| 14.6°C Dublin

Butler: Nothing in stable lad link

John Butler insisted it was just coincidence the same stable lad led Low Key as well as Des Donovan's Indus Valley into the winner's enclosure at Kempton on Wednesday to complete a spectacular four-horse betting coup strongly linked to legendary gambler and former trainer Barney Curley.

All eyes had been on those two horses at the evening fixture after Eye Of The Tiger, also trained by Donovan, who is based at a yard once occupied by Curley, and the former Curley-trained Seven Summits struck at Catterick for Sophie Leech in the afternoon.

While bookmakers were counting the cost of the audacious gamble, Curley's former assistant Butler said he had just been getting on with supervising his horse.

"I suppose a lot of people are trying to put one and one together, but that was purely by coincidence," the Newmarket trainer said.

"I've a small yard and I travelled to the races yesterday by myself and he asked me if I wanted the horse to be led up by him and I said fine.

"As it turned out I actually led the horse up myself because I just know the horse so well. He just brought him into the winner's enclosure afterwards with the sheets. That was basically a coincidence as such, spur of the moment. I didn't think much of it at the time."

Butler explained he was aware of the gamble as the day unfolded.


"From 11 o'clock onwards yesterday my phone was busy and at that stage I was en route to Kempton and I didn't get to see any of the races bar the first that won," he said.

"The horse that won at Catterick and later at Lingfield I didn't see as I was en route on the M25. He (Low Key) won nicely. I must admit I thought Liam Keniry gave him a lovely ride. The visor has definitely made a difference to him and everyone was happy.

"I worked for Barney for three or four years when I came across from Ireland from Aidan O'Brien's. Barney was always very good to me.

"We parted company two and a half years ago when I moved out of his yard to set up on my own. I see Barney around the town. As everyone knows around Newmarket it's a small community.

"I suppose he has semi-retired. I do know he spends a lot of his time in Africa with DAFA (Direct Aid For Africa) which he is the founder of and as far as I know he was in Africa for Christmas.

"He spends the majority of his time in Africa. I couldn't say where he is at the moment. He could even be in Africa this morning."