Hasten Slowly was one of Australia’s elite sprinters when his brilliant career was placed in jeopardy.
The 12-time group race finalist (eight of those G1s) journeyed to WA for this year’s G1 Perth Cup series in March, but finished seventh to Orson Allen in the final after sustaining a back muscle injury.
But recently, the champ has embarked on a comeback mission.
A desperate railer, Hasten Slowly hasn’t been suited by wide draws at his past two starts. So, it’s a different kettle of fish in Race 10 (10.17pm) at Sandown Park on Thursday night, as he’s drawn box two in a Free For All (515m) – a draw from which he’s won six times from eight starts.
It’s a vital statistic that hasn’t escaped the eagle eye of expert form analyst The Watchdog, who has installed him as a $3.50 chance – a quote that should whet the betting appetites of discerning punters!
“He’s going as good as ever, but has had no luck with box draws since resuming,” Langton said. He just loves to race and while he still wants to be a part of it, we’ll keep racing him.”
Hasten Slowly’s temporary racing curtailment led to him becoming a sire, but his trainer Angela Langton says the intention was always to attempt getting him back on a racetrack.
“He only had a few matings, but if he had won an Australian Cup or Melbourne Cup it would be a different story,” Langton said.
“We’ve had a few ‘back muscles’ over the years, and Jeff (Langton’s partner, Jeff Britton) has an excellent strike rate in getting them back from that type of injury.”
There are no specific feature events on Hasten Slowly’s immediate racing agenda, albeit Langton did concede that “we’d love to have another crack at the Australian Cup if he’s going well enough”.
“He’s such a great trier, with an incredible will to win, and that’s the best part about him,” Langton said. “He’s prepared to drive through the first corner even if he cops a bump.”
Langton’s rationale for bypassing the forthcoming G2 Ballarat Cup series with Hasten Slowly is that she believes he’s probably better on a circle track than a ‘horse-shoe’ track. “He’s a strong dog and probably appreciates further,” she said.
It’s been a slow and patient path back to racing – an eight-month hiatus to be exact – but Hasten Slowly has had three starts since resuming for a first-up win at Geelong, followed by a sixth to Blue Striker at Sandown Park and then a sixth to Get It Gizmo in a Melbourne Cup heat.
The February 2016 Fernando Bale x Heidi Go Seek dog has registered 20 wins from 58 starts, with stakes of $454,335.
He won the 2018 G1 Brisbane Cup and has also been runner-up at G1 level on four occasions: Topgun, National Sprint Championship, Winter Cup and Australian Cup – all in 2018. He was also third in this year’s G1 Temlee.
WATCH: Hasten Slowly (2) winning a heat of last year’s Australian Cup.