|Take A Moment and Anthony Butt after their 2003 Trotting Championship win in Christchurch
copyright © Race Images Christchurch Ltd
Take A Moment scores an easy win
from Mountain Gold NZ in the 2001 Trotting
Championship, Albion Park.
copyright © Harnesspix
|Take A Moment and Anthony Butt win
the Bill Collins Trotters Mile, Moonee Valley
© Gary Wild and
Harness Racing Victoria
Tim and Anthony
Butt with Take A Moment after winning the 2002 Australian
Trotting Grand Prix, Moonee Valley.
copyright © Gary Wild
A close win to Take A
Moment (on the inside) from Castletons Mission NZ in the 2003
Trotting Championship, Christchurch.
copyright © Race Images
|Take A Moment recorded 1:57.2 at his Geelong
time trial – 24/01/04
© Gary Wild and
Harness Racing Victoria
|Take A Moment parades the 2001 Inter
|Take A Moment (left) and Lyell Creek with Lindsay Kerslake at their new home
photo courtesy NZ Harness Racing Weekly
TROTTING GRAND CHAMPION 2001, 2003 (TR1:57.2)
Burgeoning in the shadow of the mighty Lyell Creek NZ, Take A
Moment, despite displaying a gait conservatively described as
“awkward looking” that belied his strong trotting bloodlines,
rose to become his stable star’s worthy successor.
In a career involving 67 starts from age five to 10, earning
NZ$1,164,356 in the process, the tough gelding included Inter
Dominion Grand Final victories in 2001 in Brisbane and 2003 in
Christchurch among his 39 wins.
Bred in New Zealand by Central Districts enthusiast Andrew
Corkran, and first raced with his nephew Paul Corkran, who
trained him in Canterbury, Take A Moment won them four races
from his first six starts as a late 4-year-old and early
5-year-old. At this point - following an easy victory at
Addingon in September, 2000 - his impending sale to America for
a reported $120,000 was announced.
How fortunate for the Tim Butt stable and nine of his clients -
not to mention the harness racing fans of New Zealand and
Australia - that the transaction fell through.
Butt then secured him for a syndicate comprising Bruce
Greenhalgh, Barry Cotton, Jack O’Donnell, Merv Rodgers, Peter
Barber, Neven Botica, Julie King-Turner, Tom Malcolm and Trevor
Woolley. The group outlaid $120,000 to get the gelded son of
Armbro Invasion USA and Jet d’Emeraude EU mare Nakura (NZ). He
was quick to give them reason to believe that he would turn out
to be a bargain. In his first appearances for his new
connections, in the hands of Tim’s brother Anthony, he won all
three of his starts at the 2000 NZ Cup carnival - the third of
those wins in a New Zealand record.
Taken to Auckland the following month, Take A Moment, despite
racing in the “death seat”, won his Alexandra Park debut,
thereby graduating to open class. Taking a few starts to measure
up to the highest grade, he nevertheless showed enough to earn
his first trip to Australia - with the 2001 Brisbane Inter
Dominion title in his sights.
Things didn’t go all that well on opening night at Albion Park,
where Take A Moment battled into sixth. But three nights later
he showed his true colours, comfortably taking out his heat in
track-record time. It was an effort that prompted Anthony, on
coming in, to assure brother Tim: “Only bad luck will beat him
in the final.”
Safely away from the 20m mark in the Grand Final, Anthony bided
his time in the 3157m grind before giving Take A Moment his head
a mile from home. Working steadily around the opposition, they
were in front 1000m out; after which there were no worries. At
the end he drew away for an easy win and his 2:03.3 mile rate
represented another track record.
The following season, Take A Moment showed his readiness to
tackle the Dominion Handicap with an effortless win in the 3200m
Canterbury Park Trotting Cup at Addington in October.
Queried on Take A Moment’s awkward-looking action when extended,
the trainer explained the gelding suffered from soreness in his
feet, due to white soles, conducive to concussion. And, while he
won nicely off 20m on Cup day at Addington, he had to have a
corn removed from a near-side foot the day after. Three days
later - Show Day - he finished a lack-lustre sixth in the NZ
Trotting Free-for-all, won in record time by Last Sunset NZ.
With only a week until the Dominion Handicap, Take A Moment once
again underlined Tim’s great training skills. Spotting all of
his 12 rivals 10 metres at the start, Take A Moment was blessed
when race favourite Last Sunset NZ broke in front 1200m from
home and knocked out second favourite Mountain Gold NZ, who had
been enjoying the trail. Away from all this trouble, Anthony was
able then to forge around to the front and win comfortably.
The victory, the third on end in the race for the Butt brothers,
moved Tim to shake his head and quip: “I think God had ten each
way on Take A Moment tonight!”
Taken then for the first time to Moonee Valley (December 2001),
Take A Moment disgraced himself by galloping and finishing out
the back in the Bill Collins Mile, won comprehensively by
sensational La Coocaracha. And in the $100,000 Australian
Trotting Grand Prix there a week later, though driven to
perfection in the 1-1 by Anthony, he was no match for that
champion Victorian mare but was a good second.
Soon after, back at Auckland, Take A Moment was beaten a
half-length by Major Decision (NZ) in national record time in
the NZ National Trot. Two nights later, at Cambridge Raceway, he
turned the tables on that rival, edging him out in a swift
Another three weeks on, Take A Moment was back at Moonee Valley,
where, with a second and a win going into the $100,000
Australasian Trotting Championship on February 9, he again
played second-fiddle to La Coocaracha. Sharing the 30m back mark
with her, he chased her in, some 20 metres in arrears. Coming in
Anthony remarked: “I thought my drive was one of my best in a
big race, and that Take A Moment was at least as good as when he
won the Inter Final, but she made him look second-rate.”
His 2002 Inter Dominion campaign was unsuccessful, but after a
well-earned respite, Take A Moment waltzed away with the Ordeal
Cup at Addington in September. A memorable occasion, it gave
Anthony career win number 1000.
Excellent form followed, leading up to the 2002 NZ Cup carnival,
where after an easy win in NZ Trotting Free-for-all on Show Day,
they gave everybody a 10m start in the Dominion Handicap and in
an epic finish hit the wire in a dead-heat with crack Auckland
mare Martina H NZ.
Take A Moment then won the Bill Collins Mile at Moonee Valley, unextended
in a track-record 1:57.7. A week later there, annexing the
Australian Trotting Grand Prix in a 1:59.8 rate over the 2750
metres, he became the first trotter in the Southern Hemisphere
to break the 2min barrier for a race longer than 2400m.
Back to Kiwiland, Take A Moment won features at Auckland at
Christmas and Cambridge at New Year 2003, then freshened for his
third Inter Dominion attempt in Christchurch. Invincible form
through the three heats saw him start at prohibitive odds for
the Grand Final. This he justified, but only by a nose, after he
and his runner-up Castletons Mission NZ, stormed home from the
rear in the final section to provide a grandstand finish.
In Auckland’s Rowe Cup, giving the others 15m start, he had to
work wide and hard without cover to lead the last lap. He then
got lucky as his challenging runner-up Martina H NZ was
distracted, shied and lost momentum, losing to her arch rival by
Only twice beaten in his 16 starts as a 7-year-old, Take A
Moment resumed at 8 in the same devastating form. Again he won
the NZ Free-for-all (streeting his opposition), and he then
capped a spectacular career by winning his third successive
Dominion Handicap. His 17th successive win, it gave him
millionaire status and Tim and Anthony Butt a remarkable sixth
straight win in NZ’s premier trotting event. Plans were tabled
at this stage for him to head to Europe the following April with
a crack at the Elitlopp in view.
In the interim, Take A Moment won his second Bill Collins Mile
(December 2003) – his 18th consecutive win in a 14 month period!
Then, in his final Australian race appearance, he was a battling
third after racing in ”the death” in the Australian Trotting
Grand Prix as star Victorian trotting mare Sumthingaboutmaori
A 4-length win in the National Trot in Auckland a week later saw
Take A Moment accept an invitation to Geelong on January 24.
Time-trialing against Scotch Notch’s Australian time-trial
record of 1:55.6, he managed only 1:57.2. It transpired that he
had strained a branch of his off-hind suspensory, and plans to
race in the upcoming 2004 Melbourne Inter Dominions and then go
to Europe were abandoned.
Take A Moment was not seen in action again until the 2005
Auckland Inter Dominions. Failing to pay a dividend, it seemed
age and the rigours of racing had finally caught up with him.
Back in Canterbury, however, Take A Moment notched the 39th win
of his career under preferential-draw conditions at Addington
that May. Fifth, given every chance, in the Ordeal Cup at
Addington the following September was the final race appearance
of his wonderful career. In October, 2005, his retirement was
Known as “Flash”, Take A Moment raced in Tim Butt's colours of maroon and cream diagonal stripes with cream sleeves. He still has on the Inter Dominion record books his 2:01.8 mile rate for 2600m and 2:03.2 for 3100m, both achieved at Albion Park in 2001. He began retirement sharing a paddock with Lyell Creek NZ on Anthony's farm at Templeton, a mere half-mile from where they trained at Tim's stables. Anthony and Karen's 12-year-old daughter Kimberley broke the pair to saddle - so they were ridden around the farm occasionally – and loved it.
In late 2008, the two popular middle-aged millionaire standardbreds moved to Lindsay Kerslake's property – making it easier for interested enthusiasts to visit and reminisce about their combined 95 winning performances.
won by take a moment nz
|Inter Dominion Championship Trotters Grand Final
|Dominion Trotter Handicap
||2001, 2002, 2003
|NZ Trotting Championship
|NZ National Trot
|NZ Trotting Free-for-all
|Bill Collins Mile
|Australian Trotting Grand Prix
|NZ Harness Horse of the Year
|NZ Trotter of the Year
|Australasian Trotters Grand Circuit Champion
2003 Trotting Final|
Race footage copyright © NZ Trackside Tape Sales
||2001 Trotting Final
Race footage courtesy Albion Park Harness Racing Club
Pedigree - Take A Moment NZ