By DAVID BRASCH
IT doesn\’t take an Einstein to realise there is something behind the name of a promising young race bitch doing the rounds at Bulli in recent months.
Lucky To Race (Magic Sprite-Cosmic Swiper) is just that.
Owned and trained by 80-year-old Tony Pegano, the bitch was just 14 months old when Tony put her onto his 300m straight track one morning for her regular daily exercise.
She promptly ran into a steel pole and smashed her knee.
\”I rushed her off to a local vet and he immediately said she would never race,\” said Tony. \”He gave me some pain killers and I took her home.\”
But Tony was having none of those thoughts that she would not race.
He\’s been a master trainer of greyhounds for 50 years and has learnt a trick or two on how to repair injuries.
\”I straight away started working on her every single day,\” said Tony. \”She would have 20 minutes with the magnetic blanket and then 10 minutes of treatment with the ultrasound.
\”For three months after she hurt herself, she would not put her foot on the ground.\”
But that sort of perseverance deserves success and that\’s what the result has been.
A magnificent looking bitch at 30kgs, she is already a winner at Bulli over 400m and 472m and Tony says distance is her future.
\”She has been coming out of bad boxes but rattling home,\” he said. \”She will get 500m and will even run 700 metres.\”
A now-retired plumber, Tony has been mates with studmaster John Carruthers for decades.
He did some work on the bathroom at Carruthers’ home and refused payment. Carruthers gave him a frozen semen straw to champion stud dog Magic Sprite.
\”I asked around to see if anyone wanted to use it and Tony Vella accepted with his bitch Cosmic Swiper,\” said Pagano.
\”She had six and I got a dog and a bitch. The dog\’s name is Magic Hulk and at 37 kilos I\’m giving him time to mature before starting him. He is as good as the bitch.\”
Tony is amazed at the stamina already shown by both.
\”The bitch goes onto the straight track every day and I have to go out and stop her from running even further after she has done 1000 metres,\” he said.
\”That\’s why she will eventually run 700 metres on the racetrack.\”
Tony says since Lucky To Race has been showing obvious distance potential everyone now wants to buy her.
\”But, there is no way she is for sale, not even at one million dollars,\” he said. \”She is part of our family.\”