A hock injury has sidelined superstar sprinter Black Magic Opal (Magic Sprite – Awesome Opal) for the next three months, with connections deciding to temporarily put him to stud.
The Jason Thompson-trained greyhound – who turns three today – sustained the injury in a heat of the Group 2 Harrison Dawson at Sandown Park last week.
Black Magic Opal will join fellow drawcard and arch rival Paw Licking (Elite State – Kingsbrae Di) at stud after he was retired this week after dropping a back muscle in his Bendigo Cup win last month.
The news serves as a double blow for racing fans – as the pair are currently the biggest drawcards in the sport – but is a big plus for greyhound breeders.
“I’ve already fielded up to 15 calls from breeders about Black Magic Opal this week, and I haven’t even started advertising him yet.”
“He’ll start at $1,650 serve, which is quite reasonable, because we want to get a few litters of his litters on the ground before bringing him back to the racetrack.”
“I’ve already fielded up to 15 calls from breeders about Black Magic Opal this week, and I haven’t even started advertising him yet” – JASON THOMPSON
Renowned for the meticulous planning as a trainer, Thompson has already mapped out the plan of attack once Black Magic Opal returns to racing.
“Last year he won the Geelong Cup in October and then the Melbourne Cup in November, and the plan is to prepare him for those two feature races again,” Thompson said.
“When he returns we are hoping to race him until the end of this year, and then we’ll most likely retire him permanently to stud.”
Meanwhile, Paw Licking’s trainer Kelvyn Greenough said that while his star’s injury is curable, it is the type of problem that would see him lose three or four lengths.
“It’s hard enough winning group races when you are at your absolute best, but it’s almost impossible when you’re not. ,” Greenough said.
Paw Licking, who turned three in March, and Black Magic Opal live in the same street at Smiths Lane in Pearcedale.
The pair is among the most decorated sprinters this country has produced in modern memory having amassed a combined total of 102 starts for 67 wins, 21 placings and $1,016,815 in prize money.