Non-starting horse Chautauqua has company.
At least in terms of being a barrier rogue, if not when it comes to class.
After the multiple Group I-winning sprinter put on several shows in 2018 where he refused to jump from the barriers he was eventually retired by Team Hawkes after failing to jump in a Moonee Valley barrier trial last September.
Can you believe it!?— Racing.com (@Racing) September 28, 2018
Chautauqua isn't going anywhere. pic.twitter.com/kLSqlrAOPi
At the time Wayne Hawkes said Chautauqua was too smart to continue racing.
“The bottom line is he is what he is, what do you do?,” Hawkes said.
“And guess what, he doesn’t want to do it any more.
“He’s too good for us.
“It didn’t surprise me. It’s disappointing he didn’t jump but he’s been one of the greatest of the great.”
Well, maybe the horse has been one-upped by a greyhound, at least as a stubborn type who doesn’t want to race.
Because while it took the ”Grey Flash” 32 starts to simply refuse — newcomer Mac’s Offer who is from a long line of winning greyhounds — displayed manners his trainer will not be happy with, showing itself to have learned the non-start caper early.
In fact, its first trial was a non-start.
Clearly not wanting a bar of racing or rabbit, the greyhound lined up in the boxes for a solo trial over 515m — a requirement before being passed fit to race — stepped out unconvincingly and went on to ‘offer’ very little thereafter.
Mac’s Offer was quite content to stand stationary at the boxes, walk out and stand looking on with zero interest in chasing the not-so-real rabbit.
Mac’s Offer’s family has won 65 races and over $150,000 in stake earnings, but he certainly didn’t acquit himself like a natural-born runner — it was a bizarre showing by the well-bred greyhound.
After vetting Mac’s Offer for injury, stewards were less than forgiving of the ‘effort’, issuing connections with a “failing to pursue” endorsement.
“On box rise MAC’S OFFER (1) faltered and turned back where the greyhound was collected by track staff and failed to complete the trial. Stewards interviewed the trainer of MAC’S OFFER (1) regarding the greyhound’s actions and have subsequently issued an endorsement for Failing to Pursue the Lure under GAR 69A (1). The greyhound is stood down from racing at The Gardens for 28 days and must complete a satisfactory trial with at least 2 other greyhounds under GAR72 before being eligible to nominate.”
Whether he ends up pursuing the lure or pursuing a life of leisure remains to be seen, but you’d certainly want to see some evidence of Mac’s Offer putting it all together before parting with any of your hard-earned.
This article first appeared on Punters.com.au and is republished with permission.