By Mick Floyd
Houdini Boy continues to amaze greyhound racing fans, with another dazzling last-to-first performance at Sandown Park last Thursday night – this time on his 595-metre debut.
Making just his 12th race track appearance, Houdini Boy met some of the country’s premier ‘middle distance’ dogs, including Group 1 winners Hooked On Scotch and Perfect Marshall. He found himself a clear last soon after box rise and could still see the field as the Group 1 winners jostled with Rockstar Prince for the lead with a lap to go.
As he has done consistently throughout his brief career, Houdini Boy rode a bump as he weaved his way through the field before unleashing his customary finishing burst, reeling in his more accomplished rivals to win by five-and-a-quarter lengths in a slick 33.88.
“That is something special indeed. Wow wee!” said race caller James Van de Maat following the win.
“He put away a field full of superstars and top line Group race performers and made them look second-rate.”
His winning time was the fifth fastest of 2020, but it was the manner of the victory that just continues to turn heads. His run home time – the time from the back split to the winning post – was an extraordinary (approximate) 10.45. For context, Tiggerlong Tonk – one of the country’s premier sprinters – ran home in 10.74 over 515 metres.
“It’s exciting,” said handler Jackie Greenough.
“We’re hoping he can stay because his box manners are horrendous, but he’s always been clean-winded and he’s a fierce chaser. He’s a genuine dog.”
Houdini Boy has now won five of his 12 career starts and almost $45,000 in prize money. And while a staying career beckons, there are no immediate plans for their rising star.
“We might go to the Meadows, or we might come back here – he does seem to like it here. We’ll have a look at what’s on the calendar and see what happens,” Greenough said.