Tom leading the trainer charge
RACING: Something had to change for Tom Button. Slaving away in the mines, he found his mind would wander to the stables and track. Horses were always on his mind.
That was three and a half years ago. He knew something had to give.
He then made the call to trade the dozer and high-vis for his seat at Callaghan Park becoming a full-time horse trainer.
He hasn't looked back and is on course to win his second Rockhampton trainers premiership in succession.
"My passion was always horses, dad was a trainer and I used to be an apprentice jockey," Button said.
"I started training part-time about six years ago. In the mines I was always thinking about horses. Like nothing else.
"So I decided to throw my hat in the ring and haven't looked back. I had a lot of support early and it has been great.
"I found success early and have continued on."
With 11 wins from 71 races, Button is leading the way again, he has a top three place percentage of 43%.
"It has been a good season so far, started really well. We got through the hot Christmas period really well," he said.
"Hyper Drive has won a couple of races and The Bank Manager is a really good two-year-old.
"I just believe in keeping your horses happy and fit and they will do well for you."
As he watches his goers from the members bar at Callaghan Park, he still finds himself nervous before any race. Nerves that will only heighten the bigger the stage. Six-year-old gelding Heartbreak Harry, who used to belong in Button's stable and now with Brisbane's Brad Hearne, won at Doomben on Saturday.
"Harry was one of my better ones, I wasn't there when he won in Brisbane but it was a big buzz for him to win," he said.
"I rode him home hard back home on the couch. It was a good win.
"To get my horses to Brisbane is what I am striving to do and lately they have been going well.
"I do still get nervous before every race though. But it's better than the mines."