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Kevin Ellis and Impact on Capalaba Cup path

By Jordan Gerrans

Top Capalaba Cup fancy Impact lives a unique lifestyle compared to other greyhounds in Queensland.

IMG-6466.JPGHoused at Kevin Ellis’ Burpengary property alongside just one kennel mate, Kaminari, Impact prepares for big races such as this week’s Group 3 Capalaba Cup by walking through bush tracks just metres away from kangaroos and other animals, instead of going around tracks and training facilities.

Most mornings, experienced trainer Ellis will walk his dogs in bushland near his house, which he believes is key to their successes, mentally freshening up his chasers between races.

The son of Fabregas has already collected $58,320 in stakes, coming from 15 victories from just 23 starts, and will be one of the top hopes come Sunday at Capalaba for the $37,500 Cup.

“Of a morning, I do not have walking machines or anything like that, but I go early and drive up about five minutes up the road,” Ellis said.

“There is a bush track we take the dogs to every morning, we walk through there, they see wildlife, there is no people around there, no house dogs or anything.

“These walks keep them better in the head I reckon, mentally wise.

“They see kangaroos, hares, a few deers every now and then.

“The dogs are looking at them when they first went up there but now it is second nature, although they are still keen on the other animals.

“It is a good change for their mental side, the scenery.”

Ellis is in his second stint as a greyhound trainer over the last five or so years, a much lower key version of what he once first was.

In the early days, back in the 1980s, he was apart of a kennel at Caboolture that had between 40 and 50 dogs at a time, before giving it away on a full-time basis and heading back into the work force installing air conditioners.  

In the work force is where he first encountered greyhounds, in those days working in the public service, with a few mates who were involved in greyhounds and before Ellis knew it, he had an eight week old pup at his house.

Prominent Hervey Bay-based breeder and owner Steve Williams, apart of the Impact ownership group, played a key role in Ellis’ return to the training ranks in Queensland.

The Williams and Ellis partnership has no concerns and worries, the trainer believes, as the pair are on the same wave length, with Williams breeding, rearing and breaking in the dogs before they are sent out to trainers.

“My nephew Shane was training dogs and Steve was looking for more trainers to take on his dogs, they got in touch and Shane got a few from Steve,” he recalled.

“I was coming back into the dogs, helping Shane, and one thing led to another and I struck up a friendship with Steve. It has evolved from there.”

Races

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Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 1:05 PM

CON SCIACCA Capalaba Cup (L) H

The best dog Ellis ever trained was Velocity Bettina – another from the Williams camp - and while Impact is nearing her feats, he is not quite there yet, the veteran trainer says.

Williams, who owns a cleaning business in Hervey Bay on top of his greyhound interests, deserves every success and recognition he receives, Ellis thinks, such is his dedication to the sport of greyhound racing.

Impact, is unbeaten in his last six trips to the races – three of which came at Capalaba – and Ellis thinks maturity is behind his recent run of sparkling form.

Ellis likened him to an adolescent youngster in the early stages of his racing career, but in recent weeks, a different Impact – a more mature dog – has presented himself.

According to the experienced industry participant, there is nothing a trainer can do to help their greyhounds along in the maturity process, you just need to grin, bear it and hope for the best.

“He has always had the ability but he is just very immature or silly, he is like a teenage kid,” Ellis said.

“I have noticed the last month and a half, he has really settled down and is doing a lot more things correctly in his races.

“I hope he keeps just getting better and better because he has always been able to gallop.

“From the first time I started training him, he was a wild animal in his early days, he was over the top and just wasn’t thinking – but he has really switched on recently.”

Impact comes from box seven in Sunday’s Final, having won his heat by five lengths from the five alley last week.

Ellis was over the moon with the way Impact ran in the heat and thinks the way his dog finishes over 366 metres is his best attribute down the straight track, hitting the line strong over the concluding stages.

In a boost for the club, the Capalaba Cup has been lifted to Group 3 status, with $37,500 in prize money on the line in October, with $25,000 to the winner.

“It is enormous,” Ellis said.

“A couple of years ago if you told me they were racing for $25,000 the winner at Capalaba, I would have told you that you had rocks in your head.

“The prizemoney in Queensland now is enormous.MPM-0796.jpg

“It is a Group race now, that is what you aim for and shoot for, it would be icing on the cake.

“The club at Capalaba, they are run by excellent people, the committee, who want to grow the sport of greyhounds.”

Magical Trav, trained by Terrence Priest at Park Ridge, is expected to be one of Impact’s main rivals on Sunday at Capalaba, boasting 22 triumphs from just 32 starts in his young career.

Columbian King scored a brilliant victory in the most recent running of the Capalaba Cup, but he has failed to qualify for the Final for this edition of the race, running fourth in his heat last week.

October’s running of the Capalaba Cup will be the second edition of the race in 2021, claimed in March by track specialist Columbian King – with the race shifted to October going forward as the club usually battles flooding around March every year.  

 

 

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