Owned and trained at Gifford Hill by Tony and Lisa Rasmussen, Hukanui stepped well from the inside and quickly powered to the front of the pack.
Once he was on the bunny Hukanui was always going to be hard to stop, holding off a late challenge from Cairnlea Kenny (Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Kenny Apr ’15) to win by one and a half lengths in a flying 29.65.
Rasmussen said he was confident his charge could take home the title.
“He has gone 29.42 at Angle Park so he is up there with the best of them going around,” Rasmussen told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He is getting on in age now, but he is racing as well as ever. I went into the race thinking if he lobbed in the first two early that he could win and thankfully that’s what happened.”
Hukanui has now won three straight races and 22 overall from 71 career outings. He has also run 23 seconds, seven thirds and has earned almost $85,000 in prize money.
Rasmussen said Thursday’s win was deserved, with his white and black chaser plagued with injury throughout his career.
“We have always had a big opinion of him. We were offered big money for him early in his career which we knocked back and then he broke his hock at his next start.
“We sent him over to Victoria to recover and Tammy Collins looked after him for us and trained him for a while, but then he cracked a metatarsal so we decided to bring him home.
“We got him back from that and he had about 12 starts and then he dropped his back muscle – he has definitely had his share of injuries – so it is great to see him going as well as he is.”
Rasmussen said there are no concrete plans for his powerhouse performer, but mentioned he is not afraid to tackle the upcoming Australian Cup Carnival if he thinks his chaser is up to it.
“I’ll put him in a FFA at Angle Park next week and if he can repeat Thursday’s win I will take him across to Melbourne for a go at the Australian Cup series.
“If not there is still plenty on for him – it would even be worth taking him to Victoria for a fifth grade series at The Meadows because he is eligible for that and they are worth a fair bit of money.”