Button on the move north.

Published 20 September 2023

Button on the move north.

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In a move that will be beneficial to Rockhampton racing, five times former premier Callaghan Park trainer Tom Buton is to relocate from his current Canungra SEQ base to on-course stables at Bowen.

Button 43, a former champion apprentice jockey commenced his training career in Rockhampton in 2009 and during his 10 years tenure here, he won five consecutive Rockhampton Jockey Club trainers’ premierships. 

In more recent times he and Ryan Tyrell have operated a training partnership based at the luxuriously appointed Fenwick Farm training property at Canungra in the Gold Coast Hinterland. 

Speaking today (Wednesday) from Bowen where he has been based since early July with a team of horses, Button explained that the partnership with Ryan Tyrell will be dissolved as of October 1.

“Yes, it is official now I and my partner Gabby Semmens (apprentice jockey) will make the permanent move to Bowen. I came up here to chase the Winter Racing Carnivals with a team of horses and really like it here (Bowen) ‘’, Tom said. 

He went on to say the training facilities at Ben Bolt Park at Bowen racecourse were ideal and the local race club committee had been most obliging and helpful to him over the last few months.

“They have been most welcoming and are a hard-working committee. Currently, I have about 20 horses training but ideally, I would like to train about 14 or 15. More quality than quantity that I have had in the past”, he said.

Going into more detail to explain the relocation, Button said Bowen was “strategically placed “in relation to the racing centres of Mackay and Townsville.

“It’s about two hours to race at either Mackay or Townsville. It is in the range of Cairns and Rockhampton, but it probably means just taking the horses to both those places the day before. You will definitely see me racing more at Rocky from here on in”, Tom said.

Button has a strong core group of loyal Rockhampton owners who race two of his best performed horses in Jemeldi and Cocobrew Express.

With the latter he won the $87,000 Mackay Magic Millions Whitsunday Guineas (1560m) on July 22.

 Button’s owners also include Australian Bloodstock for whom he won with Spellcatcher at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton on August 29, after a 523km journey from Bowen.

During his stay in Bowen, Button has started 30 horses from July 14 up to and including yesterday (Tuesday) at Mackay recording the good stats of 10 winners and another 10 placings.

He has cast the net wide with victories at Cairns, Townsville, Home Hill, Bowen, Rockhampton and Emerald. 

Tom’s partner Gabby Semmens 25 has also been a prolific race winner figuring in 25 winners since her riding debut at Emerald on April 8.

Furthermore, Semmens has ridden seven winners already this month.

“I have told Gabby she is well ahead of my tally in my first five months of riding as an apprentice when I kicked off”, Button said.

For the record Emerald apprentice jockey Tom Button had his first race ride at the defunct Duaringa racecourse on March 25, 1995, with his first winner being on the late Nelson Ohl trained Nevijaro at Dingo two weeks later.

In other racing news, Ricky Vale Rockhampton trained Cups collector Namazu has drawn barrier nine in Saturday’s $125K Toowoomba Cup (2000m).

At Doomben races earlier today (Tuesday) the Dale Whyte, Rockhampton trained debutant Shootingoffthehand finished sixth of nine in the QTIS 3YO Maiden (1050m).

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