Four time group winner Pantera Nera retired to stud

Pantera Nera and Gavin Burke. PIC: Pantera Nera Facebook.

POWERHOUSE sprinter Pantera Nera (Milldean Panther x Go Jessie’s Girl Nov ’13) has been officially retired from the racetrack and is ready to commence his new career as a stud dog.

Trained throughout the majority of his career by Gavin Burke, Pantera Nera faced the starter 74 times for 38 wins, 14 seconds and eight thirds, earning $290,341 throughout his career.

His major career wins were in the 2016 Group 2 Traralgon Cup, the 2016 Group 2 Black Top, the 2017 Group 2 Launceston Cup and the 2017 Group 3 Devonport Cup.

He also finished second in the 2016 Group 1 Megastar and the 2017 Group 2 Maitland Cup and third in the 2016 Group 1 Topgun and the 2015 Group 2 Dapto Puppy Classic.

Additionally, he also qualified for the 2016 Group 2 Bendigo Cup, the 2016 Group 3 Silver Bullet and the 2017 Group 1 Temlee.

Burke, who purchased the black dog from NSW early in his career, said ‘Panny’ was forced into retirement due to a recurring injury which surfaced at his last start in a heat of the Group 2 Shepparton Cup earlier this year.

“After his last start at Shepparton he didn’t run it out like he normally would and when we got him home we discovered he had injured his stopper bone,” Burke told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“We had a crack at fixing it – he had a couple of trials and he was starting to get back to his old self when he hurt it again.

“We decided to pull the pin and look after him like he has looked after us.”

Burke explained Pantera Nera gave him some of his biggest thrills throughout his involvement in the sport and said while he was unlucky not to have won at group 1 level, his record still speaks for itself.

“We planned to give him a good break and have a crack at the Devonport and Launceston Cups again – unfortunately that wont happen.

“We always enjoyed watching him race, but we have always been mindful that he has been a good dog to us and we have said all along that we wouldn’t push him.

“He didn’t have a lot of luck in group 1 finals, but he did have good luck in some other races so I guess it’s all a part of racing

“He was a very fast dog with a great turn of foot, which he showed when he smashed the second section record at Launceston.”

Burke will stand Pantera Nera at stud for $1,500. He currently has straws ready and waiting to be used by interested breeders.

Meanwhile, the Hazelwood North conditioner said his speedster has settled into a life of luxury.

“He loves it here and he is settling into retirement well. We are on five acres and he rules the place – it wouldn’t be the same without him.

“He is king of the castle and he deserves to be.”

Burke said no matter what happens with his stud career, he will always be thankful for the ride Panny took him on.

“He changed our lives in a huge way.

“He was our first group winner and we considered ourselves lucky to get a dog good enough to win one big race. Then along came a few more and the next thing you know you’re racing in the biggest races in the country.

“Financially he has made a huge difference too – he has helped us do up our property to help our training, which made life a lot easier for us and the other dogs.”