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‘Hooked’ on a feeling

Megastar Hooked On Scotch faces his first serious hit-out in his quest for a racing comeback.

“He’ll trial behind the lure at Healesville on Tuesday and if he pulls up okay, he’ll probably resume racing within four weeks,” Pearcedale trainer Jason Thompson said.

Dubbed “the fastest chaser on the planet”, Hooked On Scotch has been ‘missing in action’ since winning a heat of the Group 2 Warragul Cup (460m) in near-record time.

Hooked On Scotch semaphored a sizzling 25.342sec – only .04sec (three-quarters of a length) off Aston Dee Bee’s 25.338sec mark set in December 2016. (Thompson also trained Aston Dee Bee when he established the record.)

“He’s had plenty of free galloping and is very fit… He’s not far away,” Thompson said.

A five-time group race winner, Hooked On Scotch (Dec ’17 Barcia Bale x Nicki Fields) has become an adoring champion winning the G1 Hobart Thousand, G1 Adelaide Cup, G2 Geelong Gold Cup, G3 Shootout and G3 Speed Star.

Owned by father-and-son Michael and Darren Puleio, Hooked On Scotch was also third in the G1 Melbourne Cup.

He has notched 12 wins from 19 starts, with $351,365 in prizemoney, and set a new Sandown 515-metre track record (28.94sec) in a heat of last year’s G1 Melbourne Cup.

Also labelled the “people’s champion”, Hooked On Scotch has developed a cult following – even from members of the non-racing public.

He’s one of those handful of greyhounds that emerges every decade or so that you can justifiably call a bona fide champion.

You can now watch every Victorian greyhound race live and free via The Watchdog mobile form guide app, or follow ‘Watchdog Racing’ on Twitter or Facebook.

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About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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