When Grafton based trainer Marlene Ellis received an unlikely gift from her son Brad, she probably didn’t envisage having a crack at winning $20,000 so soon after. But that is the scenario that Ellis faces with her two year old dog Flash Reality this Tuesday night.
“My son Brad, he bought him off a local breeder here called Gary Smith. He had the mother Orara Flash who was a sub thirty dog at Albion Park and very well bred. He bought him for me and he’s been a pretty good gift.”
Flash Reality is a striking 34 kilogram black dog by Premier Fantasy out of the aforementioned Orara Flash (Bond x Sweet Elite), who was a very handy race bitch. He will line up from box six in the final of the Northern Rivers Vet K9 Reproductions Maiden Series as the second fastest qualifier after leading throughout from box seven in a slick 24.02 in last week’s heat.
“He’s a very promising dog at the moment, it’s just unfortunate he’s drawn box six. There’s nothing we can do about the box. We were hoping to get box seven or eight again, he came out of seven last week and handled it beautifully.”
Flash Reality may not be the only one in the litter who can gallop, with Ellis pointing towards another sibling who could be worth following.
“Gary Smith has bred some very good dogs, he has the litter sister to Flash Reality called Orara Gem, and she’s going exceptionally well too.”
Flash Reality appears to have an affinity with the Lismore circuit and has exhibited his fondness for the track from an early age.
“We broke him in between Lismore and Grafton. The first time we put him out of the four hundred boxes he went 24.10 and he’d never been out of the boxes at Lismore before.”
Leading into this series, Flash Reality had two starts at Albion Park for two thirds but possibly had his share of excuses. He certainly showed what he was capable of on his return to familiar surroundings last Tuesday.
“We gradually stepped him up to the five hundreds because we wanted to race him at Albion Park and he has a very strong run home. But unfortunately we put him in the maiden series there about a month back and he didn’t seem to handle the track as well. You’ve also got a fair bit of travelling time to the track which isn’t the ideal scenario for a young dog.”
There’s no doubt that the trip to Brisbane would have been a good experience for Flash Reality, but the fact that he didn’t win may have also been a blessing in disguise with the perfect series waiting for him a lot closer to home.
“He had a few niggling issues, so we fixed those up and bought him back and then noticed the Lismore maiden was on, so we thought why not have a shot at that. We know he’s got ability, we know he can run sub twenty fours so why not have a go?”
Ellis also has more than her fair share of concerns about how the race will transpire early come Tuesday.
“The seven and eight dogs are fast beginners and they crash left and there are some fast beginners inside too. He’s going to have to do either one of two things, he’s either going to have to jump in front or miss it a length or two and follow the seven and eight over. The biggest danger is definitely the eight (There’s A Earn). I think he had the fastest first section last week. He was in the sixties and we were in the seventies.”
Flash Reality ran home faster than any other dog in the eight heats last Tuesday, producing a blistering 14.26 final section, that bodes well should the big black dog be lurking in the top few as they head for home.
“It was a very strong run home, we were very happy with that, so if he can stay in touch with them and avoid a scrimmage, well then he’s in there with a big show. He’s going to need luck but if he’s anywhere near the lead at the top, he has to be a chance because he has a very good run home. I just hope he gets a fair crack at them.”
With a little luck, Flash Reality could be the gift that keeps on giving for Marlene Ellis.