Former champion stayer Chinatown Lad was one of four inductees to the Tasmanian Greyhound Hall of Fame at the Hobart Thousand function on Saturday night.
The dark brindle son of Lilli Pilli Lad and Chinatown Babe was owned by Katrina Gregory and trained for most of his career by Brighton mentor Shane Whitney.
Starting 47 times, Chinatown Lad recorded 21 victories and 17 minor placings with $222,730 in prizemoney.
The 2005 whelp was a dominant force in the staying ranks during much of 2008, taking on the best from around Australia and recording triumphs in the Group One Sandown Cup and Group One Albion Park Gold Cup.
Chinatown Lad also claimed two Group Three wins in the Swan Challenge and Chairman’s Cup.
Induction into the Hall of Fame is a fitting result for Chinatown Lad, which sadly died earlier this year from cancer. Gregory said it was an enormous honour that her star greyhound, affectionately known as Max, was chosen to be recognised in the Hall of Fame.
“I am very humbled by it,” she said. ”To see the other dogs that have previously been inducted and to think that my Max is up there with them now, and has been written into the history books as well.”
Gregory explained it was especially exciting for Chinatown Lad’s biggest supporter, Braydon, who was unaware the big announcement was coming on Saturday night.
“We were able to keep it a secret from Braydon, he was quite shocked and surprised,” she said. ”Braydon just loved the dog and the dog loved him, they shared a great relationship and bond.
“I am Braydon’s great-aunt and he has lived with us since he was five. He has disabilities, he is a special needs child, and Max brought him out of his shell and made him the young man he is today.
“He was a child that couldn’t read and struggled to have a conversation and through this dog he was able to meet people, he learned to read form guides, and he really advanced his knowledge.”
It is a perfect ending to the Chinatown Lad tale and it has made Katrina Gregory reflect on the incredible journey that she experienced with him, not just on the track.
“It is really hard to explain the things that Max did for me and my family,” she said.
“A big thing has been the relationships we have formed with other people, not just in Tasmania but around Australia, we have made lifelong friends.
“People have opened up their homes and their hearts to us in every state and I find that really special. Without Max we would never have experienced that.”
Other inductees into the Tasmanian Greyhound Hall of Fame were Big Moose, Gary Sutton and Butch Deverell.