Hassall has stayed busy without Elegant Eleanor on the track by picking up Kiki’s Mum off fellow trainer Gary Mitchell, and the bitch making a winning debut to give Hassall a double at Bundaberg yesterday.
“Gary Mitchell brought Kiki’s Mum to me about two weeks ago, she’d done her fair share of racing at Albion Park but I think Gary picked her up from his old Wagga connections where she was racing over the short course,” Hassall said.
“She’s a bit of a timid little girl she doesn’t like being crowded for room, so we put the blinkers on her.
“We want her to accelerate rather than ease when she gets in between a few dogs, it’s just a confidence thing at the moment.
“I think she’ll take enormous confidence off that first win, I spoilt her rotten afterwards which they like when they’re new to the kennel and I think there’s plenty of improvement still there as she just wanted to run off on the home bend and still went three tenths quicker than her trial.”
The first re-enforcement after the injury was former Selena Zammit dog Prince Cosmic, who was brought to Hassall by good mate and prominent owner Peter Hare.
“Prince Cosmic’s owner Peter Hare only lives about half an hour away from me up here and I’ve known him for several years as a bookmaker at Townsville and Rockhampton - he’s owned plenty of good greyhound too,” Hassall said.
“I rang Peter up because I was struggling with numbers to race and he said ‘how many do you want?’ and I said ‘two would be good.’
“He called me back ten minutes later and gave me Prince Cosmic who came in fantastic condition from Selena Zammit and another who’s yet to start.
“I owe a lot to Peter and Selena for their respective roles.”
The dog hit the ground running at his new home track and is set for his first run at Albion Park under Hassall’s eye on Wednesday’s card.
“He’s taken to the 550 metres at Bundaberg a treat, I think he’s won about three Free For All races up here now and I thought it was time to give him a shot at Albion Park this Wednesday,” he said.
“Mick Zammit had told me when I got him he would win races in Brisbane and possibly even get to the 600 metres, where he might be a bit more suited as he likes to track a couple of lengths off the fence - he’ll have to be at his best from box five tomorrow.
“When there’s no race coming up for them at Bundaberg on a Monday, I’m always happy to jump in the car and come down to Albion Park rather than leaving them sitting in the kennels at home.”