A classic racing tale comes to an end
Thursday, 31st March, 2011
By John Casey
Broken Hill greyhound racing has lost its number one drawcard after local champion Sleek Classic was injured at the Newmarket Raceway.
Distressed trainer Tegan Gray has been forced to retire Sleek Classic after he suffered a muscle injury to his right hind-leg while leading the field around the home turn on Friday night.
"I haven't stopped crying since the race," Tegan said.
"Dogs like him don't come around too often."
Sleek Classic has won the BH Greyhound of the Year title for the past two years and retires as the track record holder for 375-metres after he stopped the clock at 21.37 seconds on May 8 last year.
"He's been such an easy dog to deal with and never any problems," Tegan continued.
"We'll keep him here and he'll enjoy his retirement as part of the family," she added.
Tegan's father Max, a veteran of the local greyhound racing scene for more than 30 years, said the injury sustained by Sleek Classic was very common for older racing dogs.
"I knew as soon as it happened what he had done," Max said.
"But we have had such a great run with him we can't be too disappointed."
A rising five-year-old, Sleek Classic established a formidable record in Broken Hill including 38 wins from 55 starts, collecting around $15,000 in prizemoney - a great return for the $1000 the Grays paid for the dog.
The Victorian-bred greyhound started his racing career in South Australia before arriving in Broken Hill and leaves the track with an overall record of 40 wins and 27 placings from 79 career starts.
Locally his record was even more impressive as he missed a place only three times in 55 races.
The Gray family, who have about eight greyhounds in work, say they are now on the lookout for a new dog to take over as the kennel champion.
"He's going to be hard to replace though ... 40 wins is a great career," Tegan said.