By Glenn Davis
After a slow start to the season, Tom Button is back on track to claim his third Rockhampton trainers’ premiership.
It took Button four months into the season to claw his way to the top of the local trainers’ premiership where he’s now entrenched with an eight-win lead over nearest rival, Shane Sigvart.
Button’s lead stems from a weight of numbers as he has saddled 88 runners compared to Sigvart’s 19 starters.
Button is on 16 wins and is hopeful of extending his lead when he saddles up three runners at Callaghan Park on Friday.
Button’s runners are Aussie Tycoon (Benchmark 60 Handicap), Poetic Heart (QTIS Three-Year-Old Maiden Handicap) and Sheer Persistence in the Open Handicap.
As a former top jockey, Button believes barriers are crucial at every starting point at Callaghan Park but are not as important when field sizes are small.
Button rates Sheer Persistence, barrier one, as the pick of his team following the five-year-old mare’s last start third to Far North in an Open Handicap (1400m) at Callaghan Park two weeks ago.
“She’s been a good horse for her owners who paid only $4,500 for her last year,” Button said.
“She had been racing in the south-east but her form tapered off down there and she’s now won four times for me.
“She’s a definite chance although she’s stepping up to better grade in this race.”
Button rates talented four-year-old Legal Procedure and topweight Court Clown as the main dangers to Sheer Persistence.
“Legal Procedure beat us home last run and is only having his third run in and old Court Clown won well here last start,” he said.
Button also has high hopes for Aussie Tycoon, a last start fourth to Mishnah in a Class Four at Callaghan Park on February 1.
“She’s going good this preparation but we made a mistake when we rode her too forward last run,” he said.
“If she can be ridden quieter she’ll be hard to beat.”
Poetic Heart will be having her first start since making her debut eight months in two-year-old company at Rockhampton.
“This is only her first run this preparation and she’ll need things to go her way,” Button said.
Racing Queensland webnews February 14