Dexter Dunn and Tim Butt with Let It Ride after their Blacks A Fake triumph. Photo: Dan Costello.
The ascension is complete.
Kiwi part-owned and trained pacer Let It Ride confirmed his elevation to the highest level with a comprehensive Grand Circuit win in the A$200,000 Black A Fake Championship at Albion Park on Saturday night.
Champion New Zealand reinsman Dexter Dunn, struck down by a gastric bug at Addington just 24 hours earlier, was in the cart for the win.
For trainer Tim Butt, it confirmed what he always knew about the son of Rock N Roll Heaven, who has won six in a row since a disappointing Auckland campaign in April.
“I was really happy with the way he worked during the week.
“You never know until the race, but I felt like he was in the zone and ready to go a big race.
“Atomic Red was the favourite and we have had his measure recently, so that also gave me some confidence.”
It was a heady drive from Dunn, who went forward early in the 2680-metre feature before taking a trail behind the race favourite and Steve Turnball.
Dunn pushed the go button at the top of the straight and Let It Ride cleared out to win by an ever-increasing 13 metres at the line.
Butt thinks the trip back to New Zealand, while unsuccessful, was key to the horse’s development.
“The trip has made him, for sure. He hasn’t been beaten since.”
Butt threw out a call to Dunn to take a race drive for him on either Let It Ride or My Field Marshal when his regular Sydney hoop Chris Geary committed to Cruz Bromac.
His brother Anthony stuck with My Field Marshal and Butt was more than happy to have Dunn for his up-and-comer.
“Dexter had driven him four times before for four wins.
“In these big races you need the best; you can’t leave any stone unturned.”
Butt has big plans for Let It Ride next season, and they start with the Melbourne Inter Dominion Series in December.
“He’s off for a spell now and then we’ll bring him up for the Interdoms.
“I can’t see why he won’t handle a lot of racing in a short time – he’s had three races in the last four weeks and just gotten better and better.”
One who won’t be there is My Field Marshal, who will head for a longer spell after a disappointing performance that saw him finish ninth.
“He’s had a long season and a few hard runs and I think it’s caught up to him.
“He’s always vulnerable after those wind operations he had, but he’s in good health and pulled up well; he’s just ready for a break.”
Butt says the Victoria Cup, New Zealand Cup and Inter Dominions are all firmly off the menu for his Miracle Mile winner.
“He’ll have a bit longer out and we’ll get him back up for Christmas time, then can basically start a fresh in the new year.”
Butt is less than a year in to his Australian sojourn, one which saw him take the big step of relocating his entire family last spring.
It’s been an inspired move, the two aforementioned horses headlining what has been an incredible season approaching $1 Million in stakes from a team that started with just 12 horses.
“It was a big risk, and a big challenge, but it’s worked out pretty good so far.
“We haven’t rested on our laurels; we’ve worked pretty hard and created a lot of business opportunities.
“We came with 10 or 12 and now have 30 on the books, so it’s exciting times looking ahead.”