Fate has treated Fortune’s Fool badly in luck. No, I’m not reciting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
I refer to a greyhound – named metaphorically after the “Bard of Avon’s” Romeo character – that won’t accept ‘banishment’ from the racetrack.
Bred, owned and trained by Maddison ‘Maddi’ Toner, 22, Fortune’s Fool (Feb ’19 Mepunga Blazer x Bel Air Mist) finally got his ‘fame’ – all 25 seconds of it – in a Maiden heat (440m) at Sale last Sunday.
Fortune’s Fool, who is 29 months old, was making his race debut and proved failure can’t cope with persistence.
Since early 2016, Maddi has been a part-time veterinary nurse at Dr Des Fegan’s Walnut Veterinary Clinic in Cranbourne. She also works at Cranbourne GRC on race nights as a kennel attendant.
Maddi has nursed “Hunter” (as Fool’s Fortune is affectionately known) back from shoulder issues, a dropped back muscle and torn monkey muscle, and a myriad of other problems.
“I was so proud of him last week… I cried a little bit after the race,” Maddi said. “And I was just so happy he pulled up well, it wasn’t about winning.
“It’s been around 15 months of free galloping and trialling, driving across Victoria, which you would normally achieve in three months.
“I took my time with him, it’s been a long process, but it’s the little things that have been rewarding.”
Fortune’s Fool has drawn box five in the Maiden final on Sunday and Maddi says, “I’ll take everything a run at a time”.
“He seems good… He jumped on the walker like he hadn’t had a run,” she added. “His heat was the fastest and he should improve… Hopefully he gets a clear run.”
Maddi resides in Clyde but prepares Fortune’s Fool and litter brother Dreamers Lie (also Romeo and Juliet inspired) from the Bunyip property of her grandparents, “Baz” and “nan” – greyhound racing stalwarts Barry and Doris Toner. (Doris’s brother, Jack Kelly, trained African Zulu – a champion sprinter in the early 1980s.)
“I studied Shakespeare at school… I think I jinxed myself by naming him Fortune’s Fool,” she quipped.
Toner paid tribute to Devon Meadows trainer Glenn Rounds, who she assisted for around four and a half years.
“I only moved my dogs back to Bunyip three weeks ago. Glenn was great to learn from and he was an invaluable help while I was at work.
“In fact, I got Bel Air Mist from Glenn’s sister, Leanne, to breed with on a pups’ basis. She later went to GAP, and I believe has a loving home in Melbourne’s CBD.”
WATCH: Injury plagued Fortune’s Fool (1) – almost two-and-a-half years old – makes a successful race debut at Sale last Sunday.
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