Eglington owner and trainer Earl Anderson has announced that Merleen, arguably the best dog in Bathurst over the past 12 months will stand at stud in the coming weeks after a superb career both in the country and at metropolitan level.
The Collision-She's On Song bitch will stand at Rocky Ridge Stud, before hopefully returning to action sometime around April next year, but her trainer is not making any guarantees that she will take to the track again.
“There is a possibility that she will race later on down the track, we might bring her back for a few starts,” Anderson said.
“She is still only young at two years and about eight months so she might get back by April or thereabouts next year.”
Over the past 18 months, the black bitch established herself as a star of unquestionable quality, winning 17 races across the state, and placing at Group level in Sydney.
She won a heat of the Potential Stakes before finishing second in the final, and did likewise in the Group 2 Peter Mosman Classic.
But perhaps her best win came in the Stan Cassidy Memorial race at Kennerson Park back in July.
Against a crack field worthy of a high level Wentworth Park race, Merleen ran a blistering 30.06s, her personal best over her pet 520 metre course, in the process beating the likes of Varvatos, Beverage and Flying Mitch to win the prestigious race.
The win is still the highlight of Anderson's partnership with the star greyhound.
“That was probably the win that I'm most proud of,” the veteran trainer said.
“It really was a Wentworth-class field. She beat some good dogs that day and I think during the course of her career so far she has beaten about 20 champions.”
Always intending to stop at 50 races with the bitch, Anderson can be proud of her 17 wins and 10 placings, giving her a brilliant strike rate in a sport that depends on everything falling perfectly into place. She won over $40,000 in her career at the time of Anderson's decision.
She demonstrated an ability to win from any box, something that isn't lost on her trainer when he assesses her in overall terms.
“To tell the truth I think she is the best thing I've ever put a lead on,” he said.
“I'm not putting anyone down but I think over the last year she has maybe been the best dog in Bathurst.
“There have been some good ones though – Flying Mitch, Beveridge, Varvatos – Rockstar Image is another one that's coming through, but she is up there with all of them.”
Merleen had been slated to contest the upcoming and prestigious Paws of Thunder series before it was decided to stand her at stud.
Courtesy : Sam Debeham, Bathurst Western Advocate