Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Hopalong’s win in a rough-house Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded Friday meeting and then a smart all-the-way win two days later in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 m) highlighted another big weekend of racing for Tracie Price of Compton.
It had also been a big weekend for Cranbourne owner Scott Brandon who had been instrumental in getting Hopalong, or Harry as he is known around the kennels, into the hands of Price after what had been an eventful seven months as far as the brindle dog had been concerned.
Originally, Hopalong had been owned by the K9 Racers Syndicate, Brandon paying an all-up fee of $350 for a five per cent share in the son of Crash x Gimme Range.
Crash, a beautifully bred son of Brett Lee and Elusive Rebel, won 12 races in Australia before being sent to Ireland where he became a success at stud while Gimme Range was a nine-race winner.
Hopalong broke in well in Victoria but after a costly operation to repair a damaged hock he found his way to WA where he won on debut at Mandurah in early January this year.
Another win followed at Mandurah three months later, however marring suspensions resulted in the dog being transferred to NSW where he raced only twice – at Gosford and the Gardens – before copping a three-month “holiday”.
It’s fair to say that by then the K9 Racers had had enough and Hopalong was offered to any of the syndicate who wanted him as a giveaway. This is where Brandon stepped in.
“I then rounded up my partner Debbie Scott, Danny Frazer, his 19-year-old son Ryan, and Jesse Cammarano with a view to Tracie – who has turned around wayward types before – training the dog for us once the suspension had been served out at Compton.”
So far, so good for Hopalong who will now line up from box two in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) at Sunday’s meeting. Let’s hope he keeps on the straight and narrow and continues to reward a group of owners who went out of their way to give Harry another go.