For Albion Park race-caller Steve Hawkins, winning a Group One far outweighs over $250,000 in cash.
That is what Mr Hawkins was offered for his star bitch Queen Lauryn, who will start in the Topgun Invitational at The Meadows this Saturday night.
The Group One Topgun is one of greyhound racing’s most prestigious races offering $100,000 to the winner.
Queen Lauryn is the only Queensland dog in Saturday’s race after Knocka Norris was withdrawn last week due to injury.
It will be the second time in a month the Tony Brett-trained Queen Lauryn has been named in a Group One field after being scratched from the Paws of Thunder the night before the race, due to coming ‘on season’.
A greyhound racing enthusiast from China then offered in excess of $250,000 for the Queensland star, but Mr Hawkins knocked back the offer, citing his love for racing over cash.
Mr Hawkins, said it had been a rollercoaster few months for he and his family.
“At the end of the day it would be like selling a kid,” said Mr Hawkins.
“I was offered a lot of money and it was very tempting,” he said.
“But after discussing it with Tony (Brett) and my family, we decided to keep her, which wasn’t an easy decision.
“I believe that Tony Brett is the best trainer in Australia today and we decided to keep her going for this race in particular.”
Queen Lauryn had her first run at the Meadows on Saturday, when she solo trialled between races over 525m, clocking in at 29.83.
Despite the price, Mr Hawkins said he was quietly confident about the race.
“She is the current Wentworth Park track record holder over the 520m, and her recent trials have been blistering,” he said.
“Drawing box six on Saturday was not ideal at the Meadows but race favourite El Galo is on her inside in box five, and he has plenty of speed and that will favour her.”
Mr Hawkins and Mr Brett will now wait patiently until Saturday with the possibility that Queen Lauryn may still come into milk as a result of being on season.
“This happened last year so it wasn’t unexpected”, said Mr Hawkins.
“You can have the best bitch in Australia and still have hiccups along the way,” he said, “there are never any certainties in the racing industry”.