Four-horse race smash at Cambridge

By Michael Guerin

The industry received its second major on-track shock of the New Year with a four-horse race smash at Cambridge yesterday but it could have been so much worse.

Four drivers were dislodged and three horses fell when the leader galloped into the first bend and those behind it were unable to avoid it soon after the start of race eight.

The resulting check caused Afortunado (Jay Abernethy) to fall to the track and into the path of Mach Little Soaky (Matthew White), Comic Book Hero (Todd MacFarlane) and Racketeers Boy (David Butcher).

Butcher and Abernethy were initially able to walk away from the incident but MacFarlane and White both lay on the track for a few minutes before being able to walk to one of the three ambulances which attended the scene.

“All four have been taken to hospital,” confirmed stipendiary steward John Muirhead.

 “They are all conscious and able to walk but Todd MacFarlane has a suspected arm injury and possible concussion, Matthew White has grazing and will be checked for concussion, Jay Abernethy a possible wrist injury and David Butcher appears to only have bruising.”

The race was abandoned but the remaining two races on the card were able to held, albeit delayed.

The smash came three days after Ricky May stunned the racing industry when collapsing in the sulky when driving leader A G’s White Socks in the Central Otago Cup at Omakau.

May was flown to Dunedin Hospital but has so far made a remarkable recovery and was yesterday able to sit up in a chair in his hospital room and talk to his family, with his memory of the race day starting to return.

“We was even back to one of old vices, eating chocolate, which is a really good sign,” said close friend Laurence Hanrahan.

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