Joke reaps rewards with Dixie Star's win

David Butcher
David Butcher
A joke between friends paid feature race dividends when Dixie Star won at Ascot Park.

Visiting North Island reinsman David Butcher rated the Stephen Boyd-trained filly to perfection when she won Sunday's $11,400 graduation final.

Dixie Star's part-owner, Richard Bull, jokingly suggested Butcher should head south to drive the two horses he owns who were racing on Sunday.

Butcher's acceptance of that invitation paid off when he controlled the pace and gave Dixie Star all the favours she needed to win in a moderate 2.45.2 time for the 2200m race.

"They had a bit of a joke about it and Richard said to David `I'll fly you down' and that is how he ended up coming,'' Boyd said.

Although she did not burn up the Ascot Park track on Sunday, Dixie Star can run much faster splits.

She proved that when winning a fillies and mares' mile (1609m) at Winton on debut in 1.56.2.

Dixie Star should be able to run even faster in the future as she is still untapped.

"She is probably still around 90% there. There is still a bit of improvement to come.

"She is a typical Bettor's Delight.

"They are tough and she has got that will to win. You can't put that into them.

"And she has got such great manners; she puts herself there to win.''

Sunday's victory virtually assured Dixie Star a starting spot in next month's group 2 Southland Oaks final.

It is likely by then the filly will have had all of her career starts in Southland.

With the rich stakes on offer in the province, there is little reason to race anywhere else, Boyd said.

"We will probably just keep racing her down here, because it is good money.

"Today the race was $12,000. You are not going to get that at Addington and the racing is twice as hard.

"There is a Ladyship super final early next month for $20,000, so that will be a good race for her.''

Robyns Playboy extended his winning-distance range beyond the 2600m of next month's New Zealand Derby when scoring on Sunday.

The Ross Wilson trained 3yr-old claimed the 2700m Autumn Cup when holding out runner-up Vintage Cheddar by a nose.

Robyns Playboy is rated at $41 odds for the New Zealand Derby.


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