Finish line in sight for Bettina
By Mike Hill
VERSATILE sprinter Velocity Bettina will have her final race this month before preparing for motherhood.
Leading owner Steve Williams, syndicate chief of the Velocity Lodge operation, said Velocity Bettina would be retired after this month’s $22,000 Queensland Distance Championship (710m) at Albion Park (heats August 6, final August 13).
The announcement came only days after the brindle bitch (Zambora Brockie-Velocity Shirl) staged a stunning all-the-way victory in the $12,600 Grand Prix (732m) at Ipswich.
The win capped a grand six weeks of racing for the Kevin Ellis-trained sprinter-stayer.
In that time she won four staying races, including the Group 3 Super Stayers (710m) at Albion Park, from five starts and was extremely unlucky in the G1 TAB Queensland Cup (710m) when runner-up to Classy Ethics after being severely checked on the first turn.
In the Ipswich GP, Velocity Bettina – the hot $1.50 favourite – turned the tables on the Jeff Crawford-trained Classy Ethics ($6) to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths with the Tony Apap-prepared Rasheda ($7) a length away third.
The winner clocked a slick 43.93s and in the process set a new first sectional mark of 16.88s, bettering the old time of 16.91s held by Champagne Sally.
The victory also lifted Velocity Bettina’s record to 17 wins and seven placings from just 36 starts and boosted her total prizemoney to $162,990.
“She’s been a better bitch at Ipswich than Albion Park,” said Williams, one of Australia’s most prolific greyhound owners.
“She’s had two bad falls at Albion Park which might be the reason she likes Ipswich.
“She currently has a bit of a niggling injury but she should be fine for her final race.
“She comes from a strong female line.
“Her dam (Velocity Shirl) won the Group 3 Queensland Cup (600m, in 2016) at Albion Park and her grand-dam (Velocity Cloud) was a Wentworth Park 720m winner.”
At the moment Williams is leaning towards Black Magic Opal as the mating partner for Velocity Bettina’s first litter.
“It’s a proven cross,” he said.
The current darling of Australian greyhound racing and recent winner of the Brisbane Cup, Black Opium, is by Black Magic Opal from the Velocity Lodge-bred bitch Captivating – a litter sister to Velocity Bettina’s dam Velocity Shirl.
Black Opium, the winner of more than $574,000 in prizemoney, is a 10-time Group finalist and two-time G1 victor.
Williams said he would be selling some of the pups from the Velocity Bettina litter.
“In past years we would keep all our pups, but at 67 I’m wanting to slow down a bit,” he said.
“I’ll be offering some of the pups for sale.”
And there should be plenty of interest in them.
Meanwhile, owners and breeders are reminded that they only have a few weeks to nominate their youngsters for the annual Ipswich Puppy Auction.
The club advises that nominations will close on Friday, August 14.
Because of COVID-19, this year’s auction has been delayed and will now be staged on Sunday, October 11.
The auction is open to pups whelped between October 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020.
(Photo: Just Greyhound Photos)