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Red the route to victory for Velocity Bettina

By Isaac Murphy

Race-4-Velocity-Bettina-DSC-3289-JPG.JPGVelocity Bettina is looking to put a bow on her transition to the staying ranks by winning this Thursday’s Group 1 Queensland Cup Final over the 710 for trainer Kev Ellis.

 The bitch has a remarkable resume from the 520 metres up, and is one step away from winning the Listed Dashing Corsair, The Group 3 Super Stayers and Group 1 Queensland Cup within a month - and she has the box to do it.

To cap off the month, she was also recently crowned the Greyhound Clubs Australia Greyhound of the Month for June.

The only knock on Velocity Bettina is that she’s an inside or bust bitch, but burst through that wall with a 41.72 heat win last week.

She comes back to her prized box one for the final, where she’s looking to go seven for seven in her career and Ellis couldn’t be happier on the eve of her grand final.

“It’s no secret she hasn’t been good from the outside boxes, it all goes back to when she was poleaxed out of the 600 metres lids and it really shook her confidence,” Ellis said.

“But I was over the moon with the way she ran the race from box eight last Thursday.

“We had Rasheda boxed directly inside us who we knew we could probably cross but Phantom Laurie in the five wants to get off the track and we were a bit worried he’d run us off early.

“In the end Rasheda jumped as well as us and came together with Phantom Laurie giving us a clear run.

“You need that bit of luck sometimes, but she still had to work extremely hard - I thought it was the best win of her career.”

Velocity Bettina has been putting most of her rivals to the sword early, and with incredible pace over 600 metres and Ellis is hoping she uses the draw to skip away from a big danger.

“She’s got to do everything right in those first two sections and really carve out quick time, because Robbie Britton’s bitch Blazing Cartier is a real danger if she’s able to stick with us in the early stages,” he said.

“We’ve drawn the box where she’ll hopefully make it seven from seven, she makes her own luck in running and if there’s any trouble behind it’s going to take a mighty effort for something to catch her.”

Albion Park

TAB Queensland Cup (G1) H 710m

Ellis said he’d left no stone unturned in preparation and could do no more than hope she picks up her first Group 1 Thursday night.

“This was always the goal with her to get to the Queensland Cup Final when we made the step up to the 710 and so far, she’s done just about everything right it’s exciting stuff,” he said.

“To see her come home in just under 13.40 last week was very pleasing, with the work she had to do early I thought she’d be on tired legs but she’s getting stronger with every run.”

A strong favourite with the bookies after the box draw, Ellis is still aware a lot can play out over the staying journey, running several scenarios through his head how the race will play out.

“There’s your run on chances like Rasheda and Blazing Cartier, but the bitch we might have to jockey for the lead with early is Classy Ethics for Jeff Crawford who’s in the same mould as my girl and has improved dramatically since coming up to Queensland,” he said.

“I’d definitely say they’re our main three rivals; if Rasheda finds the fence she’s a different dog and will run home quicker than all of us and Blazing Cartier should only improve off what she did last week.

“Blazing Cartier is a true Group 1 stayer, and the dogs she’s been racing and beating at home in Victoria are the best stayers out; it would be massive for us to beat her and have a local win the Queensland Cup.”

Velocity Bettina

Ellis is not scared of tackling the Blazing Cartiers of this world and if it wasn’t for border closures, he would have tested Velocity Bettina against the best earlier.

“There’s been positives and negatives with the COVID-19 restrictions, we would have loved to have got her down to Victoria or Sydney a few times to get a look against those top class stayers, that’s something we definitely want to do before it’s all said and done,” he said.

“The positive is we obviously know a lot about the runners we come up against this week - outside Blazing Cartier - so we have a bit more of an idea how the race might unfold.”

Ellis has carved a good friendship out with Steve Williams, owner of Velocity Bettina and several other top Queensland chasers, and the trainer is happy to reward his owner and mate with a cracking career thus far.

“She’s always had the ability from day dot, the first couple of trials I gave her over 300 metres as a puppy her run home was equivalent to a good Thursday night dog,” Ellis said.

“I always said to Steve that she’s going to become a really good front running stayer, so I’m glad I got that one right.

“Steve has supported me from the outset, trusted me with her and to reward him with a bitch that’s run 30.09 over 520 at Ipswich, won a Group 3 over the 600 at Albion and is now on the verge on a Group 1 over the staying trip, she’s going to be one hell of a brood bitch for him.”