It’s hard to believe in this day and age, but one of the fastest greyhounds in Australia, the brilliant Hostile, happens to reside just eight kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD.
On Saturday night the superstar from West Footscray is one of the main contenders in the $250,000 to-the-winner ATC Australian Cup at The Meadows.
Hostile won his heat in impressive fashion last weekend, overpowering the classy Marcus Joe to win in 29.951sec. It was his first run since winning a heat of the Cranbourne Cup in late December.
“I had to scratch him from the Cranbourne Cup final because he had a cough, but he has been freshened up now and he should only improve on his heat run as he’s edging closer to peak race fitness,” said trainer Darren Beasley.
Getting his greyhounds fit poses its challenges for Beasley, who works full-time as a courier.
“Most trainers live on large properties in the country and they only have to open their back door and they’ve got paddocks and galloping yards to work their greyhounds in.”
“I’ve got Hostile and two of his younger half brothers who are yet to race, and to get them fit I walk them through the streets in the morning and take them to a straight track 30 minutes from my place in Melton twice a week after work to let them run.”
“Hostile starts barking at 4:30am each morning because he’s so eager to go for a walk. I start walking him at 5:00am for up to 45 minutes. We don’t walk very far though because he stops to leave his mark on nearly every tree,” Beasley laughed.
While not possessing phenomenal early speed, Hostile is a relatively consistent beginner who often settles second or third at the first corner before finishing his races off with plenty of power.