Champion harness racing driver David Butcher is due to get his cast off in six weeks time, but says he is still months away from his racetrack return.
“I should hopefully be back in October or before Cup time at the very latest,” said Butcher, who was operated on in February after he ruptured his pectoral muscle in a training accident.
Butcher, who is New Zealand’s fourth most successful driver after Tony Herlihy (MNZM), Maurice McKendry, and Ricky May, with 2,016 career victories to date, said his physio was going well and that he was now up to two hours of exercises per day.
“I do six different exercises for 20 minutes each day,” he explained.
When asked what else Butcher was doing to keep himself entertained, Butcher said that he still wanders down to the stables to watch the horses he trains in partnership with his father, John, work.
“And following the progress of my sons Zac (Butcher) and Ben (Butcher) also keeps me pretty entertained.”
“Zac is going really well at the moment and it was a big thrill to watch him win the Oaks at Addington last week.
“And Ben had a win with Tazzy’s Devil last night, and although he is still learning, he is getting better all the time,” he added.
On Saturday, Butcher will miss driving at the Harness Jewels for the first time ever. However, he is still excited about the 1.2 million-dollar raceday.
“It’s always a great racing spectacle,” said Butcher. “I think the likes of Adore Me and Follow The Stars could win from anywhere,” he said pre-draw. “But for the rest of them the barrier draws and tactics are going to be very crucial.”
By Mitchell Robertson