2004 Hobart Thousand winner Regent Thunder (Lilli Pilli Lad – Magic Alarm), the winner of 30 races while accumulating a purse of $78,496, was found dead in his kennel a week ago at the Tea Tree property of his owner Barry Heawood.
“He appeared to be in good health right up to the time of his death and it came as quite a surprise when I came to give him his breakfast, only to find him dead,” the prolific owner-breeder explained this week.
“I thought that maybe his eyesight was failing because he wasn’t pouncing on his biscuits like he had done, but other than that he appeared to be fine.”
An 11 year-old, Regent Thunder or “Tiger”, was renowned for his will to win and it was this trait that enabled him to take out the prestigious 2004 Hobart Thousand when in the care of top trainer Ted Medhurst.
After the race Heawood, also a specialist greyhound bookmaker, did a “John Singleton” and shouted the entire Tattersalls Park complex a drink.
Heawood had previously won Tasmania’s richest race in 1981 with the John Cameron prepared Jenny’s Legacy, but is reluctant to compare the two chasers.
“They were both very good to me and I rate them as the two best greyhounds that I have had the pleasure of racing,” he explained.
Regent Thunder enjoyed only moderate success as a stud dog, his two best litters being from the Heawood bred bitches Lunawanna and Gitchy Goomy, litter sisters by Shantung Tiger from Painted Vintage.
“I didn’t advertise Regent Thunder and as a result he didn’t serve many bitches, but he threw some handy greyhounds and I am about to breed one of his daughters Regal Moon to Knocka Norris,” he explained.