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Ellis Enters uncharted waters with Velocity Bettina

By Isaac Murphy

Kev Ellis has never got too comfortable with Velocity Bettina, always finding a new challenge for the talented two-year-old.

His latest task perhaps his boldest taking his Group winning 600-metre bitch to the 710, but as she’s done most of her career she’s taken it in her stride.

“You’re always a bit apprehensive when you make a significant distance change with them, especially when it’s up to the biggest staying test but I’ve been rapt with how she’s handled in so far,” Ellis said.

“I would have been happy to see her go around the 42.2-mark first time over the distance, I just wanted to see her win over the trip but to do it in 41.86 was beyond what I thought she’d do first up.

“I’m not sold that she’s a true 710 metre bitch yet, she’s only had the three starts and has relied on her first couple of sections to blow them away

 “She’s going to have to find a reasonable finish if she wants to beat the best.”

There is only a select pool of stayers in Queensland at the moment with border restrictions, and Velocity Bettina’s front-running style has seen her off to a hot start at the trip though she’s got a tried and tested stayer chasing her.

“There aren’t too many out-and-out top stayers at the trip right now, so it’s as good a time as any to get a few miles in her legs and hopefully knock off a couple of wins while we’re at it,” Ellis said.

“Rasheda for Tony Apap runs her races completely opposite, she was passing the 520 boxes while we were leading at the 395 boxes first time around last week.

“We still got home comfortably but she makes up a lot of ground in that last hundred metres.

“I worked it out Rasheda came home in 13.15 and we came home in 13.85, it’s a massive disparity.”

Albion Park

FABREGAS @ METICULOUS LODGE 710m

The two lock horns again this week and on paper it’s advantage Rasheda, Velocity Bettina having to do something she’s never done before and win from box eight.

“This Thursday is going to be much tougher for us and easier for Rasheda, she has the three so even if she misses it she’ll be able to find the rail where she wants to be, probably a lot closer to the speed,” Ellis said.

“We’re stuck out in the eight and there’s not much speed directly inside us but Classy Ethics in the four is seeing the track for the first time, so you always worried about getting run off on that first turn.

“I’m really happy with where she’s at physically, she just got to overcome the draw this week which might be a learning curve but time will tell.”

Velocity Bettina’s one downfall throughout her career has been her inability to win from a wide draw, while she is virtually unbeatable drawn the rail.

“The biggest thing with her is drawing a box; there’s two of her, it’s like Jekyll and Hyde when she draws the rail instead of the outside,” Ellis said.

“I thought she was coming around to the different draws a few starts ago until she got shunted off the track something severe over the 600 metres, that’s really set her back.

“For some reason if she comes out and there’s dogs inside her, she just doesn’t hunt forward, if she pings the lids from box eight and clears them, she’s away, but she won’t like it if she’s stuck four wide at that first bend.”

The number one target for the bitch is the Listed Dashing Corsair with heats kicking off next week, and Ellis is hoping to nab the black type race without facing some inter-state stars.

“It’s going to be interesting going forward if the borders open up and we have the top-class stayers from across the country coming up for the Winter Races, I know a lot of trainers are hesitant at the moment,” he said.

“I think the Dashing Corsair will be contested by the local dogs who we’ve been racing every Thursday night, which we stack up well against.

“By Brisbane Cup time we might have a few southerners who are probably a bit too seasoned and strong for her at this stage, but we want to push on as a stayer and we won’t shy away from the competition.”

A multiple winner at Albion Park in top grade over the 600 and 710 metres, Ellis said he might have to get creative in finding some races elsewhere for Velocity Bettina after the Brisbane Cup.

“After the Brisbane Cup if the borders are opened up again, we’ll probably look to travel with her otherwise she’ll be stuck in top grade over the 600 and 710 up here and not guaranteed a race every week,” he said.

“She’s got a bit of versatility distance wise; I’d have to sit down and find the right race but at only two-and-a-half she’s got plenty to achieve yet.”

Velocity Bettina’s body of work is something to behold, and there aren’t many greyhounds out there who can do what she’s done and Ellis is forever thankful to owner Steve Williams and Velocity Lodge for the chance to race the bitch.

“She’s a rare animal, to run 30.09 at Ipswich over the 520, win a Group race over the 600 at Albion and now hopefully get some listed or Group form over the 710, you don’t find many of them,” Ellis said.

“Steve Williams has done a lot for me giving me the bitch to train and to add a marquee staying win would really stamp her as an in-demand brood bitch when her time comes.

“He loves to keep his line Steve, so hopefully he finds a good sire and maybe I’ll be lucky enough to train one again.”

Velocity Bettina

Races

5

Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:10 PM

FABREGAS @ METICULOUS LODGE

Race-5-Velocity-Bettina-143.JPG