The dog who virtually had two paws on a retirement sofa produced one of the outstanding performances of the winter at Nottingham on Monday night.

Pat Rosney’s Blissful Scolari won a heat of a 480m competition by ten lengths and clocked the fastest time of the night – 28.33 (+60). But there is much more to this story than a fast time. . . .

An exceptional youngster, Scolari (Droopys Scolari-Little Flame, Jun 14) made his racing debut at Hove almost two years ago in the Brinkley Future Champion Stakes. He finished second (4-9f) to Droopys Missouri in the final. Scolari reached the Produce Stakes final and clocked 29.52 for Nottinham’s 500 metres before it all went wrong just three races later.

He picked up a TFL muscle strain followed by a wrist injury and was off the track for nine months. Beaten in his first five races back, his trainer started checking out his re-homing options.

Pat said: “He was on the verge of retirement. But we knew what a big engine he had and you never want to give up with dogs of that calibre. At the end of last year we took him to Tom Peppercorn who found another injury, a small tendon injury behind a toe and we got to work on that.

“We trialled him around Belle Vue and he clocked 28.86 (470) on going rated 130 slow. You are always a bit suspicious of calculated times but we had another dog trial at the same session and it suggested that the going allowance was right. We had also noticed that he was easing himself a bit around the bend so we changed his seeding from middle to wide and he started to take the bend with more confidence.

“He clocked 28.42 (480) on going rated .70 slow at Nottingham a month ago, but I still wouldn’t have believed he could produce a run like that. The bizarre thing is, he isn’t the best of kennelers and for whatever reason he came out of the race kennel before the race and was completely calm.”

Scolari’s winning time in just the 28th race of his career has only been bettered by Newinn Shadow this year.

Pat added: “It is ironic that he produced such a good run at Nottingham. We had entered him for the British bred competition at Doncaster on Saturday that didn’t fill. He has four in the final at Nottingham next week which I am delighted about. At this stage though, every race is a bonus and we aren’t looking any further forward than the next one.”