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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SUNDAY: August 27, 2023: PETER Green’s “bread and butter horse” Butch’N’Bugs signed off in the best possible manner with a last to first victory at Kembla Grange yesterday.

The seven-year-old gelding, who has won at least one race every year since 2020, was on his way to a new stable in Queensland today.

Butch’N’Bugs hasn’t been sold, but will do his future racing with Gold Coast trainer Joel Pengilly.

“We have known each other since our harness racing days, and I feel Butch’N’Bugs will do well there with Joel,” Green said this morning.

“He is already on a float heading north. We had made a decision to send him to Queensland even before he won yesterday.”

Butch’N’Bugs, named after Hawkesbury trainer Peter (nicknamed Bugs) and his racing manager brother Clint (Butch), fetched only $3000 when purchased at the 2019 Inglis Scone yearling sale.

His win yesterday in the Conditional Open Handicap (1400m) was the fifth of his career (he has also been placed 12 times) and took his earnings to just over $175,000, including a BOBS bonus.

“He has popped up every time we have needed him to,” Green said.

“Butch’N’Bugs was one of the first horses we bought at a sale when I took up training thoroughbreds, and been a terrific horse for the stable.”

Green praised Louise Day, who has partnered the gelding in his last three wins, for her ride yesterday.

“Butch’N’Bugs has to be ridden patiently, revved up from the 600m and then likes to get to the outside in the straight,” he explained.

“Louise knows the horse well, and rode him perfectly.”

Butch’N’Bugs ($21) was severely crowded for room soon after jumping, and lost ground and as a result was a clear last at the 800m.

Day started to get him going from the 600m, and he was clearly the widest runner on the home turn.

Butch’N’Bugs made his run with third placegetter Napoleon Solo ($5), and sustained a determined burst to snatch victory from Free State ($6.50) in the shadows of the post.

The gelding’s Kembla win was the 11th for Hawkesbury trainers in the first month of the new racing season, and Brad Widdup made it a dozen when Sacred Girl scored at Wyong today.

. Widdup’s victory with Sacred Girl ($11) in the Provincial Maiden Plate (1600m) has put him within one win of a career 300.

Jockey Jean Van Overmeire continued his flying start to the new season, winning his 16th race this month.

He had Sacred Girl away smartly, then took a sit behind fellow Hawkesbury representative, Fabio Martino’s well-backed $2.35 favorite Mr Papera.

She edged out Mr Papera in the closing stages, a victory which delighted her trainer.

“I’m pleased to win for James Moss’ Tricolours Racing & Syndications and her many syndicate owners,” Widdup said.

Sacred Girl, a lightly-raced four-year-old daughter of dual Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls, was having only her fourth start since joining Widdup’s team.

She had trialled five times without racing for a leading stable before Tricolours Racing and Syndications transferred her to Hawkesbury earlier this year.

“Sacred Girl has been a bit laidback in her races, and I tried blinkers but they didn’t work,” Widdup said.

“So we put a shadow roll on her instead today, and were able to ride her more positively.

“It wasn’t the strongest Maiden, but nonetheless good to get a breakthrough with her.”

Widdup also was pleased with stablemate Mr Bond’s close second in the Benchmark 68 Handicap (2100m).

The now seven-year-old conceded 2kg to winner Frank Express, a son of unbeaten English champion Frankel.

“I’ve been waiting to get Mr Bond out to a distance, and he ran well,” Widdup said.

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