By TERRY WILSON
THE clock is running down to the day when iron dog superstar Cosmo Bill will let his ever-loving owner and trainer Cyndie Elson know that he has had enough.
To put it simply Cosmo Bill is a marvel, a freak of nature in that, despite being more than six years old, he was still racing in December when he finished third in a 311-metre event at Albion Park.
But up to then the family champion had still not given any indication that he was ready for the retirement home, which will undoubtedly be a nice cosy section of the Elsons’ Churchable headquarters.
So, says Mrs Elson, Cosmo Bill will most likely let her know when the time has arrived for life away from the tracks.
And what a life that has been. Fred (Cosmo’s kennel name) is among the most durable of greyhounds to ever go around in Australia.
Did we say go around? Perhaps around, and around, and around would be a better description.
At the time of Chase going to print Cosmo Bill had chalked up 208 starts.
The light fawn veteran had won 70 times, finished second 35 times and has been third 23 times. His earnings were $143,027.
There are those people who are amazed that a dog could win more times than many, many other greyhounds have had starts.
Cosmo Bill was whelped on September 6, 2014, a product of the Cosmic Chief-Regal Silver mating.
Fred’s longevity had a lot to do with mum Regal Silver, who sadly passed away in November at the age of 96 years, in human terms.
“They should be grateful that the dog is that tough,” said one Fred fan. “These days you’re lucky to get a dog with 50 starts.
“You should hug it and kiss it every day of the week.”
It is remarkable that Cosmo Bill has had only 15 of its 208 starts away from Albion Park, so it is not that Mrs Elson has been keeping him away from top-level opponents.
It is like dragging a veteran away from the rocking chair and thrusting him into a football team … and he loves its!
For the record Cosmo Bill has 10 runs at Ipswich, three at Casino and two at Bundaberg.
“I’ve restricted him to the short scampers because the only thing the old bloke knows is racing.
“He just enjoys going around the track.
“I don’t know how much he has left in him, he hasn’t said anything to me yet, but if he’s happy to keep on going then he can.
“I think he’ll let me know the day he has had enough because he’ll probably not want to get into the car with me.
“He is a special dog, like lately he has pulled other dogs on to the walker. He’s first there when I open the door – like he’s the king of the kennel and thinks he owns it.”
Mrs Elson said the only issues Cosmo Bill has had were two hamstring strains a few years ago when the owners looked at retiring him.
But after a while Cyndie’s husband Bill said the dog was ready to return to the kennel and he hasn’t had any injury problems since.
Obviously a special greyhound has special little characteristics and Mrs Elson revealed Fred’s favourite food is her home-made roo jerkey.
“And he loves his milk,” she said.
PAWNOTE: A South Australian greyhound named Green Lizard (Colonial Warrior-Dixieland) was active from May, 1999, to May, 2004 and had 223 starts for 64 wins, 44 seconds and 31 thirds and raced until age 86 months. It is understood to be the oldest on record in Australia. Let Chase know of any dogs with an even more extensive age or race record.