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Hyper Haze back for Queensland Straight Track Championship heats

4 August 2022

By Jordan Gerrans

After bringing Hyper Haze back from injury “ever so slowly”, trainer Jeff Crawford is optimistic his talented young dog could return better than ever.

The Buccan-based kennel of Crawford has taken its time with the black dog after a hip muscle concern put him on the sidelines since early March of this year.

From a Milldean Panther and Hazy Jane litter, Hyper Haze showed plenty of potential before the injury, especially down the straight of Capalaba.

He was only outside of the money once in his nine attempts at the track – yielding six victories – with a personal best time of 19.62 seconds up the 366 metre grass track.

And, that is where he will return this Sunday in a heat of the Queensland Straight Track Championship.

Crawford, who has an affinity with the southern Brisbane track through the spoils of his former kennel star Leeroy Rogue, describes Hyper Haze as a “quirky dog”.

“He really takes to chasing the drag, he excels and is a different dog on the straight behind the drag,” the experienced trainer said.

“He showed immense ability as a pup going up the straight.

“We thought we could mature him and get him confidence as a race dog before taking him to the circle track.”

After being slipped at Capalaba last Friday before a trial at headquarters on Tuesday, Crawford recognises he is throwing his up-and-coming chaser in the deep end against a classy field on Sunday for a slot in the Final of the Queensland Straight Track Championship.

The field’s for Sunday’s heat includes top Capalaba dogs such as Milligan and Ninetymile King, who come directly from last week’s Listed Straight Of Origin decider at the track.

“Hyper Haze is still a young dog that has had limited starts and has shown he has got a bit of ability,” Crawford said.

“He ran some good times as a pup and I think he has the ability to come back better than what he has shown before.

“Time will tell and the injury will obviously have some restrictions on him, but if I can get him back to him to a competitive stage up the straight and around the circle, then I would be really stoked.

Hyper Haze Next Racing

“The dog is itching to go.

“He is being thrown in the deep end first-up, that is for sure.”

All six of Hyper Haze’s career victories have come at Capalaba, while he has a look at Albion Park – where he has gone close without winning – and Bundaberg, as well.

He has just missed the start at times in his handful of attempts on a turning track, but he has shown he can hit the line well.

The trainer thinks Hyper Haze may get over more ground in the future when he does eventually get back to the circle tracks.

While Crawford is optimistic the youngster has come back in good order, there were concerns early on that an issue like a hip muscle injury one could have cut his career short after just 14 starts.

”It can be a career ending injury,” he said. 

“The scarring that happens in that area, it can restrict their ability to stretch right out and that can impact their performance.”

A now retired star of Crawford’s kennel - Leeroy Rogue – won 13 of his 15 attempts up the Capalaba straight, before he ran his last race in late 2018.

Crawford says he just loves the Capalaba track and atmosphere on race day and plans to use the facility for 20 of his dogs that are about to enter pre-training and educate them on the grass.

Two heats of the Queensland Straight Track Championship will be run on Sunday before the Final next week.

The winner of the Sunshine State Final will progress through to the National's decider later this month at Richmond, with first place worth $25,000. 

Races

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Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 2:14 PM

BERNIE CULEY 5th Grade F