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  • John Curtis


FRIDAY: December 3, 2021: HAWKESBURY trainer Peter Green has provided an important lead as he attempts to qualify Butch‘N’Bugs on home ground on Sunday for a second Sky Racing Provincial Summer Series Final.

Whilst Butch‘N’Bugs is currently a $26 chance with, he will start at shorter odds with the likelihood of a number of scratchings of more fancied rivals, Green considers his gelding a definite chance of causing an upset.

“Butch‘N’Bugs ran third to Spanish Point (subsequently runner-up to stablemate Itz Lily in last season’s Final at Wyong) in the opening heat at Hawkesbury just over 12 months ago,” Green said this morning.

“And I believe he is going better this time.

“Butch‘N’Bugs races well on his home track and, after winning there on October 26, didn’t have the best of luck at his last run.

“He ran seventh to This’llbetheone, and was beaten less than two lengths.”

RacingNSW stewards reported Butch‘N’Bugs had some difficulty obtaining clear running approaching and passing the 200m in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1500m).

Causing another upset would be nothing new to Butch’N’Bugs, who was also a $26 chance when he rolled over $1.18 hotpot Depiction in that October 26 race.

Green welcomes back Grant Buckley, who has partnered Butch’ N’ Bugs in nine of his 22 races.

“Bucko knows the horse well, and I’m sure he will give him every chance,” he said.

An experienced horseman who earlier trained and drove standardbreds and also worked as a harness racing steward, Green has trained 14 winners since setting up at Hawkesbury five years ago.

Butch’N’Bugs carries the nicknames of both Green (Bugs) and his racing manager brother Clint (Butch), and has been a terrific advertisement for the stable.

A $3000 bargain buy at the 2018 Inglis Scone yearling sale, he has now earned almost $90,000 for his owners.

Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, seeking to bolster his hand to chase a third consecutive Summer Provincial Series Final, has settled on Juventus (Jason Collett) and Toomai (apprentice Dylan Gibbons) as his two representatives on Sunday.

He also accepted with Safado, but has opted to start him on the Kensington track later today.

Lees, who won the last two series with Occupy (Gosford) and Itz Lily (Wyong), has already qualified recent winners Darleb and Grande Rumore for the $150,000 Final (1600m) on his home track on December 18.

“Juventus has come on nicely since his first-up run over 1200m at Port Macquarie and is better suited at 1400m,” Lees said.

“He has won and been placed three times second-up, and looks really well placed given his two city wins and numerous placings.”

Recent acquisition Toomai scored at double figure odds at Newcastle on November 23 at her second start for her new stable, and Lees said the victory wasn’t altogether a surprise.

“She beat Colette (both dual Group 1 and Golden Eagle winner) in a 1350m Maiden on the Beaumont track two years ago,” he said.

Fellow Newcastle trainer Jason Deamer is likely to miss Sunday’s heat with current second favorite Awesome Lad, preferring at this stage to run him at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow in the Midway Handicap (1300m), even though he has drawn poorly.

“Even if I went to Hawkesbury and qualified him, I feel he would struggle with the 1600m of the Summer Final,” Deamer said.

Whilst Newcastle pair Safado and Awesome Lad are absentees, Hawkesbury-trained Lemaire and Sanctioned are ready to line up on Sunday.

Trainer Jackie Greentree has swerved today’s Kensington meeting with former Godolphin horse Sanctioned, and booked apprentice Ellen Hennessy for him.

Co-trainers Philippe and Tara Vigouroux have not declared a rider for Lemaire in tomorrow’s Midway Handicap at Rosehill, where he drew awkwardly, but have booked Regan Bayliss for Sunday’s assignment.

Kembla Grange trainer Theresa Bateup hasn’t had a runner in any of the first three heats, but has a great chance of immediately securing a Final runner with Sunday’s favorite Divine Breath (apprentice Tyler Schiller), an impressive winner of the Midway Handicap (1400m) from a wide alley at the Kembla Grange metropolitan meeting on November 20.

. Hawkesbury improved to a “Soft 6” rating this morning, and the rail is in the TRUE position.

. Paul Joice’s selections are:

RACE 1: ROCK CHANT, Glacier Queen, Ilzoomya.

RACE 2: ITALIAN INFORMANT, Ribeauville, Hundred Proof.

RACE 3: ARAMIS, Elarski, Rock The Bells.

RACE 4: SANDASTAN, Sebrossa, Credit Crunch.

RACE 5: GLAMOUR AND GLORY, Embeller, Colonel.

RACE 6: AWESOME LAD, Divine Breath, Toomai.

RACE 7: DUTY, Irish Kisses, Sidereal.


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