Return Abandoned As Stud Begins For Houdini Boy
CONNECTIONS of wonder greyhound Houdini Boy have abandoned any hopes of a return with the two-time G1 winner to begin stud duties.
18 May 2021
CONNECTIONS of wonder greyhound Houdini Boy have abandoned any hopes of a return to the track with the two-time Group 1 winner to begin stud duties at Newhaven Stud.
Winner at 14 of his 28 race starts and $267,445 in stakes, Houdini Boy last raced when tragically breaking a hock in the Group 1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers Final (725m) at The Meadows in February.
At the time trainer Kel Greenough signalled that the severity of the break meant a return to racing was unlikely, a position that was only confirmed recently during the infancy of his recovery.
“As soon as the plaster was removed I knew there was no chance of him coming back,” Greenough said.
“It was a bad break and the vets did say any chance of racing again were minimal. Obviously while the plaster is on you don’t really know how it’s healing but as soon as it came off I knew we were in trouble.
“It looked terrible but the good thing is the dog is getting around well enough and has found a terrific home where he is going to be well looked after.”
That new home is at Nick De La Roche’s Newhaven Stud where the immensely talented son of Zambora Brockie will stand at stud for $1980.
“I really hope breeders get behind him; in all my years of training I can’t remember having a better chaser,” Greenough declared.
“That’s his biggest asset, his chase and will to win, just a great competitor.”
Right from the start of his career Houdini Boy began thrilling racegoers with captivating last-to-first winning performances which stamped him the best named greyhound in the country.
And while his thrilling racing pattern was something to behold, it provided a level of frustration for Greenough at the same time.
“I’ve got no doubt he could have been an elite Group 1 sprinter if not for his box manners – he just wouldn’t begin,” Greenough said.
“His trial times just about anywhere showed me that and to be honest I don’t think he was a genuine stayer. I had to turn him into one but I think a solid 600m was his limit.
“The rest he did on heart.”
Houdini Boy retires with Group 1 wins in the Sale Cup (650m) and Zoom Top (725m) and a Group 3 success in the Speed Star (600m) for owner Mark Ruff.
In 28 starts he missed a place on just four occasions, one of those when in a stalking position when breaking down at his final race start in the Group 1 Super Stayers at The Meadows in February.
“Both myself and Mark are keen to get some bitches to him as we really believe he’ll prove a success at stud,” Greenough said.
“Especially for brood bitches that mightn’t have been the greatest of chasers he’ll throw that chase and strength into them.
“And he’s found a great home with Nick. The dog has settled in great, which for Mark is the most important thing.”