JOEL Butterfield has wanted to be part of his uncle’s memorial race as long as he can remember.
Now, in the week he’s become a father for the first time, Butterfield will get his chance when he drives Superstar Glowie in the Glenn Tomlin Memorial at Newcastle International Paceway on Saturday night.
Superstar Glowie, second in the heats last week, is the first runner Glenn Tomlin’s father and Butterfield’s grandfather, Bill Tomlin, has trained into the final. Glenn Tomlin died in a training track accident 20 years ago.
Newcastle premiership leader Mark Callaghan drove Superstar Glowie last week but has taken the sit on heat winner Pumpniron for the decider, opening the door for Butterfield to take the reins.
“It was a bit of a surprise but pretty awesome,” said Butterfield, who inherited Glenn Tomlin’s driving colours. “I’ve wanted to be in it since I was a little kid.”
Butterfield, who lives at Aberglasslyn, trains four pacers at his grandfather’s Lochinvar property and all will race on Saturday night.
It will cap a memorable week for Butterfield, who welcomed daughter, Jaide, into the world on Wednesday.
“It will be the first time four generations will be there for the Tomlin night, there will be a runner in the race for Pop and I’ll be driving it, so it will be a big night,” he said.
“I’ve only got four in work and I tried to line them all up so they would be racing on Saturday night.”
He said A Day With Me in race two was “starting to hit his stride and ran a nice second last week”, Shandrara Shannon was first back from a spell in race four, Tee Cee Rain was having his first run for the stable in the 10th and Pocket The Shilling in the first was “just a little old warhorse of the stable and she likes to race”.
Superstar Glowie will be a long-shot but Butterfield believed she could surprise from gate two.
“I trained her for a bit for him going back 18 months ago and she can try to put it over you, she can be a bit funny but she’s got the ability,” he said. “Hopefully she’s not in a mood, and I’m sure as hell I won’t let her be in one. I definitely think you can’t write her off. She’s been going really well and knocking on the door. She’s had six starts back and only been out of the top three twice.”
Bill Tomlin said Superstar Glowie was “not an easy horse to drive” but was “fighting fit”.
“I went to lead her into work this morning and she tried to bite me,” he laughed.
At Menangle on Saturday night, Louth Park trainer Darren Elder’s First Fleeter and Salt Ash trainer Neil Thompson’s Franco Storm will race in the group 2 NSW Breeders Challenge Blue for 2YO colts and geldings.
At Albion Park, Keinbah trainer Roy Roots jnr’s My Chachingchaching will take on a star-studded field in the group 1 Blacks A Fake.