Jimmy Fenwick was in a far brighter state of mind as he headed back on the ferry from Ireland with Ice On Fire, earlier today writes Floyd Amphlett.
On Tuesday the Greyhound of the Year picked up a gracilis injury in a gallop. Established wisdom is that significant damage to that tissue (the big fleshy muscle high up on the inside of the hind leg) is career ending/significant performance affecting.
However, plans to visit physio George Drake were put on hold following a phone call on Tuesday night.
Jimmy said: “I had a message that Graham Holland wanted to speak to me. I called him and we were on the phone for 45 minutes. The first thing that he was gutted that Ice On Fire was injured. He described the dog as ‘a superstar’ and said ‘we all want to see the very best dogs run’. He told me that it might not be all over.
“He told me that he had had excellent results from using an Irish physio called Declan Merriman, from Co. Offaly. The successful treatments included TFL’s and gracilis injuries. In fact, one of the dogs he had treated and fully recovered is due to run in the Produce Stakes this weekend.
“I tried to get hold of Declan but couldn’t get a reply. But Graham had mentioned that Declan bred the ‘Highview’ dogs. I was aware that Stephen Caile, my colleague at Newcastle, had several Highviews so I asked Stephen if he could help. Stephen then spent two hours tracking down Declan for me and arranging an appointment.
“I have now been to see Declan and I am very positive about the treatment. It will be six to eight weeks recovery. Whatever happens, I am confident that we have given the dog the best possible chance. But I am certainly not making any racing plans at this stage.
“I would like to add that I have been absolutely lifted by the attitude of so many trainers who have been in touch offering their support. So many of them from all around the country including many well known names.
“It isn’t so long ago that I was asked who I thought Ice On Fire’s biggest danger in the Derby was and I said, ‘Lenson Bocko’. Doesn’t it say something about Graham Holland that he wanted to see my dog have his best possible chance?”