|AULD CONFIRMS REJECTION OF $350,000 FOR GUN YOUNGSTER
Jim Auld has confirmed rumours that he has rejected an offer of $350,000 for Hooksy and declared that the star 25 month old greyhound is not for sale at any price.
The recent winner of last weekend’s Group 3 New Sensation in Sydney, Hooksy (Hondo Black – Uno Witch) has had 18 starts for 12 wins and five placings and he has amassed $70,000 in prize money.
Bred, owned and trained by Jim in conjunction with wife Tanya, Hooksy’s Wentworth Park campaign saw him run faster than the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg contenders three weeks in a row, including four lengths faster than Egg winner Tonk on the night of the final when clocking 29.36sec.
Hooksy’s New Sensation win
Auld, from Tatura (near Shepparton) has spent a lifetime breeding and selling greyhounds, however Hooksy is the first greyhound he is not willing to part ways with.
“That offer ($350,000) is the biggest genuine one we’ve received for Hooksy so far. For 50 years we’ve made a good living out of breeding greyhounds, getting them to the track, racing them through the grades and then selling them, but Hooksy isn’t for sale at any price.”
“Tanya and I have talked about how we could take the money and would probably never have to work again, but we’ve been waiting our whole lives for a dog like this so we’re going to go along for the ride this time,” he said. The Aulds lead a busy lifestyle including running a business where they break-in greyhounds, and they are more than happy to continue along that pathway. “We are extremely busy breeding about three litters a year, breaking-in about 30 greyhounds at a time for other people and training anywhere up to 15 race dogs at a time.”
“But we’re really happy doing what we’re doing,” he said. Auld, 74, believes the offer came from overseas interests. “The offer came from someone in Australia but I have reason to believe it was on behalf of a connection in China. As part of the deal I was to continue training Hooksy and then once he retired from racing he would go to stud in China,” he said.
Auld’s stance on Hooksy has partly come about after a discussion he had some months ago with leading Victorian trainer Darren McDonald.
“Darren said to me a little while ago to have a good hard think before I decide to sell Hooksy because he said if he can put it together on the track he could be worth anything at stud.”
“He is sired by Hondo Black, who was born in America and was the leading sire in Ireland. Breeders can’t get hold of Hondo Black straws anymore because if he was alive today he’d be 15 years old. Yet he sired the Scottish Derby winner only last week.”
There is also a sentimental connection with Hooksy.
“He’s named after Tanya’s dad, whose nickname was ‘Hooksy’. He died about 30 years ago from a heart attack when he was 50 years of age. He was very close to Tanya and he used to help me with the dogs and was more like a best mate to me than a father-in-law. We had been waiting a long time for a special dog to come along to name after him, and this is it.”
Hooksy is currently on the sidelines after sustaining a minor injury while galloping at home.
“He has hurt his metacarpal so he will be out of action for a little while. The next big race I’ll target with him will probably be the Peter Mosman Classic in Sydney,” Auld said.
“His greatest asset is his mid race speed and his pace going into the bends is unbelievable. He is best suited to metropolitan racing so once he’s sound again the plan is to target city races.”
The Peter Mosman Classic is a three week series held at Wentworth Park starting in June.