Stayer fit thanks to trainer's keen eye
TERRY Butts intuition is the reason Cairns Cup favourite I Got One is racing in tomorrow's rich feature.
Earlier this year, I Got One – winner of last year’s Cairns Amateurs Cup – was in Brisbane racing when his trainer noticed something was awry.
"I was watching on Sky and I looked at him before the race and I could see that something wasn’t right. He wasn’t a very happy horse,’’ Butts said yesterday.
The veteran trainer had the horse transferred back to Townsville, forgoing the Toowoomba Cup, which had been his main mission.
The cause of I Got One’s discomfort was a shocking discovery – a seedy toe fungus his farrier had discovered in one hoof after I Got One raced in Atherton last September was now present in all four hooves.
"Couldn’t believe it," Butts said.
"The farrier said it was the worst case he had seen."
Had Butts not noticed his horse’s discomfort that December day in Brisbane the infection, which eats away at the horses hoof, would more than likely have gone undetected.
The crew in Brisbane believed they had effectively treated the infection and were prepared to race him in the lead-up to the Toowoomba Cup.
After a full recovery under the supervision of Butts, the champion stayer returned to the track in February and took little time returning to the form that saw him finish runner-up in the Cairns Cup last year. Last month, he won the Magic Mile in Townsville and entered the Townsville Cup as favourite.
A fourth-place finish in that race didn’t tell the full story, Butts said.
"He should have won," he said.
"I’m not going to make excuses, but he should have won. Up here the rest of the field is about the same, so we’ll see if he can do it here." Regardless of what happens tomorrow, Butts has already had a win for the week.
On Thursday, he was informed that I Got One was completely free of the seedy toe fungus.
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Confident: Townsville trainer Terry Butts takes Cairns Cup favourite I Got One for a walk as he prepares for tomorrow’s rich feature race.