Beast Unleashed is set to take the next step in his recovery from injury, and co-trainer Peter Lagogiane is hopeful his kennel star can return in time for the TAB Melbourne Cup.
‘The Beast’ was dominant at Sandown Park in March. He chalked up five wins for the month, culminating with victory in the group 2 Launching Pad sweepstakes where he pocketed the $150,000 first prize in a slick 29.34. Unfortunately for the son of Barcia Bale, he would pick up a serious injury when favourite for the group 1 Peter Mosman Classic at Wentworth Park in June and has been off the scene since.
“I wouldn’t say it was career threatening or life threatening, but it was an injury that you don’t see very often,” said Lagogiane.
“Part of the metatarsal was chipped right off, like someone went in there with an axe and sliced a part of the bone off around the hock region, so the chip had to be removed.”
Following the successful operation, the long rehabilitation process began. As well as walking at a custom built track at his Llandilo property, Lagogiane also enlisted the assistance of the staff at the K9 Swim Hydrotherapy Centre.
“We couldn’t do anything with him for a full 8 weeks. Now the next step in the process is walking and swimming just to get his fitness back. We made a special track for him around the property actually – It’s about a kilometre long and he walks three laps every second day.
“The swimming is something new to me. Another trainer put me on to it – it’s obviously low impact on the joints and they use different muscles when they’re swimming – it’s more of a cardio work out to get his fitness level back up without putting pressure on his joints.”
Beast Unleashed is a special greyhound to Lagogiane and his family and the the feeling is reciprocated. And while he laps up the attention during his recovery, it’s a return to the track that the popular chaser longs for.
“He’s loves the attention, but he is missing racing. Every time he hears the van start up, or the door close, or another dog go out, he lets me know. He doesn’t bark or anything, but he’s pushing against the gate, and jumping and saying ‘come on.’ When I walk him past the van, he just stands there pulls me straight to the van, and he stands there. You know, saying come on, it’s my turn. I’ve never had a dog as smart as him, he knows what’s going on.”
Lagogiane is hoping to start galloping Beast Unleashed in the next fortnight, and assuming all goes well, is eyeing a return to Sandown Park for a tilt at the world’s greatest greyhound race, the TAB Melbourne Cup in November.
“I reckon in 2 weeks I’ll be slipping him, just free galloping. He usually comes to hand fairly quickly, and once that happens, the plan is to come down for the Cup. That’s what we’re looking at.
“I know what he’s got, and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. He is a true race dog and I really hope we can get him back so people get to see what this guy can do.”
The heats of the TAB Melbourne Cup will be run on Friday 16 November with the $630,000 final to be run on Friday 23 November.
Click here for more information about TAB Melbourne Cup night.
Beast Unleashed with Logogiane’s sons, Isaak and Bailey
Beast Unleashed sensationally wins the $210,000 group 2 Launching Pad