By David Brasch
(Each month Chase puts the spotlight on a person and/or their ‘best friend’ – a story that gives an insight into the true heart of greyhound racing.)
WHEN all was flying as high as it could throughout 2019, devoted Victorian dog man Harry Manolitsis saw his world tumble around him late last year and again early in 2020.
Harry\’s Group 1 superstar Get It Gizmo (Kinloch Brae-Dasha), already the winner of the Topgun, broke his hock and his future looked desperate.
Then Harry\’s other home-bred star, Flynn (Kinloch Brae-Jubilation) who had already broken a track record at Bendigo previously held by Fernando Bale, tore a back muscle and he too looked destined for a shortened race career.
But, patience is a virtue and Harry Manolitsis has not been in greyhound racing for decades not to have learned the key to success and successful racetrack comebacks rests with having such patience.
And, now those two ‘crocks’, Get It Gizmo and Flynn, are on target for a tilt at the Million Dollar Chase series at Wentworth Park early in October.
\”Flynn was in training with Jason Thompson at the time when he tore his back muscle,\” said Harry. \”I got him back home a week later. No one ever knows if a dog will come back from a torn back muscle.
\”That\’s because none of those back muscle tears are the same.
\”We did all the rehab with him and took him slowly, slowly, slowly. It appears to have worked.\”
Flynn resumed after six months off the racetrack with a victory at Bendigo.
His racetrack record stands at 36 starts for 14 wins and nine placings for $96,000.
\”He won the Ballarat Derby beating Melbourne Cup winner Whiskey Riot,\” said Harry. \”At his fifth race start he broke Fernando Bale\’s track record, then went on to win the Speed Star. Right there and then he had a stud career beckoning.\”
Get It Gizmo is a special dog as he showed Harry and all racetrack fans with victory in the Group 1 Topgun. He was also third to Good Odds Harada in the Million Dollar Chase. But add to that was final spots in the Melbourne Cup and Maturity.
\”He broke his hock in the Ballarat Cup final,\” said Harry. \”He was eight months off the racetrack before I was confident enough to race him again.
\”He could have started in a race after five months, but with a dog like him it was always going to be slowly, slowly, slowly again.\”
Harry said Get It Gizmo needed lots of free galloping, short trials and then a step up in distance to get back to his previous Group 1 class ability.
\”He\’s back,\” said Harry. \”The hock has not been a problem and I\’m wrapped with the way he is going. Both dogs will head along towards the Million Dollar Chase in October.
\”We are happy to head to Wentworth Park to qualify.
\”But, you know what … it is just wonderful to see them back on the racetrack.\”
Caption: An emotional Harry Manolitsis after Get It Gizmo wins the 2019 Topgun. The flyer is now back on track after a serious injury (Photo: BlueStream Pictures)