Media Release: NSWHRC
Defending champion driver Anthony Butt says one of his greatest foes could become his secret weapon as he defends his Inter Dominion title with Mr Feelgood on Sunday.
Last year’s winners on the Gold Coast heads into the $1 million WATPAC final at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, facing another potentially horror draw at barrier nine.
That is nothing new for Mr Feelgood, who was written off by many after drawing the second line draw last year, only for Butt to produce an inch-perfect drive to deny Blacks A Fake his Interdom fourth title on end.
Butt knows he will need the cards to fall his way on Sunday if he is to repeat last year’s victory but he believes he and Mr Feelgood have allies – in long-time rivals Lance Justice and Smoken Up.
Smoken Up has drawn barrier 10 and like Mr Feelgood may have little option but to retreat at the start of the 2300m event and attack later.
“If Lance does that, and I am thinking he probably will, then we might get a cart into the race on his back,” says Butt.
“And that would be a good place to be. I think there could be a fair bit of speed early, with Washakie eventually holding the lead.
“So there isn’t much point most of us out wide getting involved early when we can make one long move mid-race.
“If that happens then I think the race might be a bit more even then people think and we have a show.”
Butt was thrilled with how Mr Feelgood fought on for second after setting up a track record for Blacks A Fake at Newcastle last Saturday night.
“That is not the ideal way to drive him but I knew I needed points to make the final so we couldn’t afford to be unlucky.
“But he actually fought on really well and he is racing as good now as when he won the final last season.
“We just have to hope for the same type of mid-race pressure.”
Butt rates Monkey King the horse to beat on Sunday but says the gap between the favourites and the outsiders is smaller than many people realise.
“What about a horse like Our Awesome Armbro? He could be doing no work in the trail and that is a huge advantage at this level.
“I think the great thing about this year’s final is the horses are all going in there in form and there won’t be drivers going out there thinking they have no hope.
“So it should be a beauty. While Monkey King is the horse to beat but when you look back to his Miracle Mile win in November he had the perfect run and only just got there.
“That proves how tough it is to win these big races.”
Mr Feelgood has come in for some support at long odds since Monday night’s barrier draw, as has Hunter Cup winner Bondy.
That has seen Monkey King out to $2.50 with TAB Sportsbet while Washakie has drifted from $3.80 to $4.
The final of the $1 million WATPAC Inter Dominion for 2010 will be run at 5pm Sunday March 7.