If you ask any big all weather fans or regular Southwell racegoers what happened at the meeting on the 6th March 2014, they will tell you that this was the day that China Castle lost his record for most all weather wins to Stand Guard, who won for the 26th time on a synthetic surface for Tom Queally and John Butler.
This was his sixth win on the Fibresand at Southwell, to go alongside his four wins at Kempton, twelve wins at Wolverhampton and four wins at Lingfield, showing his versatility across a range of different tracks and their individual characteristics. In his twenty six wins, he has beaten a grand total of 152 horses in the process, and he is a real credit to the small operation that John Butler operates in Newmarket as he keeps this ten year old happy and sound. In terms of the jockeys who have ridden him to those victories, Adam Kirby is the winning most rider with ten successes aboard this son of Danehill, with Tom Queally on five and then the now retired Ian Mongan on three, which were his first three wins at Kempton Park.
He hasn’t always been with John Butler either, starting his career with the great Sir Michael Stoute running in the Khalid Abdulla silks (now known by most as “Frankel’s colours”), but the master trainer couldn’t win with him so sold him to Derek Shaw, who also couldn’t win with him. But the move to Paul Howling certainly worked, and he recorded seven victories there over a two and a half year period before moving to Jane Chapple-Hyam for a Wolverhampton win, and then Michael Squance for another win. Noel Quinlan was next to take care of Stand Guard in July 2011 and up until 11th Feb 2012, they teamed up for two more victories but John Butler has definitely got the best out of him with fifteen victories in the space of a smidgen over two years, which is a great achievement with an ageing horse, whatever the grade.