ARCTIC SILVER returned from a spate of injuries in a blaze of glory in Hobart last night where he demolished a strong grade four field over 461 metres.
The Shane Whitney-trained dog, that is a litter brother to Chinatown Lad and Fallen Zorro, gave the impression he has fully recovered from the injuries that led to him having only a handful of starts in the last year.
The dog suffered a cracked hock while competing in Victoria last year that kept him sidelined for almost six months then in February he suffered a strained toe ligament while campaigning in Western Australia.
He resumed with an unplaced run in Hobart in early April but at his next assignment at Devonport five days later he suffered an Achilles tendon injury.
“There is no doubt this dog has been injury prone but I have never lost faith and he could still win his way to top grade,” Whitney said.
“This dog broke in the best of the litter and we had high expectations but he was very immature and the injuries have been a major setback.”
“He has to have things go his way in a race but he has won six and won in three states.”
“This time in he has probably been the best we’ve had him and his two trials leading up to this win were super,” he said.
Arctic Silver (Lilli Pilli Lad-Chinatown Babe) showed enough at his latest outing to suggest he has well and truly shrugged off his injuries.
He began fairly from box six and was in touch with the leader Luv Ya Johnny to the home turn but with the race favourites Patsy Anne (1) and Troublesome Miss (2) closing in fast.
Arctic Silver hit the front at the top of the straight and when the favourites issued their claims Whitney’s dog slipped into overdrive and powered home to defeat Troublesome Miss by three lengths with Patsy Anne a neck astern.
While Whitney still has high hopes that Arctic Silver will realise his full potential, he also is confident his half-brother Bandit’s Mistake (Elite State-Chinatown Babe) can go all the way.
Bandit’s Mistake was super impressive in winning the Bottley Green Memorial Maiden over 461 metres in Hobart last week.
He was last to hit the ground from box five but he weaved his way through the field and turning for home be opened up with big strides and went on to score by six lengths in a time of 26.39 that was only two lengths outside of the best of the night recorded by the in-form Whispering Blaze in a strong grade four event.
“He is a good pup that is still learning what it’s all about and tonight’s win was terrific,” the trainer said.
“”I’m confident this dog will be better over more ground later on.”
“We’ve been very patient with him and that is already starting to pay off,” he said.
Meanwhile Whitney confirmed Chinatown Lad has been retired from racing and will soon embark on a stud career.
“Chinatown Lad has been retired and we’ve recently had some semen taken from him and we have seven straws available at $990 including GST.”
“Ï expect he will be popular because I’ve already had a lot of inquiries from interstate asking whether he will be standing at stud,” Whitney said.
His other kennel star Fallen Zorro also could soon be retired.
Fallen Zorro suffered another injury in the National Distance Championship final in Western Australia last Saturday week.
“Fallen Zorro suffered a tendon injury in the national final and that might spell the end of her racing career.
“She has had a couple of serious injuries that she’s managed to overcome but it might be time for her to become a broodbitch.”
“We’ll make a firm decision on her racing future in the next couple of weeks,” he said.
Whitney is looking after a kennel of 13 of which seven are racing dogs.
“”The racing team consists of seven but I have some nice pips coming through so we’ll probably have a dozen racing at the end of the year,” he said.