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Flying Jet firms as favourite for Alan Price Auction Series

By Isaac Murphy

Race-8-Flying-Jet-T1DX3126-jpg.JPGWith some big names knocked out of the Group 3 Alan Price Memorial Auction Series early on, it’s opened the doors for other dogs to thrust their names forward in search for a landmark Group win.

At the front of the cue is Peter O’Reilly’s Flying Jet, who has been faultless winning his heat and semi-final.

O’Reilly acquired Flying Jet at the 2018 Puppy Auction and is reaping the rewards, with the dog rattling off 47 straight starts without a spell to start his career.

A win on Saturday night could skyrocket his prize money to almost $90,000, all the more reason for breeders, owners and trainers to support this year’s Auction on October 11.

“Box eight won’t bother him at all, he’s seen every box from the 500-metre start at Ipswich and if he can begin like he has in the heat and the semi-final I don’t see any reason why he can’t win again,” O’Reilly said.

“That’s not underselling the competition, there are some quality dogs there and we’re going to have to beat all seven, we’re racing with confidence but so are they - it’s a final.

“It’s hard to try to map a race because you’re not exactly sure what the other dogs are going to do, with my bloke at least I know he’s going to get out well and push for the lead but there are plenty of wild cards.”

Flying Jet has been a model of consistency through the series after running 30.55 on both occasions from box four, however O’Reilly was not ruling any of his rivals out.

“Brian Francis has done a tremendous job with Double Return, he’s only new to the distance but from box one he’s the one dog who could lead us early and cause a few headaches if he skips away out in front,” O’Reilly said.

“Serena Lawrance’s three dogs Bonus Only, Ringbark Jen and Head Bairn are all really consistent dogs at the track and distance and if we miss a beat any one of them is a winning chance.

“Daniel’s Loss can cause an upset with his early speed and then you have the two run-on dogs in Terror Turtle and Rio Valiente.

“Running the fastest times so far has been nice but it counts for nothing if he can’t do it again on Saturday night.”

Flying Jet’s path began at Ipswich in the Vince Curry Series and O’Reilly feels like this time he can take top spot at his home track.

“He definitely grows another leg racing over the 500 at Ipswich, it’s where he started out running third in the final of the Group 3 Vince Curry and being a local trainer and involved with the club it’d be pretty special if he was to get up on Saturday night,” he said.

“I always knew he was going to be an above average dog after those first few starts, I thought he could get himself to a race like this but what he’s done since he started his career earlier this year has been pretty remarkable.

“He went off the boil for a while trying to break his Novice but once he knocked that off, he’s been so consistent especially at Ipswich where I think he’s going for his 10th win over the 500 there and obviously his most important if he could do it.”

It's not uncommon to see Flying Jet nominated twice a week, and O’Reilly said it would send the dog mad to keep him away from the track.

“He’s a dog that just thrives on racing, I don’t have to do much work with him at home because he’s been sound enough to race twice a week and usually runs better his second run too,” he said.

“For him to win his heat in 30.55 a couple of weeks ago and then turn up at Bundaberg two days later and qualify for the Derby final over the 550 metres was an exceptional effort.

“I would have loved to have had him run in both but a Group 3 on your home track takes precedence, so I scratched him from the Bundaberg final.

“Those Bundaberg runs over the 550 metres have been invaluable for his 520-metre racing, he always begins well but he finishes off his 520-metre races that much stronger having run out the 550 metres on so many occasions.

“That may prove the difference if we’re trying to chase down a Double Return Saturday night.”

O’Reilly is perhaps best known for his dog Shakey Diesel, who is not afraid to mix it with the Stinger Noirs and Oh Mickeys of the world week-in week-out, and the trainer sees a lot of similarities with Flying Jet who he has already mapped out a path for post-Auction series.

“I think his best is yet to come, he’s not two-and-a-half years old yet and he’s managed almost 50 starts without a let up,” O’Reilly said.

“If he can stay healthy, I can see him challenging in Best 8 company at Albion Park and Group races; there are a lot of similarities between him and Shakey Diesel who’s come into his own the second half of his career.

“He’ll be going to the Bundaberg Cup after Saturday night, I’ve always liked travelling with my dogs and I’m hoping the fact he’s seen the track before should perhaps give him a little leg up on some of the other Brisbane dogs coming up, but the locals are no joke either - it’s tough racing up there.

“Ricky Hassall has just taken over as President up there and suggested I become a member which I was more than happy to do, I take my dogs up there every Monday and I’m really surprised not many more south-east Queensland trainers do.”