Trio of drivers injured after nasty Cambridge smash

By Garrick Knight

The fall-out from a horror crash at Cambridge yesterday will see three senior North Island drivers on the sidelines for a couple of months.

The incident saw race 8 abandoned soon after the start when Afortunado (Jay Abernethy) couldn’t avoid a galloping Ima Denny Too (Tony Cameron) and fell to the track.

A chain reaction saw Comic Book Hero (Todd MacFarlane) and Racketeers Boy (David Butcher) also fall while Matty White was flung viciously from the sulky of Machs Little Soaky.

Butcher came out of the crash effectively unscathed apart from some bruising and sore ribs but MacFarlane, White and Abernethy all have significant injuries.

Matty White remains in Waikato Hospital having suffered a brain bleed and will have further scans and x-rays on his hip and pelvis this morning.

“He’s ok at the moment; he’s awake and alert,” said his wife, Brigette Solomon.

“He does have a minor brain bleed though; it’s called a petechial haemorrhage.

“He is also displaying really severe concussion symptoms too, repeating himself a lot.

“They x-rayed his hip and shoulders last night which came back clear but they’ll do more scans today because he is still getting a lot of pain on his right side.”

Todd MacFarlane is also in Waikato Hospital, his worst injury at this stage appearing to be a badly broken wrist.

“I spoke to Todd late last night, around midnight, and he said that he had broken and dislocated his wrist,” said good friend, Jeff Darby.

“They were looking at whether he needed surgery on it today.

“He had a scan on his head and neck which came back with positive results and they’re pretty happy with that.

“He also had a concussion and his memory of the race was a bit sketchy.”

Jay Abernethy left Waikato Hospital at midnight and was at his doctor’s office first thing this morning.

“I’ve broken my wrist. They nerve-blocked my arm to put it back in to place and put a cast on it.

“I’m just getting my shoulder checked out this morning because that feels sorer than the wrist but I think it’s just badly bruised.”

David Butcher considered himself fairly lucky given what happened to his colleagues.

“I’m alright; I haven’t broken anything.

“Just bruising. I had x-rays done last night and they were all good.

“I’ve talked to (Stipendiary Steward) Steve Mulcay and told him I’ll just be taking it easy for a couple of days but should be fine to drive later in the week.”

All four horses escaped relatively unscathed with only minor grazes and cuts reported, Racketeers Boy the only one requiring attention from the on-course vet, for a shoulder laceration.

A stewards enquiry deemed no one driver was to blame for the event.


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