Day At The Track

Star pacer close to comeback

09:00 AM 17 Apr 2018 NZST
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rsz_hectorjayjay.jpg
Hectorjayjay
Photo - Stuart McCormick

AT last there is some great news in pacing’s open-class ranks. It’s a tough few months with horses like Vincent retiring, stars like Heaven Rocks and Have Faith In Me leaving our shores and questions marks on Lazarus’s racing future.

But one of the sport’s absolute stars, the brilliant Hectorjayjay, is just weeks away from a comeback.

The millionaire pacer hasn’t raced since sustaining a suspensory ligament injury after the biggest and best win of his career in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 15.

Managing-owner Matt McLellan hopes Hectorjayjay could be back to defend that title.

“It’s been a long road, but we are getting to the business end now,” he said. “He’s had PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) treatment, a full body scan and several extra targeted scans, four different vets go over him and eight months of rehab.

“The past few months he’s been with Peter Clarke on the water-walker.

“He’s been back in work for three weeks, will have another month with Peter and then head to the stables to decide when he can race again.

“I’d love to think he’ll be back for a few lead-up runs in Victoria and then head to Queensland, but that’s the aim more than anything definite.”

Champion driver Gavin Lang will be Hectorjayjay’s new trainer, mainly because he is Melton-based and much closer to McLellan’s home.

“This horse is special to me and I want to see him regularly. I’ve had a long association with Gavin, he knows this horse so well and he’s 45mins from my place rather than two hours or so to David (Aiken’s) stables,” McClellan said.

“David has done such a fantastic job with the horse, but this is last roll of the dice with Hectorjayjay and there are no guarantees he will make it back. The signs are good, but I want to be close to him to see him often as I can and stay right across his progress.

“I also want to give special mention to the huge input Josh Aiken and Kima Frenning had when the horse was at the Aiken stable.”

Lang has driven Hectorjayjay 12 times for eight wins – including the 2016 Group 1 Len Smith Mile and Group 2 Sunshine Sprint – three seconds and a luckless fifth.

Hectorjayjay’s record sits at 79 starts for 42 wins, 21 placings and $1,143,907 in stakemoney.

 

Adam Hamilton

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