By Duane Ranger
Ben Butcher will be looking to notch up his 61st career win at Cambridge Raceway tonight and has four chances to do just that.
Butcher, who is having another solid season, rated the Geoff Small trained Saucycullen as his best winning chance in race four.
The 21-year-old is currently seventh on the national junior driving premiership with 11 wins – 19 behind pace-maker Rory McIlwrick, and five behind the North Island’s top junior – fellow Cambridge horseman, Dylan Ferguson.
Last season Butcher finished ninth with 15 wins. He was the North Island’s second top junior with 15 wins.
However his best season came in his break-out year of 2013-2014 when he won 19 races and finished seventh nationally.
Butcher and Ferguson shared the North Island Trainers and Drivers Association’s Summer Series just gone. The duo finished tied with 14 points – one more than fellow Cambridge driver, Mark Johnson.
“It’s been a great year so far and I enjoy driving on my home track. I have four fairly good chances. I just want to accumulate as many wins as possible.
“I’ve played sport all my life and I play to win. it’s the same with driving. I’d love to represent New Zealand or the North Island at the Australasian Junior Driving Championships again,” he said.
Here’s what Butcher had to say about his quartet of drives:
Race 3: The Geoff Small trained Some Change (2) – “He raced good in a tougher field at Auckland last Friday. He’s drawn a lot better this time and this kind of race suits him. He did win on the track two starts back (ANZAC day) and so long as they run along a bit I don’t think he will be far away. I’d rate him a seven out of 10- chance. Each-way.”
Race 4: The Geoff Small trained Saucycullen (7) – “I don’t know much about her of late. She’s returning from a spell (Pukekohe Workouts win, May 6). I did drive her to win a year or so ago (January 2016). She is a nice enough horse who can go a good race first up. Each-way as well.”
Race 5: The Robbie Hughes trained Red Magic (3) – “he won well from a similar draw on the track last start and he races well at Cambridge. I’ll try and get hand early somewhere near the pace. If he gets a nice trip he’s a chance despite stepping up in grade. He’s a good follower of speed who keeps coming.”
Race 10: The Paul Green trained Sasha Banks (1) – “She went all right other day (Manawatu, March 31). She’s got the draw to stay handy and run a place.”
A $25,000 Pick6 will operate at tonight’s meeting.
Approved By Dean Baring www.harnessbred.com
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