By Glenn Davis
Trainer Paul Butterworth is hopeful of bookending the Ipswich meeting on Thursday with his only two runners, Keen Instinct and The Real Spiel.
Keen Instinct is attempting to keep his unbeaten record in tact in the opening event, the QTIS Three-Year-old Handicap (800m) while The Real Spiel tackles the final race, the Channel 7 Ratings Band 0-60 Handicap (1500m).
Butterworth, who claimed his first Group 1 with Capital Gain in J J Atkins (1600m) at Doomben during the winter carnival, is keeping a close watch on the weather with Ipswich in the soft range.
Both runners have acquitted themselves well on rain-affected with Keen Instinct winning his only start on a heavy track at the Gold Coast in March.
The Real Spiel has only won once in 15 starts but has three placings from five starts in the soft and one placing from three on heavy going.
“They can both handle the wet but I’d prefer them on top of the ground,” Butterworth said.
Butterworth sent The Real Spiel to Rockhampton last July to break his maiden status as a short-priced favourite.
Since then the four-year-old was unplaced at Beaudesert and the Sunshine Coast before finishing a much improved second on a heavy 9 at Gatton on October 28.
“The Real Spiel won his Maiden at Rockhampton and he’s a nice horse,” he said.
“He fractured a sesamoid early in his career and had to have 12 months off.
“The vets only gave him a 40 per cent chance of ever racing again and it’s taken him all this time to come good.”
Butterworth said The Real Spiel has an aggressive nature.
“He doesn’t like people and likes to have a bite,” he said.
“But he’s racing in good form and I expect he’ll be hard to beat.”
Keen Instinct raced in blinkers when he won on debut and will again wear the head gear.
“He had a knee spur removed since he won his first start,” he said.
“He’s a good horse and has won a jump out so I expect him to go close as well.
“I think he’ll make the grade as a Saturday horse.”
Meanwhile Capital Gain will make his return in the Winning Rupert Plate at Doomben on December 2.
“He’s not a Magic Millions horse so he’ll only have a couple of runs over the summer before I put him away to get ready for the Sydney autumn,” Butterworth said.
Racing Queensland webnews - November 8