Image credit: Louise Partland
By Jordan Gerrans
The experience of having raced on the track last year has Yamanto trainer Peter O'Reilly confident a pair of his dogs will be competitive in the 2021 edition of the Townsville Cup.
O'Reilly kennel mates Flying Jet and Call Me Gibbs were the first two past the post in Tuesday evening’s Townsville Cup Prelude over 498 metres in North Queensland, ahead of the Cup heats on Friday night.
Flying Jet was just over a length faster than Call Me Gibbs, grabbing his 22nd victory of his 83-start career.
The dogs made the annual trip north 12 months ago, a journey O'Reilly has completed each of the last seven years, without much luck.
Those learnings and experience around the Townsville track has the trainer hopeful of a much better showing over the next 10 days.
“They have both grown a little bit since then, they are a bit more switched on this time around,” O'Reilly said.
“In 2020, they were sight unseen at the track and that is always hard to beat them in a Cup race like that.
“They are much better at the track now.
“It was good to give them another look at the track before the heats, they are backing up on Friday night, but they should have no worries with backing up these two dogs.”
Well-respected at the Ipswich Club, O'Reilly has taken a team of three dogs to the north of the state, a trip that he says he enjoys the drive every year to the city.
Townsville greyhound trainer Rhonda Essery houses O'Reilly and his kennel of dogs when he does head up every year.
The third of his northern kennel for a fortnight, Bailey, ran second on Tuesday night over 380 metres, in a positive night for the trainer.