By Duane Ranger
Three days after turning 16, Chloe Butler, has driven her first winner.
The Logan village reinswoman actually had first race-day drive at Albion Park on her birthday (Tuesday May 21) when she finished seventh behind One Wise Man.
She then got in behind the same horse and nailed her first winner in the seventh race at Albion Park last Friday (May 24). Her Dad, Jack, trains One Wise Man at Logan Village.
He also trains Casino Grin, the Grinfromeartoear gelding, who half an hour before Butler’s first driving success, ran a close-up neck and head third, in race six.
“I only arrived back from New South Wales a couple of weeks ago after spending six months at (Pop) Steve Turnbull’s stable. He taught me so much, I owe him a lot. I got my trials licence with him.
“But Dad has been the biggest influence in my career. He’s been my mentor and guide. I’ve been around horses all my life and first sat in the cart when I was seven. All I’ve ever wanted to do was drive horses,” Butler said.
The talented teenager said she fulfilled a lifetime dream when winning the Gotta Go Cullect At Egmont Park Claiming Pace. It was One Wise Man’s 13th win in 110 starts.
“It was the greatest feeling and something I have wanted to achieve ever since I first got in the sulky when I was a little kid. That’s three drives for a first and a third now, so I couldn’t be happier with the way my driving career has started.
“Now that I’ve got that first winner out of the way at just my third attempt, I can now concentrate on becoming a better driver and keep on winning,” Butler said.
“Winning is the greatest feeling ever. I love working with horses,” she added.
Butler was born in Bathurst and came to Queensland four years ago. She was educated at Emmaus College in Jimboomba, but left at the end of last year in grade nine.
“Mum (Tara) and Dad knew this is all I’ve wanted to do and I have no regrets leaving school. Friday’s win has reaffirmed my decision. It has been the best possible start to my career,” she said.
Butler and One Wise Man drew nicely at two in Friday’s 1,660m mobile. They trailed Crowning Glory throughout and then scampered along the passing lane to win by 2.3 metres.
The 10-year-old Life Sign gelding stopped the clock in 1:57.6 (mile rate 1:54 even). His sectionals were 28.2, 30.3, 27.6, and 28.2.
“I want to follow in my father’s footsteps and learn as much as I possibly can from him. I’ve loved horses and animals for as long as I couldn’t imagine myself doing any other job” said Butler who is the eldest of two siblings.
“The win was more special since my Mum owns him. It was a win for the family. I’m just so happy I could do it for all of them,” she added.