Mantra Lad On An Australian Cup Comeback Trail

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.