Popular greyhound Jesaulenko couldn’t quite win his 100th and final start at Sale on Sunday, but he went out on a high note regardless.
“It was a huge run,” breeder trainer Terri Morris said. “In fact, it was probably one of the biggest runs of his career. He got squeezed up and was shuffled back in the field before soaring home and running 2nd.”
Jesaulenko, named after AFL great Alex Jesaulenko, finished his career with 45 wins and more than $410,000 in prize money.
Morris said her star’s greatest highlight was winning the 2017 Traralgon Cup at her local track. He was also the first greyhound to win on the new Traralgon track when it re-opened for racing following a major redevelopment in 2015.
Away from the track, Jesaulenko has also been involved in a number of promotions including a full-page spread in the Herald Sun newspaper and meeting almost the entire Collingwood footall team at an event at the Traralgon GRC. However, perhaps Terri’s most memorable moment was when she took Jesaulenko into hospital to visit one of his biggest fans, former Warragul GRC President, Matt Height, after he endured a serious stroke.
Terri has also been overwhelmed by the number of well-wishers from a number of high profile participants upon news of Jesaulenko’s retirement.
“I’ve had so many people tell me how much they have loved following his career including Kelly Bravo, Peter Riley and the Daillys, just to name a few, and people are often commenting on how good he looks,” she said.
Jesaulenko’s 100th and final start was also the 50th time he has been swabbed, with Terri pleading with Stewards to take a sample on Sunday so he could reach the milestone, adding that he “has never returned a positive”.
A son of College Causeway and Elite Fairy, Jesaulenko will turn five in October. His retirement will allow Traralgon-based Morris to focus her energy on a couple of Jesaulenko’s full younger brothers, who she also bred.
“I’ve got two of his brothers at home who aren’t named yet, but they are 20 months old and showing above average potential. I’ll be able to put more time into getting them ready to race now, and I expect them to hit the racetrack in a couple of months,” she said.
As for Jesaulenko, he is destined for life on the couch in Terri’s loungeroom.
“He is living a life of luxury in retirement at my place,” she said. “I’m also more than happy to continue involving him in any promotional activities because he has been great for the sport and he loves all the attention,” she said.
October 2013 College Causeway – Elite Fairy
Breeder/owner/trainer: Terri Morris, Traralgon
Record: 100 starts; 45-21-12
Prize money: $411,105
Group races: G2 Traralgon Cup (1st); G1 Melbourne Cup (2nd); G1 Temlee (2nd); G2 Cranbourne Cup (7th); G3 Silver Bullet (6th); G2 Bendigo Cup (5th); G2 Traralgon Cup (6th).
WATCH: Jesaulenko (5) wins the 2017 Traralgon Cup.