impressed her trainer-driver when running home well to finish third behind Doc Holiday.
“She went pretty well, but got held up a wee bit,” Butcher said. “They only waddled around, which didn’t suit her and she got hunted up the passing lane after being held up.
“It was her first-up run so hopefully she will get better with it. We have a better draw (3) on Friday, so hopefully she will go well.”
Butcher has been pleased with the way she has pulled up after Sunday and he believes she has taken a lot of improvement out of the run.
“I thought I had her looking spot on heading into Sunday, but I think she looks better coming out of it,” he said.
TAB bookmakers share Butcher’s confidence, installing her as a $2.30 favourite for Thursday’s contest ahead of Kuyomi ($3.60) and Doubtless Bay ($4.80).
Butcher is into his second season of training and he said he is enjoying working his small team of three horses.
“It’s good fun, at least you can put all your attention into the couple that you are doing, so they get a little bit of extra TLC,” he said.
“I am more leaning towards enjoying that side of things at the moment. Obviously I will always stick with driving, it is my main income earner, but the training side is definitely a different buzz. It’s great, I really enjoy it.”
Butcher will also hop in the cart on Thursday night to drive Manchester On Fire and Parker, but he is particularly looking forward to seeing how the John and Joshua Dickie-trained Sertorius performs in the Speeding Spur At Woodlands Stud Handicap Trot (2200m) after he drove the 8-win trotter at two recent workouts.
“He has been good and will be better for those two runs,” Butcher said. “Tricky Ric and a few others have drawn in front of him and they are trialling up pretty well too.
“The mark (20m) is not going to help him a lot, but he has definitely got the ability and if he steps well and puts himself in a position, he will be thereabouts.”