Canberra greyhound breeder Alan Tutt had tears in his eyes as he carried Rare Pearl from the track with a broken leg.
His Golden Easter Egg dream was also shattered, but he had nothing but praise for the Wentworth Park vet who put his star greyhound in plaster and got him ready for the long drive back to Canberra.
Trainer Steven White had called Tutt in the afternoon before the race, confident they could take home the winner's cheque of $250,000 on Saturday night.
Tutt, the uncle of Carlton footballer Jason Tutt, had described the race as the greyhound equivalent of the Melbourne Cup – it's the third richest race in the world.
Just before Rare Pearl's hock broke, Tutt felt the dog he'd bred in his Hawker backyard was still a chance of finishing third.
But Rare Pearl got a slight bump on the turn and landed awkwardly, breaking his hind leg in the process.
"Heartbreaking mate, just really, really sad. It took a while to get him home last night because it was pretty horrible for him, but he's settled down now," Tutt said.
"I rushed on to the track and carried him off the track. I'm heartbroken, I was crying to be honest with you ... he's been an unbelievable greyhound."
The vet thought Rare Pearl could race again, but Tutt said it wasn't worth the risk and put the patched-up dog in the back of his four-wheel drive to bring him back to Canberra.
He said Rare Pearl will now live the "life of Riley" and has already had offers for his next home.
Tutt said he'll take him to the vet on Tuesday to see if he needs surgery.
For now, Rare Pearl has a spot on the couch, not far from where his mother La Pearl takes pride of place in the family lounge.
"With the pace he's got, we made the decision last night that we're going to retire him from racing so that'll be it," Tutt said.
"He'll have the life of Riley, we've just got to get everything tidied up and make sure he's going to be comfortable from now on."