• Cullen Racing Stables

Butcher steers catch drive to victory

By Michael Guerin - HRNZ/NZ Herald


Photo: Bettor Twist after her feature win - From Alexandra Park Facebook/Race Images

Zachary Butcher drove back to back group one winners at Alexandra Park on Friday night but can’t help feeling he was gifted the first one.

The outstanding young reinsman captured the $125,000 Pascoes Northern Oaks with hot favourite Bettor Twist.

Butcher only secured the Bettor Twist drive after first Tim Williams then Mark Purdon weren’t allowed to drive her because of Level 3 restrictions, handing the reins on a red hot Oaks favourite to Butcher.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got the call, you don’t get handed group one favourites like that to drive very often."

“So I was stoked and I think I owe a few boys a box of beers… Hayden, Tim and Mark.”

Butcher said while the race went as predicted with Bettor Twist getting the lead he feared starting the last 800m he might have gone too slow.

“She is quite deceptive and only does what she has to and I actually would have preferred something having a look at her.

“But she had a bit left and she is a very good filly.”

The win emulated what Bettor Twist’s dam Twist N Twirl has done winning the Oaks and set her up for potentially a huge group one double with King Of Swing favourite for Saturday night’s Miracle Mile at Menangle.


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