Connections of likely three-year-olds can breathe easy again.
Last start feature race winner Duke Of Wellington is headed to the paddock and not the Brisbane winter carnival.
A brilliant winner of the Gr.2 $45,000 Alabar Southern Supremacy at Invercargill yesterday (Sunday) defeating quality rivals Hail Christian, Franco Santino and The Bus is now going for a well-earned break rather than further riches.
Purchased by big-spending Victorian based owners Merv and Meg Butterworth during the week of the feature event for huge money, the American Ideal gelding has built-up an imposing record in a short space of time.
Duke Of Wellington raced in partnership yesterday with the Butterworth’s and former owner/breeder Lester Smith while the Butterworth’s now take full ownership.
Unraced as a two-year-old, Duke Of Wellington has won 5 of his 10 starts and looks destined for the top level but his new connections are prepared to be patient.
“I think the we need to do the right thing and plan ahead for the four-year-old races given we lots of to do so, he stands at 16.1 hands and needs to fill out and strengthen up so time in the paddock will be our greatest friend.” Merv Butterworth said.
As far as future plans are concerned, there very much up in the air.
Prepared by one-time Queensland based Lauren Pearson, Butterworth will make a call during his six week break on who will prepare his emerging talent in the future.
Butterworth races horses throughout Australasia with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Tony Herlihy, Kerryn Manning and Ross Olivieri among others.
Last year, the Butterworth and Manning combination ventured north to be part of the winter carnival with classy performers Motu Meteor (4th in Queensland Derby) and Mr Mojito (5th in Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship).
Both performed well without luck.
“We were a bit stiff last year and there’s a chance we could still make it but it won’t be with Duke Of Wellington. Hopefully something else can put their hand up and warrant a trip north in the coming weeks.
“The Queensland Derby is a race I’d like to win but it’s looking unlikely it will be this year. We enjoyed our time last year and I’ve got some good friends up there.”
Back in 2012, the Butterworth’s enjoyed a stellar night at Albion Park winning both the Queensland Derby (Best Deal Yet) and the Sunshine Sprint (Motu Crusader).
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | April 30