By Andrew Adermann
The TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival draws to a close at Albion Park on Thursday night with the $57,500 Group 3 Box 1 Photography Golden Sands Final over 600 metres.
The Group 3 chase is shaping up to be a hotly contested affair, led by $2.90 TAB favourite Velocity Bettina who will be aiming to extend her winning streak to five on the trot with a favourable box three draw.
Joining the two-year-old bitch on the first line of betting will be Defy, Red Rock and Bago Bye Bye, who ran an admirable second to the favourite last week over the same distance.
“She’s drawn inside which is where she wants to be, but absolutely anything can happen and we just have to hope it goes our way,” Velocity Bettina’s trainer Kevin Ellis said.
“Ideally we want her to get to the front and lead throughout but she doesn’t have the early pace so hopefully she’s on the fence in the first 50 metres without any trouble and she can plan it out from there.
“Any of them can win it, everybody has a big chance and it’s just who gets lucky really – that’s all it is.
“You can’t discard Bago Bye Bye, who’s been here and done it before, and Stevie White’s dog in the heat last week got in a bit of trouble so if luck goes their way then it’s a different kettle of fish.”
Another feature of Thursday’s card is the $12,600 Racing Queensland Country Cup Final over 520 metres.
Similar to the Battle of the Bush Series for thoroughbreds, the Country Cup is a Racing Queensland initiative that presents greyhounds from Townsville, Bundaberg and Rockhampton with the opportunity to race in Brisbane at a group-listed meet.
Now in its third year, Townsville dogs have been dominant since the series’ inception, producing winners Innocent Man in 2018 and Dalmatynski in 2019.
The Townsville qualifiers may not have it all their way this time around, with two-year-old Bundaberg bitch, Elegant Eleanor, installed as a short-priced $2.30 favourite on the TAB.
The Bundy star has made a sensational start to her career, winning 11 of 16 starts, as well as breaking the Bundaberg track record over 460 metres.
Her most recent Albion Park win in 29.83 seconds makes her the fastest qualifier over the track and distance.
Elegant Eleanor won’t be the only Bundy product in Brisbane this Thursday evening, as race-caller Jarrod Wessel sits behind the microphone to call the final.
The 20-year-old called his first Bundaberg greyhound meet in May 2019, taking over from Trevor Halter who had been in the hotseat for 36 years prior.
“I started calling as a hobby when I was 16, as the Bundy caller at the time was getting on a bit,” Jarrod Wessel said.
“The club were looking for someone and my dad was on the committee so he encouraged me just to come out and give it a go.
“I managed to go alright so I practiced a little more and eventually sent a few tapes down to RadioTAB in Brisbane who took me on straight out of school.
“I think when I was 17 and working for RadioTAB I figured out that this was a job I could make a full-time going out of if I kept working hard and trying to get better.”
Wessel’s passion and talent behind the mic continues to grow three years on, and as a Bundy boy now living in Brisbane, he couldn’t be more excited to call a Country Cup Final in the big smoke.
“The thing I love most about it is the race itself, and just that thrill of calling and making it your own,” Wessel continued.
“John Brasch put forward the idea to RQ and Albion Park in having a country caller do the final, similar to the Battle of the Bush Series, and they all got on board and thought it was a great idea.
“I’m just a little bit excited, calling a big Thursday night meeting at Albion Park doesn’t get much better than that for me so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Click here for further information on TAB Golden Greys Summer Greyhound Carnival.