Trainer Mark Wallis is hopeful that Billys Bullet’s victory in the Category One Regency Cup last week will act as a trend-setter, writes Liam Apicella.
Twelve months earlier, the elder brother of Touch Tackle had been the big favourite to win the same race at Hove, only to suffer a badly broken hock.
A career on the track looked to be over, but the October 2012 dog defied the doubters to not only return to action, but also scoop the £10,000 first prize in a time of 41.31 seconds.
Now, Lakenheath handler Wallis is keen to see that other greyhounds are also given the best possible opportunity to mount similar comebacks.
“After surgery, it really was 50/50 as to whether or not Billy would run again,” he said.
“It is a fairytale story for greyhound racing and it just goes to show what can be done.
“I know most times that sort of injury ends in retirement, but with some perseverance and a bit of luck, anything can happen.”
That triumph sparked the start of a positive few days for Wallis, who saw 13 of his 16 entrants advance through the opening round of the William Hill Greyhound Derby.
The headline winner for the two-time champion was Domino Storm, with the daughter of Makeshift due to be in second-round action at Wimbledon this evening.
“I still believe Domino Storm is our best chance of winning for a third time,” added Wallis.
“You need a bit of luck to win it outright and she has got that with the draw because she has missed the big guns.
“If she can get through this one, it is down to the last 48, and from there anything can happen.”