Butch James claims the grey Bruce Almighty (obscured) and Royal Jazz. www.raceimages.co.nz
It was a happy day for trainer Adrian Bull and the Bull family at Awapuni on Saturday when Butch James (8 B. G. Volksraad – Gillygate, by Grosvenor) improved on his third in the race previously to claim honours in the $45,000, Listed, Stockguard Feilding Gold Cup over 2100-metres.
The Bull family name has been synonymous with horse racing in the Rangitikei District for a couple of generations and to claim a local cup race was a special thrill.
In 2008 Butch James had finished third to Jonbalena (Lord Ballina) and the win provided the gentlemanly galloper with his third cup win in addition to the Wanganui Cup and Woodville-Pahiatua Cup.
In the process of winning Butch James had to wear down in the straight the provincial cups specialist Bruce Almighty (Deputy Governor), who boasts a tally of six cups, and he did so after racing in a handy position on the outer for his usual pilot Robert Hannam.
He scored by a half-head from Bruce Almighty with a long-neck to third placed Royal Jazz (Postponed) who was one of three with a great chance of winning inside the final furlong.
Butch James had given plenty to win two starts ago on Ormond Classic Day at Hastings while his subsequent run for fourth to Beau Dane (Danelove) at Wanganui was noteworthy and he returned his supporters a handsome dividend of $8.00 & $2.30 when clocking 2:09.44 for the 2100-metres on good ground.
Despite doing his fast work on the Awapuni track it was the first time he had recorded a win on the course in thirteen starts.
Seemingly getting better with age Butch James has been patiently handled throughout his career, which commenced back in 2005, and he took his earnings to $228,000 with the victory.
His dam Gillygate is an unraced full-sister to impressive winning race-mare and handy producer Limerick, the dam of useful performers Wishing (Montjeu) and Gallant (Volksraad).