Mepunga Blazer (pictured) returned from retirement with a bang at Sandown Park on Thursday, winning by four lengths in 29.39sec, the fastest time of the night over the popular 515m distance.
The superstar Victorian greyhound’s return has been a well planned by trainer Jeff Britton, who now has his sights on this Thursday night’s heats of the Group 1 Winter Cup (520m) at Albion Park in Brisbane.
Britton was at Albion Park last week with another of his stars, Hasten Slowly, who took out the Group 3 Flying Amy Classic (520m) in a scorching 29.77sec, and he trialled Mepunga Blazer there on the same night in preparation for the Winter Cup where he ran a similarly fast time.
“He (Mepunga Blazer) injured his triangle muscle in February but it has healed up well, and after having a break from the rigours of racing, the six-month layoff might turn out to be a positive,” Britton said.
“He made a few mistakes in his Albion Park trial, but he ran good time and I just wanted to test him in the plane. He was a little bit excitable as it was his first time flying, but hopefully this time around he’ll be a little bit calmer.”
Winner of 12 races from 23 starts including the 2017 Group 1 Maturity Classic (525m) at The Meadows, Mepunga Blazer was retired in February because of relatively minor injury, with connections wanting to test the waters with him at stud.
Given he turns three next Friday, Mepunga Blazer is in the prime racing age, and he looks set to re-establish himself as one of the state’s premier sprinters.
Britton said he will head to Brisbane with a three-pronged attack of Mepunga Blazer, Hasten Slowly and Alpha Georgiou, the latter being a former Queenslander.
WATCH: Mepunga Blazer wins a Free For All at Sandown Park last night in 29.39 (Best of Night).