By Paul Dolan
Erin Cameron trained a winning double recently. And it was special in more ways than one.
It was the first double she has trained. The winners were litter brother and sister, and both had been written off as not worth going on with in Victoria. And the double was at Cameron’s beloved Capalaba track.
Cuffey from box four won a maiden race early in the day in 20.22, followed by his sister My Girl Gracey scoring from box six in a fourth and fifth grade mixed event in 20.10. For Cuffey, it was start number 10 following three placings from nine attempts, all at Capalaba. For My Girl Gracey, it was five wins from 19 starts, all at Capalaba as well. Erin, husband Chris with syndicate partner Jason Cuffe, bred the My Bro Fabio – Ripple Eff Ex litter. Cameron took full ownership of the two, then later taking on training their brother Riley’s Reason, owned by Jezza Syndicate – Cameron and Jason Cuffe.
“The double was really special as we were told both wouldn’t make it as racing dogs. But with a lot of help along the way, we have come this far,’’ Erin said.
“We received guidance from plenty of people, including Ray and Mary Burman, Terry Priest, Bob Patching, Errol Suel and John Catton.”
Erin and Chris were television viewers and punters of greyhound racing. Then on attending a Capalaba Saturday race meeting, they fell in love with the breed.
“My boss in Melbourne raced greyhounds. He offered me a bitch named Purely Brindle who had retired. He said she was a beautiful girl and would make a great pet.
“Chris said – ‘no’. Three days later, the bitch was delivered to our place by Jetpets. I had arranged for that and Chris fell in love with her immediately,’’ said Erin.
“I got involved by assisting people, such as Ray and Mary Burman and Neil Catchpole on race and trial days. In 2018 I joined the committee. Now I’m the club treasurer, a role I really enjoy.’’
Cameron spends four days most weeks at the Capalaba track, which is quite close to home.
“I’m there for the Sunday race day, two trial sessions and what you could call a general duties day,’’ she said.
“The committee is like one big family, we all do our bit, doing the best we can. We would be lost without Trevor McSherry, our track manager. And Chris Georgiou, Tricia Fuller, Bob Patching and John Catton are amazing to work with. I think it’s really important to promote the club through social media. Photographer Rick O’Donnell is a great help, and that includes showing me some of the skills with photography. So too Michael McInally and Toby Coutts from Box 1 Photography.’’
In her own words, Cameron likes to fly under the radar. But her dedication to Capalaba greyhound racing is there for all to see. That includes trainer Susan Harris.
“Erin will do anything for anyone. She was really supportive of me when I had an accident at the track and my dad (Billy Harris) when he was struggling along with his cancer,” she said.
“Erin is also known for making sure people follow rules and regulations, including those that apply to the Coved 19 situation. She could put my dad in his place and he actually behaved around her.’’
Racecaller and Capalaba club life member John Brasch believes Cameron’s dedication to getting the Capalaba message out on social media is a tremendous boon for the club.
“Not only that, but at the track on race days, she is out and about, getting families in attendance up close and personal with greyhounds,’’ Brasch said.
Capalaba isn’t flying under any radar, and neither is Erin Cameron.