In the greyhound industry a champion is often defined by the times clocked and the amount of money won, but Porplyzia’s champion status is because of his age.
The son of Primo Uno – Come Uppance had his last start in April at six and half years of age and unfortunately finished sixth after the missing the start.
“The last time he raced he pulled up a little bit sore in his hamstring and we didn’t want to break him down completely so we thought it was time to retire him.” Trainer Colin Bainbridge explained.
Injuries are something that this veteran of Cannington’s short course distance has had to overcome his whole career. From fracturing metacarpals, shattering his metatarsals, dropping back muscles and split webbings, it seems as though Porplyzia has had his fair share of injuries.
“He races all taped up from his injuries. We virtually had him retired after his 19th start because he shattered his metatarsal in his back left foot. It only took him two months to recover because we used this Chinese liniment, which healed it up really well, and he was back trailing after about six weeks.”
After recovering from what looked to be a career ending injury and an early ticket into life as a pet, Porplyzia, also known as Willie, continued to race another 123 times for 13 wins and 46 placing’s.
“He just loved to run, when they are running over 300 metres its not like running 500 every week. There were times he didn’t race for a month, so he had plenty of breaks in between. He raced more in the last 12 months then he did in his whole career.”
Willie’s 36 kilo black frame with a face only a mother could love, just wanted to race, even with the tapes holding him together.
“He is still switched on as a race dog but I don’t think he will miss the track too much because he was a pretty lazy sort of dog.”
Now a few weeks into retirement Willie has permanent resistance with owner Ash Paikos and fellow kennel mate Cyan Chief.
“I’m not really sure how he will settle with a dog while they are loose. He was all right as a kennel dog, he barked a bit which was why I had him there. I was happy Ash took him home because you can’t keep them all.”
Colin’s love for his greyhounds can’t be questioned; he had Willie in his kennels for over four years, dealing with injury after injury persisting on despite the fact Willie had a very welcoming pet home waiting for him.
“You do miss them, especially when they have been there for so long.”
On the 29th of January this year Willie did the unexpected when he produced his first win since September 2012. The 36 kilo dog rocketed out of the boxes wearing the red rug in the last event of the night to lead the field. With his white tapes looking almost like sweat bands on his black legs he soldered on despite pressure from Hello I’m Sammy in the pink rug. Not even a late lunge on the line from Ledaro Tara could snatch the win from Willie. With the camera flash and his refection showing his winning margin to be 0.05 lengths, Willie won his last race paying $7.20 for the win.
“I think the last race he won would have been a highlight because he had returned from a back muscle and he hadn’t won a race in over 12 months.”
With the retirement of Willie, Colin doesn’t have much of an opportunity to miss him because of the 11 other race dogs to look after. A little blue bitch by the name of Em Three has produced some exciting performances, doing her best work over the 642 and 715 metre distances at Cannington.
“Since I have been crook a bit it gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning and keep me going. The dogs give me a reason to do something.”