Butcher family rivalry heats up

David Butcher is the current leader of the North Island driver premiership. Photo: Trish Dunell
David Butcher is the current leader of the North Island driver premiership. Photo: Trish Dunell

The rivalry between Waikato reinsman David Butcher and his sons Zachary and Benjamin is heating up with just two months remaining in the current season.

Butcher is currently the leading North Island driver with 44 wins to his name this term, with Zachary trailing by just two wins, with Benjamin also having a strong season with a tally of 32 wins to date.

While Butcher has been pleased with the way the season is going, he said he will have his work cut out for him in order to retain his lead.

“They might head me off by the time we get to the end of the season,” Butcher said.

“Zac is only two behind, so it will be interesting. There’s always a fair bit of rivalry between us.”

Butcher has enjoyed a good season in the cart, but he has also appreciated training his small team, particularly over the COVID-19 enforced lockdown period.

He was able to keep a few of his team ticking over on his 20 acre private training property, which enabled him to have a five-strong team compete at the North Island’s resuming race meeting at Cambridge last week.

“We just kept ticking over during lockdown, nothing really changed,” Butcher said.

“We have got 20 acres and we had about eight in work.”

Butcher had a handful of horses at the Cambridge workouts on Saturday, but said a number of those will likely head for a spell in the coming weeks.

“I had a couple of young ones being educated, they will probably go out after a couple of weeks and then I have five racehorses, and the two maidens will probably go out in a couple of weeks as well,” he said.

“So just the old boys will be hanging in.”

Looking ahead to the new season, Butcher said he is looking forward to getting back behind the Steve Telfer-trained Triple Eight.

The Group Three winner is likely to be set on a Gr.1 New Zealand Cup (3200m) path, a race Butcher won behind Changeover in 2008.

“With the lockdown, all the good ones are out at the moment,” Butcher said. “But I am looking forward to getting back driving Triple Eight.

“I don’t know where he is at, but he might be heading to the New Zealand Cup I would say. That would be the aim.” – Cambridge Raceway


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