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Trainer Kerry Bussian overjoyed to take on elite greyhounds

DSE-4277.JPGBy Jordan Gerrans

Incredible, nervous and mind boggling – that is how small-time greyhound trainer Kerry Bussian has described his last week.

Bussian and his dog Captain Bizarre caused one of the biggest upsets of the Group 2 Ipswich Gold Cup heats last Thursday evening, landing on the rails from the inside draw and holding out legend trainer Tony Brett’s Orchestrate over the 520-metre journey.

When it comes to the Sunshine State dog training ranks, Bussian runs a small operation in comparison to others, with his family helping him prepare a handful of dogs at their Elimbah kennel.

A shift worker with Queensland Rail during the week to pay the bills, Bussian is still overjoyed by being able to land in the Final of a race worth $113,000 in total prize money.

“This is a whole new world for me, usually you just plod along and go from day to day with your dogs,” Bussian said on Wednesday morning.

“We have a normal routine with the dogs, but this week it has all been up in the air, I want to make sure I am doing everything right – it is a bit mind boggling.

“I have never been in this position or a race like this – racing against these other fellas like Tony Brett, Tom Tzouvelis or Graham Hall – they are great trainers and you always see their names up there and now I am up there with them.

“When we beat one of Tony Brett’s dogs the other night – I was thinking 'holy hell' – myself and the dog must be doing something right.”

The affable Bussian has never had a dog in his kennel qualify for a race at this level in his training career.

As an owner, however, over two decades ago, he was involved with a gun dog – who he now hopes Captain Bizarre can replicate his achievements.

“I was involved with a dog called Totally Serious back in the 1997-98 era, around that, and that was a long time ago and I only owned shares of the dog,” Bussian said.

“Barry Morris trained the dog; we were just in the syndicate.”

Even the suggestion of winning the $75,000 purse on offer for the Ipswich Gold Cup champion has Bussian giddy.

“God, that is a lot of money,” he said.

Races

8
8

Ipswich | Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club | 8:50 PM

TAB Ipswich Gold Cup (G2) F

DSC-0530.JPG“It would be terrific, I would be stoked if he could win.”

Such was the achievement of winning a heat last Thursday night, Bussian and his band of supporters ensured they had a few quiet refreshments that night to celebrate the occasion.

And, there is no doubt they would be bigger celebrations again if the black dog could win his 10th career race in just 25 starts.

The stalwart of the greyhound industry thinks a trip to Bundaberg earlier this year played a part in the recent run of outstanding form from his kennel star.

The son of Fabregas suffered a toe injury in a race in Bundaberg – where he ran third – and then ended his northern campaign, forcing him on the sidelines for a few weeks once he had returned to Brisbane.

Since then, Captain Bizarre has not run outside of the money in eight starts – including claiming four straight victories leading into Thursday night’s Final.

“He has always been pretty consistent, when he was a puppy, he never showed much when he was growing up,” Bussian said.

“He just kept getting a little better and better as we went along and all of a sudden, he was going great guns.

“He has always showed that potential but he has never gone to that next level before now.

“When I took him to Bundaberg about 10 weeks ago, he has just come back from there really good.”

Set to jump from box one in Thursday’s Final, the trainer says it was a dream come true to land the inside alley – the same draw Captain Bizarre won from in last week’s heat.

It is a family effort to get Captain Bizarre and his kennel mates to the races, Bussian says, with his wife and sons regularly helping out to prepare the dogs.

Races

5
5

Ipswich | Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club | 7:43 PM

TAB Ipswich Gold Cup (G2) H