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Shane Ellis makes an Impact, just as his uncle Kevin did before him

3 August 2022

By Jordan Gerrans

When it comes to preparing his small team of greyhounds, Shane Ellis relies on almost every word his uncle Kevin passed down to him over the years.

Most trainers wait for decades in their careers for a dog like Impact.

But, for Shane, he was earlier this year handed a high-level dog from his mentor Kevin.

Kevin prepared the son of Fabregas to a Listed Capalaba Cup triumph late last year – as well as several other minor placings at Group level – before he handed the reins over to his nephew.

Shane had trained himself in years gone by but had been away from the day-to-day of it for around six years until earlier in 2022. 

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And, with uncle Kevin keen to travel and explore Australia as he gets on in age, Impact made his way to Shane.

The star dog on Thursday evening will be aiming to qualify for the Final of the Queensland Sprint Championship at Albion Park.

The transfer of Impact between Kevin and Shane made sense for all three parties.

“I told him that I was getting itchy feet and I wanted to get back into the dogs and I started building my kennels and getting all of that done,” Shane said.

“At the same time, he was thinking about doing his travelling and everything and we were coming back from Bundaberg one day and he said to me that he had enough and wanted me to take them on.

“It worked out well for both of us.

“When he comes back from all the travelling he may get back into the dogs or give me a hand trialling and that kind of stuff.

“He might like to do a few bits and pieces with me, so he is not tied down to having to do it all the time, and they can get away and travel whenever they want.”

Shane first had to run the arrangement past prominent Hervey Bay-based breeder and owner Steve Williams, who is a part of the Impact ownership group, which was quickly ticked off.

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Like Shane, Kevin also took a long break from training, before returning to the industry in recent years alongside his close mate, who happens to also be his nephew.

“My nephew Shane was training dogs and I was coming back into the dogs, helping Shane, and one thing led to another,” Kevin said in the lead-up to last year’s Capalaba Cup Final.

“It has evolved from there.”

The Burpengary-based Kevin has recently purchased a caravan and Landcruiser to head around Australia, currently on a long trip to Western Australia.

Shane credits his experienced uncle for much of the knowledge he uses with his kennel these days.

Races

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Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:52 PM

Qld Sprint Championship H

“I helped him with the dogs and that is how I got into it, I learnt almost everything I know from him,” Shane said.

“I just moulded myself on him.

“He always told me to speak to other dog trainers who had success and also learn from them.”

Shane officially took over the training duties of Impact in early May and the dog’s form has hardly skipped a beat since.

He ran a big race in the Group 3 B.G.R.C. 50th Anniversary Trophy Final while also running in the top four of the 2022 Group 1 Brisbane Cup and the Origin Sprint during the winter carnival.

While the black dog’s efforts in the big Finals have been outstanding, Shane concedes that Impact is just a notch below the elite greyhounds come carnival time.

“He is going good but just in some of his races he has not had much luck with draws, just as he does not have that early speed all the time,” Shane said.

“His two most recent runs at Capalaba, especially the one on the weekend just gone, that was a very good run.

“The races he has been in, they are all the big races you want to be in, but he is just not right at that level, he is a little bit below the best ones.”

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With heats of the Queensland Straight Track Championship to be held at Capalaba on Sunday afternoon, Shane considered keeping his star chaser at the grass facility.

He was a Finalist in last week’s Straight Of Origin decider and boasts nine wins from 15 attempts at the track.

But, Shane will instead have “something each way”, starting Impact at Albion Park on Thursday while keeping kennel mate Horchata for Sunday’s heats.

Horchata is yet to finish outside the top three in four starts at the Capalaba circuit, including three victories.

While Impact has a strong Capalaba record, the trainer believes he has become more of an Albion Park dog over time, with his best performances down the straight coming much earlier in his career.

And, the Capalaba track is just a little short for his liking, as he is not always as quickly away from the boxes as he could be.

Impact has drawn the first of two heats from the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club on Thursday and runs into the red-hot Shipwreck.

The Ned Snow-trained emerging star was a stunning winner at Wentworth Park on Saturday night, getting the money in 29.32 seconds over 520 metres.

Snow’s Shipwreck has drawn the black rug in his return to the Sunshine State and Shane thinks if he runs up to his performance at his last start, the rest of the field is likely to be running for the minor spoils.

“If Shipwreck begins like he did at Wentworth Park, he will just win,” Shane said.

“I would rather be drawn inside of Shipwreck instead of outside of him, we are in the race so we have a chance.

“I could not believe his run at Wentworth Park, I thought – like a lot of people – that he might find it a little tough from out there in eight, but he opened up and went bang and it was over before the turn.”

Two heats of the Queensland Sprint Championship will be run at Albion Park on Thursday before the Final next week.

The winner of the Sunshine State Final will progress through to the National's decider later this month at Wentworth Park, with first place worth $75,000. 

Races

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Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 2:02 PM

TAB Straight Of Origin (L) F