by Michael Guerin
Trainer Ray Green and driver David Butcher have different views over how clear cut tonight’s feature pace at Alexandra Park will be.
Butcher says while he chose Vasari over last-start Winter Cup winner Northview Hustler, he isn’t sure he has made the right choice. Yet Green is adamant he has.
“I think Vasari is clearly the better horse and definitely our better chance,” says Green, who is still on track for his best season ever.
“He had his issues with Vasari but has always been a good horse, and now we have gelded him he is right back into it.
“This might be his first standing start, but he has handled the ones I have given him at home well, and he is too good a pacer not to step safely.
“Northview Hustler is a real little pro, typical of the Bettor’s Delights, but I don’t think he is as good as Vasari.”
Butcher, who will win the North Island Driver’s Premiership again, needs a bit more convincing.
“The difference is I am sure Northview Hustler (who will be driven by Andre Poutama) will step up because he did for me last start in the Winter Cup.
“Whereas Vasari I am not sure about, because I haven’t seen him do it.
“So while I am driving Vasari I could have just as easily gone the other way.”
The pair highlight a potentially good night for Green, whose high class juvenile King Of Swing takes on older horses in race six. “We think a lot of him and he is still very much a chance to go to the Breeders Crown in Victoria next month,” says Green.
“He is very big and raw but he has a good motor, so we will see how he goes in his heat next week.” As sharp as King Of Swing has looked, Butcher warns punters tonight poses a tricky test for the juvenile.
“He might be too good for them but against the older horses it is hard to make your own luck, so he is no good thing.”
Green also has impressive workout winner Alta Shangri La in race one while Butcher takes his stable star Sunset Peak to the 1700m mobile trot to finish tonight’s eight race programme.
“She is racing well but the way Yagunnakissmeornot won last week I can’t see us beating her,” says Butcher.
Addington also race tonight, with two legs of the national junior driver’s champs, the remaining two legs to be held at tomorrow’s Forbury Park day meeting, which was transferred from last night because of the weather.
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