DUAL Group 1 winner Above All has passed away.
The news broke on social media on Wednesday evening that the black dog had ‘Passed Over the Rainbow Bridge in Recovery’ following surgery after sustaining an injury during a trial at Sandown Park last Sunday.
Speaking with Australian Racing Greyhound on Thursday morning, trainer Robert Britton said it was a massive blow to the kennels to lose one of its much loved members.
“It is a real kick in the guts,” Britton said.
“It is a tragedy for the dog and his owners because he had the potential to stand at stud and also to live out a normal life after racing.
“I don’t like to compare dogs from different eras ,but when he was at his best he was as good a dog as I have ever had.
“More than that he was a delight to train – he was a fanatical chaser and he was a lovely dog – the perfect kennel dog – we are definitely going to miss him.”
The son of Magic Sprite and Kara Janx faced the starter on 33 occasions from which he amassed 13 victories and eight minor placings with $323,360 in prize money earnings.
Among his victories were tenacious wins in the 2014 Group 1 Hobart Thousand and the 2015 Group 1 Silver Chief Classic which he won at his 13th and 16th starts respectively.
Owned in New Zealand by Allison Lee and Merv O’Brien, the 32 kilogram sprinter had an interrupted career due to injury after his win in the Silver Chief, but proved just how good he was when returning to the track after five months on the sidelines, winning another five races including the Group 2 Cranbourne Cup.
All up he contested eight group finals, running fourth in the 2014 Group 1 Melbourne Cup, fourth in the 2015 Group 1 Temlee, fourth in the 2015 Group 1 Hobart Thousand, third in the 2016 Group 2 Warragul Cup and second in the 2016 Group 1 Temlee.
With injury affecting much of his career, Britton said it is hard to tell just how good he could have been.
“I might be a bit biased but at the time I thought he was as good as anything which was going around,” Britton said.
“All along the way he showed glimpses of brilliance but we could never string together enough races in a row for him to show what he was really capable of.
“It is something we will never know and at the end of the day we can only go by what he did and what he might have done.
“It is incredibly sad to lose him but we can count our blessings in some respects because we were able to win three group races with him and they don’t come around very often.”