FORGOTTEN star Hectorjayjay is closing in on a remarkable return to racing.
After almost two years on the sidelines, the Blacks A Fake winner had an eye-catching trial at Albion Park yesterday.
In 2018, the gelding’s connections were told he may never race again after sustaining a series of serious leg injuries.
But after a lengthy spell and being sent Queensland trainer Jack Butler, Hectorjayjay has a new lease on life.
“He was just doing so well in the paddock and the owner said maybe we should just give it one last crack,” Butler said.
“I train for the owner (who is based in Victoria), so he came to me and said ‘would you like to give him a go?’
“I’ve got a sand track, a swimming pool and treadmills and he just asked me if I’d like to take him as one last hurrah.”
Hectorjayjay forged a reputation as one Australia’s top pacers, where his combination of endurance and devastating turn-of-foot saw him earn more than $1million as a result of 43 wins and 21 placings from 80 starts.
In the winter of 2016, trainer David Aiken took the five-year-old up to the Sunshine State for a tilt at the state’s most prestigious races.
He first claimed the Group Two Sunshine Sprint over 1660 metres, before starting an even-money favourite in the Group One Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship where he finished second.
A year later he returned for the same races, this capturing both.
However, a serious leg injury kept Hectorjayjay off the track for almost a year, with his subsequent comeback lasting only a start, which he won.
As for his trial, the son of Dream Away was eased to the tail of the field before sprinting along the pegs to finish second.
“He went really well, he hit the line terrific and they got home in 27.6 seconds,” Butler said.
“He made up three lengths in the straight and did it on the bit, so we are stoked with him.
“He’s had no other issues and is fit as a bell and we just want to keep him that way as everything is going great at the moment.
“It’s always hard to get them back running at any age, but he’s just a bloody a good horse…he’s just got the will to run and to win.
“For his age, he actually hasn’t had a great deal of starts so if we can keep him going there could be a couple of seasons left in him still.”
- RQ Media