By Isaac Murphy
Time flies when you’re having fun and this Sunday marks a year of TAB racing at Capalaba. The club will be celebrating on several levels with the first running of the TAB Anniversary Cup, before the scattering of long-time trainer and supporter Shane Kleinhans’ ashes after the last on a special day for the family.
Shane (Kleinhans) came from great racing stock with brothers Lester and Errol both fellow trainers and it was as per Shane’s wish that his ashes would lie at his favourite track. Something that Errol (Kleinhans) said the family would be forever grateful.
“It was Shane’s (Kleinhans) wish to have his ashes scattered at the track and the club have gone above and beyond in making that happen on a very special day for them and us,” Errol said.
“We’re expecting a big turnout of family and friends, Shane had five children, ten grandchildren and myself, my brother and two other sisters who will all be there to celebrate his life after the last race.”
Capalaba President John Catton said there was no question they would make it happen and themselves felt humbled.
“The Kleinhans family were incredibly grateful that we were willing to put a service on after the last where Shane’s (Kleinhans) ashes would be scattered, but for us we looked at is as honouring a man that had been so heavily involved in the club wanted to be laid to rest here,” Catton said.
“Shane’s involvement in the club goes back many years and while it’s a tragedy to have lost him too early it’s great that the family have the chance to celebrate his life at Capalaba.”
Shane’s legacy has been carried on through his dog Syfy Hero, now trained by Errol, who is set to run in the inaugural TAB Anniversary Cup.
“All of Syfy Hero’s prize money goes directly to Shane’s wife Fiona and she’s donating my cut to cancer research, which is what Shane passed away from,” Errol said.
“I’ve won four races with him since I’ve been training him with plenty of placings as well, but I just carried on where Shane left off, he had him in great condition.”
“Syfy Hero kept him motivated for a long time. He wasn’t in great shape but every time he would win Shane would fight on and was always determined to find a cure.”
John Catton has been the backbone of the club through some tough years and couldn’t say enough about what the switch to Sunday TAB meetings had done for the club.
“Going from Saturday’s where we were catering for non-TAB, we were relying on the punters to spend money at the bar to keep the place alive,” Catton said.
“Moving to Sunday’s it’s a melting pot of people every week. It’s not just for punters and trainers, but families, young adults it’s opened up a country picnic feel that everyone is gravitating towards.”
“Sky has been critical, we get a lot of patrons coming down on a Sunday because they’ve seen the races on TV and want to come and check it out first hand. It’s been fantastic for the sport and the club.”
Catton said the exposure had opened opportunities for Capalaba specialists, a few of whom will compete for the TAB Anniversary Cup.
“With publicity has come prize money and we’ve got some top dogs that race no-where else and make a good living solely at Capalaba, which is something that wouldn’t have happened twelve months ago,” he said.
“The TAB Anniversary Cup will be a hotly contested race. There’s not much between our Best 8 dogs at Capalaba at the moment. Never Walk Alone is heading for seven in a row and he’s the dog to beat, but it would be something if Syfy Hero got up for the Kleinhans.”
Casey Dargusch has been on a magical run with Never Walk Alone at the track and is hoping to add the inaugural cup to a recent feature success.
“It’s been a remarkable run he’s been on. We were targeting the Capalabourne Cup with him and we thought it was all over when he drew inside because he loves to run down the outside fence, but somehow he got across them and had me in tears, to set him for a race and win it was special,” she said.
“He’s been doing it on sheer determination from the inside draws, but we’d love an outside draw for the TAB Anniversary Cup this weekend.”
“I didn’t know the race was on until last week and he would have been running in the Best 8 there anyway, so to have a chance at another feature on a celebratory day for the club is huge.”
Never Walk Alone holds a sub thirty second personal best at Albion Park, but with the increased prize money and no injuries, Dargusch said the dog may never go back to the circle.
“He’s run 30.40 at Ipswich and we’ve been giving him a few trials there, but it all depends on how he pulls up. If we do get him back to the circle it’ll probably be once a month and keep him up the straight,” she said.
“If he never races on the circle again, we won’t be worried because $1,200 is nothing to sneeze at and it’s the induction of TAB that’s injected that prize money and allowed dogs to make a career down there.”