Saturday, February 29, 2020
Edenhope greyhound trainer Cap Abbott and local owner Kerry Hawker, who also doubles as one of the main catchers and handlers at Tara Raceway race meetings, combined at last Thursday’s time-graded meeting for another win with a vastly-improved Mauritian Rascal.
A $10 chance in a Novice Stake over 400 metres, Mauritian Rascal’s flying first split of 10.63 seconds had him well in front down the back with the only query then being whether he would be able to hang on in the run home.
A son of El Grand Senor and six-race NSW provincial winner Dee Jay’s Sniper, this is the dog – unraced at the time – that Abbott picked up for Hawker late last year off an internet greyhound site for $800.
And for Hawker, who last year enjoyed success at Tara Raceway with the Abbott-trained litter brothers Giveaway Fury and Free Fury, it was a case of receiving a quick return on her investment when Mauritian Rascal won at his third start at the track.
But a couple of weeks later the wheels fell off when the black dog was well beaten and subsequently stood down by stewards for 21 days after being diagnosed with having poor post-race recovery.
It’s probably fair to say that the ensuing few weeks were quite eventful – while Mauritian Rascal’s air waves and lungs were given the all clear after a veterinary examination, it was recommended that he have a testicle removed.
Two runs back after the operation and the November 2017 whelping had displayed marked improvement. Even more so last Thursday when he still had three lengths to spare on the line over Jack’s Fantasy – probably not all that surprising given the best of day time of 23.17 seconds.
Abbott had also endured a pretty trying month, making four often drama-filled trips to Ballarat on consecutive Wednesdays with Black Spring for the Distance Challenge (660 m) before fronting up at Tara Raceway the following day for the time-graded meetings.
Meanwhile, Banjo Queen, a bitch Hawker raced with quite a bit of success in 2017-2018, whelped four dogs and one bitch to My Bro Fabio on Australia Day for Compton breeder Karen Price.
Trained by Tracie Price for the last 12 months of her racing career, Banjo Queen in that period won her first five races and then later a further seven.
By Banjo Boy out of Black Traminer (from the same litter as former top chasers Hooksy and Untraceable), Banjo Queen, who all told won 14 races, is a litter sister to 34-race winner Banjo Shark.
Hawker, who has done well with her greyhounds since an involvement several years ago with Gentle Moment, is now looking forward to following the progress of the Banjo Queen litter, one of which she will ultimately race.