By Isaac Murphy
With 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.”