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Canya’s a ‘cannonball’

Vince Tullio has made a meteoric progression in greyhound racing ranks during the past decade.

Tullio started off with just one pup and now has around 100 greyhounds – ranging from eight weeks to racing age – at VT Lodge in Pearcedale.

A director of VT Group Australia – a market leader in plumbing new homes – Tullio has built a greyhound breeding, rearing, pre-training and training ‘empire’ over the past five years.

“I needed an outlet, something away from work, and I just fell in love with the greyhounds,” Tullio said. “Paul Anderton was a real mentor in the early days and instrumental in the expansion of my interests in the sport.”

Tullio also paid tribute to his leading hand, Wayne Vassallo, and ‘2ic’, Brad Keel, who look after the VT Lodge operation.

“Wayne is so dedicated and professional… If he decided to move on, I’d probably give the sport away,” he said.

Tullio is enjoying a ‘cannonball’ ride, which is quite apt considering he trains former WA star Canya Cruise – runner-up to Tiggerlong Tonk in last month’s G1 Perth Cup – who lines up tonight in a Cannonball Sprint heat (400m) at Geelong – Race 7 Box 7 at 9.08pm.

A winner of 21 races from 41 starts, and five of his past 10, Canya Cruise was purchased for an undisclosed sum by Tullio’s close friend, Damien Senn.

“Steve and Krystal Shinners forwarded him in perfect nick; you could eat off his coat,” Tullio said. “He came down six days prior to contesting a Warrnambool Cup heat, but hadn’t really settled in.

“I think he’ll run well tonight and hopefully make the final as he’ll only improve… He doesn’t ping the lids, but once he hits the ground his acceleration is second to none.

“And box seven (three wins from five starts) will suit him as he comes out straight, he’s not a ‘crasher’.”

Tullio, who owned Jason Thompson-trained former stars Deliver and Dalgetty, has only been training for two years.

“Jason has taught me a lot; I can ask him anything and he always give me an answer. He’s the best, and I like to learn from the best.”

WATCH: Canya Cruise (3) claims a G1 Perth Cup heat in a flying 29.56sec (Best) at Cannington on April 10.

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About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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