2022 Thunderbolt winner Integrity Mate retired
Integrity Mate, the 2022 Thunderbolt race winner in Grafton, has unfortunately succumbed to a back muscle injury and is hanging up his racing vest.
The Robert Andrews-trained greyhound was being prepared for a potential repeat victory in the NSW regional sprint race series, before this untimely setback brought his racing career to a halt.
Andrews, had a thorough examination performed on Integrity Mate after an unusual performance at the FFA event at Casino on Friday.
“He was poised to clinch his 25th victory, but he inexplicably fell off pace,” Andrews stated.
Whelped in March 2020, Integrity Mate could potentially recuperate with four to six months of rest, but Andrews is adamant that Integrity Mate will not race again.
“He's contributed significantly to our team and rightfully earned his retirement,” affirmed Andrews.
Integrity Mate, sired by Keybow and out of Let's Win Meisha, boasts an impressive career with 49 races under his collar, clinching victory in 23 of them and placing in nine others.
His prize earnings amount to a staggering $140,000. Not only did he set track records at Casino and Grafton, but he also claimed the Beef Week Cup at Casino.
His most illustrious achievement, however, was triumphing in the inaugural edition of The Thunderbolt race at Grafton, where he bested a formidable field comprising of Orson Laurie, Orara Dan, Typhoon Sammy, and a host of Northern Rivers sprint stars.
2022 The Thunderbolt (Grafton, 350m) – Integrity Mate (19.77) T: Robert Andrews
“The Thunderbolt was our defining moment,” Robbie reflected, adding, “We plan to register him for stud duties and his progeny, even if it's just from a few of our own females, will be a promising start”.
The 2023 Thunderbolt race series will be conducted across Wagga (June 2), Bulli and Gosford (June 6), Taree (June 7), Goulburn and Richmond (June 9), Dubbo (June 10), and culminating at Grafton (June 11).
The semi-finals are set to take place at Grafton on June 18, leading up to the grand final on June 24 2023.
The stakes are high for the short course sprinters with the winner set to pocket $75,000, the runner-up $15,000, the third-place finisher $7,500, and all unplaced contenders to earn $1,000.