Emerald Kingdom wins inaugural running of The Archer

The Archer news
Winning slot holder Rob Carr with jockey Ash Butler and trainer Rob Heathcote following Emerald Kingdom’s win in The Archer.

The very first running of The Archer (1300m) went the way of Emerald Kingdom for Brisbane trainer Rob Heathcote at Rockhampton on Saturday.

The seven-year-old was running for Rockhampton businessmen Rob Carr’s slot in the $440,000 feature, while the horse was ridden by the only local hoop in the race, Ash Butler.

Despite race favourite Apache Chase looking home and hosed in the concluding stages, Butler was able to use his first-hand knowledge of the Rockhampton track to lift his mount and nail the favourite on the line.

After box-seating in the run behind runner-up Apache Chase and third-placegetter Dawn Passage, Emerald Kingdom got the run of the race and found clear air inside the final 200m.

Hours after enjoying a career highlight, Butler was attacked at a popular Rockhampton nightclub.

Butler told HorseBetting that he was “king hit” in the toilets, which shattered his jaw in five places, describing the situation as “penthouse to the sh*thouse real quick”.

The popular jockey was flown to Brisbane on Sunday morning for surgery.

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