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200 not out for Cosmo Bill

By Isaac Murphy

Cosmo Bill’s career reads 200 starts, 70 wins, 54 minor placings and $138,000 in prize money.

Cyndie and Bill Elson’s six-year-old marvel celebrated his double century in last Sunday’s 331-metre Best 8 at Albion Park with a gallant third behind Queensland’s best up-and-comers, and the milestone gave Cyndie time to reflect on the “one in a million” career which started way back in 2016.

“He’s such an easy dog to train, he’s been doing it for so long now that it’s like clockwork for him,” Cyndie Elson said.

“I think we’ve been a bit spoilt with his long career, we haven’t realised what a big deal 200 starts is until all the people who have reached out over the last week.

“In all our time in racing I think only Cyndie’s Magic has been as durable as him, we only retired her to have pups at five, but he’s still racing at six which puts him in a league of his own.

“He’s such a good sturdy dog, he doesn’t overexert himself at home, you don’t have to worry about trialling him, he just goes out in the pen every day, has a run around with the pups and that’s it - there’s no big secret to it.”

The dog has been in a battle for all-time wins with Cosmic Bonus, with Queensland’s grading system meaning he’s had to try to do it in the best possible company.

“I think we’ll get a true appreciation for him once his career is over, the 70 wins is probably an even bigger milestone as he’s second all-time to only Cosmic Bonus, and if you think about all the dogs that’ve raced over the years that’s a huge achievement,” Elson said.

“With our grading system up here he’s always racing in the best company and while he hasn’t been winning lately, he’s coming up against gun young dogs that are four years younger than him and giving them a run for their money.

“He might have lost a yard or two in pace but considering his first start was back in 2016, to still be so competitive is pretty amazing.”

Albion Park

ASSET BODY CORPORATE BRIBIE ISLAND 395m

Elson said it’s all a mindset with Cosmo Bill and while he’s still focused as a race dog, he’ll keep churning out the starts, starting with another Best 8 on Sunday.

“While he wants to race we’re going to let him keep going, he’s been a race dog since day one, that’s what he loves doing and to take that away from him before his time’s up would be doing him an injustice,” Elson said.

“He’s been in the same little kennel since he’s been a pup, it doesn’t take much to keep him happy, he knows he’s the boss of the place now and just goes about his business.

“Even though he turned six earlier this month and not many race until that age, I really don’t worry about that and I don’t think he does either.

“He’s still there mentally and physically, we won’t be putting a date on his career.”

The lion’s share of Cosmo Bill’s wins have come from the corner 395-metre start - renowned for its tough getaway - making his consistency even more impressive.

“He’s a rare dog that can balance up behind a few and come over the top of them at the 395 metres which is his pet distance, there’s that many races he looked gone and found a way to the line first,” Elson said.

“Early days he was more of a frontrunner that had to fly out but as he continued to get start after start, he developed that race sense to stay out of trouble or take a small gap - he’s always learning and adapting with age.

“We’ve had better dogs that have won bigger races over time but never anything like him to do it at that level for so long, he’s a dog we won’t be forgetting about anytime soon.”

Cosmo Bill

For Cyndie Elson, Cosmo Bill represents the latest chapter in the Elson’s racing life, the one constant since they moved to their new property six years ago.

“When we first moved out to Churchable in 2014, he was part of the first litter we had there,” Elson said.

“I remember it like it was yesterday; he was in a basket in the back of the car, the Cosmic Chief/Regal Silvers were the first little babies we had out here.

“The six years have absolutely flown, but if you’d told me back then one of that litter would still be racing today, I would have said ‘get out of here.’

“He had a sister Cosmo Cyndie who was a very handy sprinter, but there’s been that many litters since it’s hard to remember who’s his brother who’s his half-brother and so on.”

It may not be anytime soon the way he’s travelling, but one lucky family is going to get a very famous addition when the day does come.

“The day he does retire he’s going to be a beautiful pet for someone, I keep all the mothers here at home so unfortunately won’t be able to keep him but someone will be able to boast about what he achieved on the track before he became a pet,” Elson said.

“I want him to retire to a home where he can get attention around the clock and with so much happening here at home, I think he’d live a happier life somewhere else.

“There would hardly be a transition, he’s so easy going and we won’t send him until he’s finally got that racing out of his system.”