THE win of Prince Mattan in the Vets Medley final in Hobart last Thursday night left trainer Len Howard with mixed feelings.
Prince Mattan went into the final as one of the favourites along with Stylish Moon with punters coming for the “Prince” at the death knock.
Stylish Moon jumped well to lead but Prince Mattan was hot on her heels and when he moved alongside the leader at the point of the turn he looked set to demolish his rivals.
But the son of Pure Octane appeared not to want to go past the leader and Stylish Moon booted through to retain the lead on straightening.
The pair embarked on a dour duel over the final 150 metres with Prince Mattan getting the upper hand on the line to score by a head from Stylish Moon with Hellyeah Benny over four lengths astern.
Celebrations didn’t last too long as stewards enquired into the racing habits of Prince Mattan resulting in the dog being stood down for failing to chase by reason of injury and has to complete a satisfactory trial on all tracks before racing again.
A vet’s inspection revealed Prince Mattan suffered an injury to his right shoulder.
“That he failed to go past Stylish Moon was disappointing but he was diagnosed with a shoulder injury,” Howard said.
Prince Mattan has only been with Howard for about two months but the trainer indicated the dog was about to be sold and could be heading to New Zealand.
While Howard will be losing Prince Mattan he is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a litter of nine that is being broken in Melbourne.
Howard whelped down a Collision-Token Excuse litter just over a year ago and from all reports they all can run.
“The litter of nine was sent to Melbourne to be broken in at Tooradin and from what I’ve heard they all have above average ability,” Howard said.
The broodbitch and her pups are owned by Queensland businessman Cyril Anderson who purchased Token Excuse in pup to Collision and sent the bitch to Howard about a week before the pups were due.
“I am quite excited about the prospects of this litter of pups coming back to the kennel,” Howard said.
“It’s probably at least six months before we are racing these pups but it will come soon enough,” he said.
The litter consisted of five dogs and four bitches.
Howard has cut back on numbers in recent months and one from his kennel that headed west, Paragon Star, made an impact at Cannington last Saturday night.
Paragon Star is now in the care of Perth trainer John Iwanyk and duly saluted at the luxury odds of $13.
“It was good to see Paragon Star get a win so early in the peace and we moved Uno Keysy on and he’s also in WA where he should win a few,” Howard said.