IT IS not often David Butcher doesn’t have a clear idea of how he expects a race to pan out when he is driving one of the favourites.
But that’s the case ahead of tomorrow’s New Zealand Sires’ Stake Final for three-year-old colts and geldings at Addington.
Butcher will partner King Of Swing for Pukekohe trainer Ray Green and the combination, which was successful in the Australasian Breeders’ Crown last August, have drawn the ace.
Ordinarily drawing one over the 1950-metre sprint is a blessing, but in a race like the Group One, which is packed with talent, that can often not be the case.
A charge of the light brigade off the mobile means a guaranteed early burn for King Of Swing and then Butcher has to decide if he wants to hand up, and if so who to, because he might soon find himself three or even four-back on the markers.
So, he is going out with an open mind.
“I’ll probably just take it as it comes,” Butcher said. “I’ll just get out as good as I can and see what the rest of them are doing.
“There is probably half a dozen that could come out if they want to.
“And it’s impossible trying to work anything out because I have no idea what they’re going to do.”
Butcher believes King Of Swing will be suited by a hard pace and is well-prepared for an equine ‘street fight’.
“The way I expect the race to go, that style will suit him – going hard,” Butcher declared. “I think there are eight in there that are as good as each other.
“Spankem is probably the one to beat, but the question is how much has he improved since his last run?
“Alta Maestro may have the most gate speed and I would expect he’ll come forward too.”