Wagga Wagga based trainer Shannon Ellis and Booming Bennett have got a big month ahead of them if Ellis' plans all fall into place. Booming Bennett, a two year old black bitch by Lochinvar Marlow ex. Bouncing Bunny, trialled at Sandown on Saturday and Ellis plans to target the Laurels with his promising bitch.
Booming Bennett has had six starts for Ellis since arriving in his kennel. She has won her last three, including a last start win on the 29th of November at Wentworth Park in 30.34. The win was special for Ellis as it was his first win in the city. “I had my first winner at Wentworth Park; I'm wrapt, absolutely wrapt. It was also the first city win for owner Adrian Dowdle, and the first for Adrian and Jarrad Dale's breeding partnership, they were both over the moon. They were involved in racehorse's and now they're right into greyhounds. They breed them, rear them and do a really good job with their stock. Jarrad is right into the breeding and Adrian is a bookie, so they do the research.”
Ellis has been training dogs part time for sixteen years but took up full time training in the last couple of years. “I've been training full time for two and a half years, but I've been a part time trainer for about sixteen. I used to just muck around and have the odd dog here and there, but I've got seven dogs in work now and two brood bitches in pup, so I'm a little bit busy at the moment.”
Ellis ended up with Booming Bennett after he received a phone call from her owner Jarrad Dale. “I received a phone call off Jarrad Dale who had Miss Gunfire with me at the time. He said this bitch would suit my style of training. I just said to them to send her down and I'll give her a bit of a go and see what happens. She won her first two starts then went off the boil, so when she arrived I got her bloods done and found a couple of little issue's and fixed her up. She has thrived ever since.”
Since getting Booming Bennett in his kennels, Ellis has noticed a big change in the bitch's demeanour. “She's lovely and jumps all over you. When I first got her she was a real timid sort of bitch and you had to go and get in the kennel to get her out. She took a little bit to come around, but now she just jumps all over me. She's a happy sort of dog now and that's probably the reason why she's in a nice upward spiral I feel.”
Booming Bennett's recent win was her first run over the 520 metre trip for Ellis and she is certain to improve as she gets more experience racing over the distance. “I don't really do too much with her. I'm only just starting to put the work into her. Now we have her confidence firing she's really coming on and I should win a lot of races with her. In a month's time we will know exactly what we have, at the moment she improves with every run and is going in the right direction.”
Ellis has plenty of faith in the bitch's ability and, when I spoke to him, he was on his way back to Wagga from Sandown. “I've been down there trialling this morning. I made the five hour trip down to give her a look out of the boxes and at the track. She went good, she went a lot faster than I thought she would first look. She's on target to be competitive in this and it's all great experience for the other age restricted races in the first half of next year. This is the pinnacle of racing and it's exciting to have a competitive bitch on the rise, I'm glad we decided to put her in the deep end. That win at Wenty was her first 500 this prep for me and the way she trialled this morning first look, she is showing me she's only going to get better, we don't know how fast she can go.”
The upcoming Laurels race at Sandown is firmly on Ellis' agenda. “We are going to throw her in and hopefully she'll get a run. She's won her last three so she should. Another run on the track and she should just improve. I'm hoping she can make it through to the semis, I'd be happy for her to run a place this week.”
Ellis also has Booming Bennett's sister, Bouncing Bennett in his kennels and she has won her only start for Ellis and is engaged at Shepparton on Monday. “I also have the litter sister that won first up after I got her at Canberra by seven lengths in good time, however she was injured the week after and I took my time bringing her back. She's having her first run back at Shepparton Monday night; she has ability but may take a few runs to comeback to best form.”
Shannon Ellis has already managed to achieve some quality results with these two dogs in a relatively short space of time. Should the Wagga mentors plans all come together, the sky is the limit for Ellis and Booming Bennett.