Paua Of Oscar had the ‘power’ to be anything after equalling former champion Aston Dee Bee’s Warragul 400m track record (22.07sec) at only his third start in late March.
In fact, he was dubbed a potential superstar as that record had stood for almost four and a half years.
But roll on just over five months and Paua Of Oscar has only started on 14 occasions for eight wins.
“He’s definitely got the ability, but we’ve had a few issues with him –particularly toe injuries,” trainer Steve White said. “It’s cost him about eight months off the racing scene and restricted him to one-turn tracks.”
White added “you can’t run without feet’” and that a wise trainer once told him, ‘the first thing you look at are their toes’.
Paua Of Oscar (Nov ’17 My Bro Fabio x Paua To Admit) contests his first ‘black type’ event when he lines up in the Group 3 TAB Healesville Cup (350m) on Sunday.
He made a sensational straight track debut last week, clocking a 19.00sec heat win over star sprinter Hard Style Rico.
WATCH: Paua Of Oscar (5) clocks a flying 19.00sec Healesville Cup heat win last week.
However, White isn’t confident of taking home the $47,000 first prize.
“I would have asked for Box 8, but I’m happy with Box 7 except the ‘pink’ (Tin Shed Fred) is a mad railer,” he said. “He’s not pushing out of the boxes; if he could get out, he’d be a world-beater.”
Paua Of Oscar is rated a $12 chance on TAB, and White said at that quote “you’d be hoping and praying”.
White also paid tribute to his son, Mitchell, 26, who returned to the family home around 18 months ago.
“He’s the backbone of the kennel, and has a keen eye… He’s been taking the dogs trialling and Sennachie to the vet for semen collection,” he said.
“He was boxing dogs for me as a 12-year-old when we lived in New South Wales… He had a break from the sport as a teenager but has caught the ‘greyhound bug’ again.”
Mitchell has only handled four greyhounds, for two wins and two seconds, and will lead Paua Of Oscar to the boxes again on Sunday.
White finished third with Swift Rain in the 2018 Healesville Cup won by Kouta Mayhem. “Paua Of Oscar and Swift Rain are both similar, in that they motor to the line,” he said.
White said Paua To Admit has a 16-month-old litter, by Aston Dee Bee, that has broken-in quicker than Paua Of Oscar’s litter.
And she also has a three-week old litter (2 dogs, 5 bitches) by his retired superstar Sennachie, who has served around 45 bitches since April.
Paua Of Oscar’s maternal great granddam is one of the all-time greats, Paua To Burn, who White trained while based in NSW.
Paua To Burn contested 17 group race finals, with her biggest victories being the 2004 G1 Laurels, 2004 & 2005 Sapphire Crown Classic and 2004 G1 Golden Easter Egg.
She won 28 races from 59 starts and almost $243,000 in stakes. In 2007, Paua To Burn was inducted into the AGRA Hall of Fame.