Houdini Boy Begins Long Road To Recovery

HOUDINI Boy will undergo surgery on Monday to repair the fractured hock he suffered in Saturday's Group 1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers at The Meadows.

Adam Dobbin

1 March 2021

HOUDINI Boy will undergo surgery on Monday afternoon to repair the fractured hock he suffered in Saturday night’s Group 1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers Final at The Meadows.

And it’s the outcome of that procedure which trainer Kel Greenough declares will likely decide whether the two-time group 1 winning son of Zambora Brockie races again.

“We had it x-rayed on Sunday and it’s fractionally worse than what we had hoped for,” Greenough said.

“There’s a few fragments around the bone that have splintered. Dr. Barbara Backhoy is doing the surgery and I’ve got full confidence in her.

“She said she’ll have a better idea what we are dealing with when she gets in there and has a good look at it this afternoon.”

Houdini Boy’s career threatening injury was the dampener on a spectacular night of racing at The Meadows on Saturday highlighted by Tommy Shelby’s epic Australian Cup win.

The situation was made even more upsetting given owner Mark Ruff’s promise to donate his $50,000 share of the prizemoney to the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) if successful.

“Mark’s a terrific bloke and I think you’ll find it wasn’t going to stop there either with the donations to GAP,” Greenough said.

“It was a tough night but it is the business we are in. You never get used to it but it could have been a lot worse as well.

“It’s no different to a family accident or death … it puts things into perspective and everything else pales into insignificance. 

“The main thing is the dog is still with us and will lead a good life whether he races again or not. That’s all that’s important.”

Greenough is remaining philosophical about a potential return to the racetrack for Houdini Boy.

“It’s more unlikely than likely,” Greenough said.

“But Bold Trease broke a hock and came back and won four Sandown Cups so it can be done.

“It’s a long road. He’ll be in a cast for a while and then we’ll begin on his rehab and give him all the time he needs. It’ll be a good six months before we even know where we stand really.”

Winner at 14 of his 28 starts and over $267,000 in prizemoney, Houdini Boy has thrilled racegoers throughout his career with his electrifying finishing bursts, winning from seemingly hopeless positions.

Capturing the imagination of the racing public with his amazing heroics on the track, Greenough says when the dust settles the idea of a stud career is on the agenda.

“I’ve had quite a few people ask about him – they just love that chase,” Greenough said.

“He’s not your conventional stayer and people know that. You could trial him over 500 and he’d mix it with anything on the clock as well.

“But for now it’s just about getting through the surgery and letting him recover.

“It’s the tough part of our sport but it happens to everyone and you just need to keep moving forward.

“The main thing is he’s going to be okay and is getting the best of care. If he returns it’s a bonus but if he doesn’t he’s given us some great memories as well.

“He’s one heck of an animal.”