You beauty: Jesaulenko retires on 100

Traralgon superstar greyhound Jesaulenko, pictured with trainer Terri-Maree Morris, took to the track for the final time in his 100th race on the weekend. file photograph

Traralgon superstar greyhound Jesaulenko, pictured with trainer Terri-Maree Morris, took to the track for the final time in his 100th race on the weekend. file photograph

For Traralgon greyhound trainer Terri-Maree Morris, race number 100 seemed as good a time as any to put a bow on the illustrious career of her beloved Jesaulenko.

The four-and-a-half-year-old started fittingly from box number one in his last hurrah at Sale on Sunday and finished second behind Demand A Panda – not that placing was front of mind for Morris.

"One hundred sounded like a good number," she said.

"Not many greyhounds make 100 race starts and he was still running against the best in Australia.

"It was just a relief afterwards, actually. He has been such a champion and to see him get around safely in his last race was really nice."

Jesaulenko won 45 races in his career, filled the minor placings on 32 occasions and in the process earned more than $410,000 in stakemoney.

"It was just time for him to bow out," Morris said.

"In his last three starts he had a win and two seconds so he was still earning a great amount of money for us but it's about the dog's welfare.

"He is just a lovely dog and you've got to tell yourself that you're making the right decision ... it's time for him to enjoy being a pet."

A prolific performer at the highest group racing level, he made numerous group race finals and won the Traralgon Cup in 2017 – a standout moment for Morris.

"Winning on the new track in our home town was very special ... with all our local people there it was just wonderful," she said.

Jesaulenko's swansong came poetically at Sale – a track he well and truly made his own over the years.

He notched 24 wins from 34 starts to place alongside former track star Rowley as the most successful greyhound ever at the complex.

Fans turned out in droves on Sunday to catch one last glimpse of the champion in action and Morris said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

"I had a guy write to me from Perth that wanted a photo with him who I've never even met," she said.

"So many people love the dog that I don't even know and they're all sending wishes and congratulations, so it's really special."

Jesaulenko hasn't been without injury troubles throughout his career and would visit Melbourne every week for a vet check on an ongoing shoulder injury.

But the rigours of elite-level racing are now behind him.

"It's normal dog duties for him now and just getting spoilt rotten," Morris said.

"He had a Happy Meal and a soft serve cone after every race and he'll keep getting those. They're part of his diet now."

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