He came close to scaling greyhound racing's version of Mount Everest. Now Con Hansimikali is pinning his hopes on Magic Fancy going even higher.
On the back of Magic Fancy's slick Dapto Puppy Classic (520m) win on Thursday night, the Sydney-based businessman looks to have unearthed a ready-made replacement for retired kennel king Fancy Dean, co-owned by Socceroos star Tim Cahill.
Fancy Dean developed into a Wentworth Park specialist throughout a 29-win career, finishing fourth behind Don't Knocka Him in the Golden Easter Egg earlier this year. It was the richest greyhound race in the world at the time.
But Hansimikali believes blueblood Magic Fancy could match Fancy Dean's efforts on the track.
"At the moment he's close, but if he keeps up he could be better.
"I thought he [Fancy Dean] was one of the best dogs running last year and the year before though."
Fetching almost double the auction price paid for any of the other seven Dapto Puppy Classic finalists, Magic Fancy lived up to his billing in the region's richest greyhound race.
The blueblood wore down early pace-setter Dark Assassin on the home turn before careering away to win in a moderate 29.97 seconds and take out the $75,000 first prize.
Trainer Wally Lutiger preferred to talk down Magic Fancy's credentials so early in his career, which has already produced six wins from just eight starts.
"I think Fancy Dean was a classier dog," he said.
The win was comfortably the biggest for the Hansimikali and Lutiger partnership, which has stood the test of time for more than two decades.
"I was with him [Lutiger] for about 10 years and then I dropped off for a few years and came back again," Hansimikali said.
Pictured: Trainer Wally Lutiger and grandson Nathan flank Dapto Puppy Classic winner Magic Fancy and his proud owner Con Hansimikali. Photo: GREG TOTMAN