Reigning national distance champion Mantra Lad is on the comeback trail.
One of the most versatile greyhounds in the land, Mantra Lad sustained a dislocated dew claw and a compound fracture of that dew claw’s bone in a heat of the Group 1 Brisbane Cup on December 4 last year.
Subsequently Mantra Lad underwent two operations requiring a month of convalescence.
His trainer, Graeme Jose of Catani, said Mantra Lad had been ‘back in work’ for just over a week without any residual effects of the injury.
“I think he’ll return better than ever… He was up for a long time and endured a tough campaign last year,” Jose said.
Jose added he was now eyeing the Australian Cup Carnival (February 7-21) at The Meadows with Mantra Lad. “I’ll monitor his progress… But I won’t push him,” Jose said.
Mantra Lad revealed his amazing adaptability last year by claiming the Group 1 National Distance Championship (720m) prior to finishing second in the Group 1 Paws of Thunder (520m) and then winning the Group 3 Shootout (515m).
He is also the 725m joint track record-holder (42.28sec) at The Meadows, and has the fifth fastest time ever (34.19sec) over 600m on that track.
A five-time Group race finalist, Mantra Lad has started on 26 occasions for 11 wins, six seconds and one third. His stakes total $135,805. Mantra Lad was also a finalist in last year’s Group 1 Topgun (525m) and Group 2 AWM Distance Championship (725m).
Mantra Lad is one of 22 greyhounds still in contention for the 2008 Victorian Greyhound Of The Year award.