Bundy Cup to O’Reilly’s Jet
Caption: The presentation for the TAB Bundaberg Cup, with, centre stage, Peter O’Reilly and Flying Jet (Photo: Uncle Rusty’s Photos)
By MIKE HILL
TALENTED sprinter Flying Jet boosted Yamanto-based (south-east Queensland) trainer Peter O’Reilly’s already outstanding year with a tenacious victory in October’s $35,500 TAB Bundaberg Cup (550m).
The exceptionally well-bred sprinter showed his strength to beat the Jamie Hosking-prepared $2.80 favourite Waddling Witch by one-and-a-three-quarter lengths, with Gerald Bowe’s It’s A Rush ($3.80) two-and-a-quarter lengths away third.
Flying Jet, a $3.70 chance, clocked a slick 31.36s.
It was a rewarding consolation for the trainer after Flying Jet was ‘knocked out’ of the rich G2 Ipswich Auction Series final (520m) when a solid $2.50 favourite 16 days earlier.
Experiencing one of his better years as a trainer, O’Reilly said he was far from confident going into the Bundy final.
“Particularly after what happened in the Auction Series,” he said. “I had been confident at Ipswich and look what happened there.”
O’Reilly agreed that the box draw had made all the difference in the Bundy success.
He said Flying Jet had to come from box eight at Ipswich and had suffered severe interference on the first corner.
“I thought he may have been injured because he failed to come on at the end of the race,” the trainer said.
But it was a different story at Bundaberg where Flying Jet drew box two and was able to get to the lead without any interference.
“Boxes win races,” said O’Reilly. “He’s an above average sprinter and has an early burn – that’s what I like about him.
“He gets out of the boxes well and is strong at the end of his races. “He’s one of the best dogs temperament-wise I have ever had.
“I put him in his kennel and he just goes to sleep. I wish all my dogs were like him.”
O’Reilly admitted that Flying Jet had developed into a much stronger dog in recent months.
“I have been racing him over the Bundy 550m trip and that has helped greatly,” he said.
“He had his first run there over 460m in late May and he won at his first attempt over 550m in late June, clocking 31.67s.
“Since then he has been improving and getting stronger.”
The Cup victory took the sprinter’s career record to 15 wins and 24 placings from 52 starts with prizemoney just under $80,000.
By the amazing Fernando Bale, Flying Jet is from the regally-bred brood bitch Aeroplane Cindy (Brett Lee-Cindeen Shelby).
O’Reilly said he was exceptionally pleased when the white and black sprinter clocked a fast 31.26s in winning his Cup heat in late September.
“That was a really good time,” the trainer said, “just under Waddling Witch’s track best of 31.19s.”
The Bundy win was O’Reilly’s second Cup victory of the year after kennel star Shakey Diesel (94:25-18-14, $170,885) landed some big wins mid-year, including the G3 Rockhampton Cup.
“Shakey Diesel is having a well-earned spell at the moment,” the trainer said.
“He’s had a hard but rewarding campaign. He needed a break, he’s been everywhere this year.
“I’m giving him a month off.”
O’Reilly hopes he can add to his Cup success in coming months.
He was planning to send both Flying Jet and Shakey Diesel south for the $40,000-to-the-winner G2 Lismore Cup (which was run as Chase went to press) – a feature he won with Yogi Blue in 2014 – before targeting this month’s rich $113,000 G2 Ipswich Cup series.
O’Reilly, who has 14 dogs in work, said he had another talented youngster – Call Me Gibbs – coming through his program.
By his former top sprinter Yogi Blue, Call Me Gibbs was an impressive Novice winner (30.28s) at Albion Park last month, taking his record to two wins and four placings from just nine starts.
“He could become Yogi Blue’s best offspring,” the trainer said.
“He is shaping up as a strong 500m dog.”