Skip to main content
Cluden Park
Kerry Has Good Cause To Be Excited

Kerry Has Good Cause To Be Excited

30th May 2022 | By Tony Wode

Training debutante Kerry Donnelly has worked for some of the best in the business, but tomorrow she’ll do it all for herself when she saddles up the promising Proximate Cause at Cluden Park.

Donnelly has racked up decades of experience as a track work rider for the likes of Bruce McLachlan and Barry Miller and for the past 20 years for the Terry Butts’ stables in Townsville.

The hard-working horse woman is excited about entering the training ranks with her first starter, Proximate Cause, a horse she has already helped guide to three wins from four starts in the North.

Donnelly takes over the training of the son of More Than Ready from her good friend Butts who has suffered from ill-health for the past year.

The speedy gelding is having his first run since December and is a leading hope in 2yo Classic 11 June Cl3 Plate (1000m) despite a horror draw.

“His work has been great and I was giggling until he drew 16,” Donnelly said.

“It’ll be a big day with my first starter and I couldn’t be happier with him despite the draw.

“The first 100m will be important and it’ll be up to Graham (Kliese) to figure it out.

“Graham knows the horse really well and he’s a very good rider.”

A respected track work rider with McLachlan, Miller and Colin and Pam O’Neill, Donnelly left the industry for almost 12 years.

She returned to work riding after a stint in the Army brought her to Townsville in the early 2000s.

Donnelly teamed with Terry and Kathy Butts and has helped put the polish on a number of good gallopers for the stable over the past 20 years.

“I’ve been exclusively with Terry during that time. It’s a hobby for me that fits in well with my work as an admin officer at the prison,” Donnelly said.

“Terry can’t do it anymore, so we decided I’d take out a license.

“I only have the one in work - we might take on another one, but no more than that. It means we can focus on personal attention and keep it relaxed.”

Proximate Cause has thrived in Townsville since coming north from the James Cummings stable last year, winning two races in Townsville and another in Mackay.

“I’ve ridden Proximate Cause in just about all of his work from day 1 and he’s a beautiful horse. He can be a bit cheeky, but he’s lovely to handle.

“He’s shown that he doesn’t have to lead. This time we’ll try not to fire him up too much and see if we can get him out over a bit of ground.

“The horse has always shown he’s got a ton of ability and it would be nice to tackle a couple of the big races over the carnival. But he’s got a way to go to get there.”

The nine-event Cluden program kicks off with the C.U.B. Maiden Plate (1400m) at 11.45am and winds up with the Class 6 Hcp (1200m) at 4.45pm.

Pictured: Proximate Cause (inside), with regular rider Graham Kliese aboard, fends off Starfilly to win at Cluden in December.

See the racing calendar for upcoming race day