By MIKE HILL
A MAJOR injury setback to smart sprinter Elegant Eleanor left Torbanlea (Qld) trainer Ricky Hassall without a runner in his kennels.
Elegant Eleanor, named after Hassall’s grand-daughter, suffered a career-threatening injury when she tore a back leg muscle in a heat of the Bundaberg Cup (550m) in mid-April.
However, a conversation with Maryborough owner Peter Hare changed all that.
“I was talking with Peter and I mentioned I didn’t have any dogs in work,” Hassall said.
“He said ‘leave it with me, I’ll ring you back’. He rang back later to say ‘I’m send you up two dogs’.”
They turned out to be litter mates Prince Cosmic and Midnight Million (Cosmic Rumble-Who’s Got Bams) and Hassall didn’t have to wait long for success.
Prince Cosmic, formerly trained by Selena Zammit, won over the Bundaberg 550m trip last month after a first-up second over the same distance seven days earlier.
“It was great to win for Peter after he helped me out,” said Hassall.
But even better things were to come for the talented young sprinter later in the month.
Prince Cosmic, the $2.60 favourite, pushed his record out to three wins and six placings from just 13 starts with a gallant victory in the TAB Anniversary Cup (550m) at Bundaberg.
The striking fawn sprinter only began fairly from box eight and was kept four wide going out of the straight the first time.
He stayed wide for the entire journey, only taking the lead close to home before racing away.
Prince Cosmic clocked 32.12s beating the Greg Kennedy-trained Macdowell ($16) by one and three-quarter lengths, with Ron Brook’s Kiewa Rebel ($5) another four lengths away third.
It was a highly impressive win and indicated the youngster could run even further, something Hassall wants to explore.
“We’re looking at running him over 630m at Ipswich this weekend and, depending on how he goes, we could look at a 600m event at Albion Park and down the track maybe even 710m,” he said.
Hassall, upbeat after Prince Cosmic’s victory, also said he has a well-bred, well-performed bitch ready to resume racing after overcoming several minor issues.
“She hasn’t raced for me yet,” he said. “I bought her from Melbourne with a view to breed from her later.”
The bitch, Nerve Settler (Barcia Bale-Ash Flash), is the winner of seven races in Victoria, including a 30.05s run at The Meadows.
She hasn’t raced since finishing fourth over 485m at Horsham in late December.