It wasn’t a case of putting him out in the paddock and hoping for the best, plenty of hard work went into his rehab and there’s no firm date on his return given his day-to-day status.
“The biggest thing with his recovery was time, he didn’t do much at all for months but as he gradually came along, we started with just short runs up the straight followed by rest and incrementally built him up,” Dillon said.
“He hadn’t been behind a lure for almost 12 months and we didn’t want to put him on the circle first up, so a couple of trials at Capalaba was the next step and he’s been holding together well so far.
“There’s plenty of hard work put in, but in the end it’s all about the dog; we won’t race him if he’s pulling up sore and not wanting to go but at this stage everything looks okay for a start in around a month.”
Dillon has been a popular figure in greyhounds since he burst on the scene with champion stayer Big Red, and is the type of bloke who always looks on the bright side in a tough sport.
“Being involved with racing is just good fun, especially when they go out and try hard for you - that bond between a trainer and his dog is pretty strong,” he said.
“Every time I’ve stepped away from racing in the past, I’ve never been able to stay away because it puts a smile on your face.
“It can be a hard sport with plenty of ups and downs, it was a tough night when No Easy Beat pulled up lame, but there’s no point dwelling on the past - you’ve just got to be optimistic about what’s next.”
Dillons’s partner Tracey Parker has been instrumental in the trainer’s resurgence, sharing the same vest for greyhounds.
“It’s been really enjoyable sharing that feeling with someone else, my partner Tracey is just as passionate as me and two sets of hands is definitely better than one,” Dillon said.
“I still work full-time as a painter and get up in the morning and head off to work knowing that Tracey will be at home to take care of the dogs and whatever they need.
“She went for her license the other day, so hopefully we get all that ticked off and she can be even more hands on - it’ll be great.”