ASTUTE Bathurst trainer John Buttsworth is optimistic his lightly raced youngster Millionaire Max can continue the flying start to his career in Sunday’s Ladbrokes Temora GBOTA Cup.
Millionaire Max, a February ’16 son of Oaks Road and Sad Movies, bred and raced by Buttsworth and wife Irene, has won seven of his ten starts, including a record-breaking victory at Temora the week prior to last Saturday’s Cup heats.
At just his ninth start, Millionaire Max smashed Temora’s 457m record when clocking a scintillating 25.61, shaving almost three-tenths of a second off All Too Fancy’s previous benchmark of 25.90 established during the 2015 Cup Carnival.
“He’s only just turned two but he’s a good chasing dog and he’s doing everything right so far,” John Buttsworth said.
“From the first time I trialled him I knew he was something special. He won his first two starts at Temora and Richmond, but he had a couple of little problems. He had a testicle up in his groin and he also had a spare rib.
“He put in an ordinary run one night, so Matt Kwong (veterinary surgeon) at Richmond took out the testicle and rib, which was more of a problem. He had six to eight weeks off and since coming back he’s had six starts for five wins and an unlucky third.
“He won his maiden at Temora and the Cup was a set plan. They held a prelude the week before the heats and before the meeting it was 40 degrees but then there was a horrible big storm and the track got drenched. The broadcaster said to me that your dog will equal the record because the track will be fast. But he took three-tenths off the record and he didn’t lead either. It was unbelievable.
“In his two previous wins at Bathurst he was only five-hundredths off Marbo’s Magic’s 450m record and Marbo’s Magic won the Maitland Cup.”
After his record-breaking heroics Millionaire Max returned to Temora last Saturday for the heats of the $10,000 to-the-winner Cup, where he dominated betting on the third of five run-offs, starting at $1.50 from box six.
Millionaire Max was untroubled in extending his winning streak to four, defeating Victorian Scott Pizzazz by 3.5 lengths in 26.06, easily the fastest qualifying performance, with the other heats won by Corleone Kid (26.20), Nitro Blast (26.20), Wighton (26.25) and Hammer Head (26.44).
“I want the eight in the final and I also want the eight with his litter brother, Oscar Winner, in the Consolation!” Buttsworth quipped.
“Oscar Winner ran third in his heat. There’s only about three lengths between them but Oscar Winner is a horrible wide runner and can’t begin.
“Millionaire Max has won out of the one at Bathurst but he’s not a brilliant beginner – he takes a few strides to get going – and he uses a little bit of the track, so I’d be very happy to draw box eight.
“He’s giving away a lot of age and experience but if he gets a bit of luck he’ll be the dog running home.
“I’ve had a lot of handy dogs – I ran second in the Young Star Classic in the late ’70s and won the Western Districts Cup during the Golden Easter Egg Carnival four years ago with Lochinvar Jag, but I’ve never had a dog in the Temora Cup before.”
Temora Cup glory isn’t the only celebration looming for Buttsworth, with Millionaire Max’s mother Sad Movies, a city-winning daughter of Hallucinate and Stolen Moments, due to whelp to Fernando Bale in three weeks.
“I’ve bred four litters with Sad Movies and she’s thrown handy dogs in each litter, she’s had city winners and record holders,” Buttsworth explained.
“She’s nine years old now but they let me breed another litter with her. You’d think she was a five-year-old the way she gets around!”