Husband and wife team, Phil and Sue Lenehan; and the Dailly training team, have finally been reunited with their talented young chaser Lektra Ottens.
“Ottens” as he is known, has been on the run since the tragic accident that claimed the life of Big Black Mac in the early hours of Friday the 5th of October 2012.
Grave fears were initially held for the fawn greyhound who had a career record of 10 wins and 10 placings from 40 starts, and $54,000 in career prizemeony.
And, despite finding some refuge at a neighbouring farm in the immediate days after the accident, a search team who arrived to bring him home were unable to locate him.
While connections of Big Black Mac celebrated their bitter sweet Adelaide Cup victory, a despairing Lenehan family were offering a $500 reward to try help find their greyhound who hadn’t been sighted since Sunday night.
An unconfirmed sighting near Dimboola, some 25kms from the accident site, proved to be misleading, when late Saturday night it emerged that “Ottens” had crossed the highway from where he was last seen and had been sleeping under a large gum tree on a different farm.
Lektra Ottens had actually travelled less then a kilometre from the accident site, but due the the broad acre nature of the farms in the area it had been near impossible to find him.
It further emerged that the owner of the second farm, an ex greyhound and thoroughbred trainer, had been feeding “Ottens” since mid-week.
Apparently he had attempted to notify the local Ranger some days earlier that “Ottens” was on his farm but had returned home before speaking with the Ranger after a miscommunication.
It wasn’t until Saturday night that Tom and George Dailly were officially notified that Lektra Ottens was alive and the location of where he was.
With George still nursing broken ribs from the car accident, Tom made the long trip from Anakie to the Wimmera farm property hoping a friendly face and voice would help catch “Ottens” if he was able to locate him.
With the help of local greyhound trainer Andrea Gurry and the farm owner, Tom Dailly was able to locate the farm; but even knowing which farm “Ottens” was on it still took quite a long time to find the greyhound.
Remarkably, ‘Ottens” was located under the very gum tree he had been sleeping under, and although a little timid a first, was more than “happy” to be welcomed back by his co-trainer Tom.
Owner and breeder Phil Lenehan, said this morning “We’re just overjoyed to have him back. It’s a great credit to Tom, George and the whole Dailly team that they would go the extra yard to spend the day out searching for him after such a long time missing”.
“Remarkably, “Ottens” seems to be okay….a little lighter than he was, but no injuries” said Lenehan.
Miraculously, Lektra Ottens seems to have suffered no ill effects from his “time on the run”. He is approximately 3kg lighter than his normal 34kg racing weight, but has no significant cuts or abrasions, and certainly no broken bones.
Back now in the Anakie kennels of the Dailly’s, the immediate plans are to give the strapping fawn greyhound some time to recover and regain his health, but with no injuries, there is no barrier to him resuming his racing career.
With his new found celebrity, Lektra Ottens return to racing is sure to be one of the most watched comebcks we’ve seen in modern greyhound racing.