By Mike Hill
YAMANTO (near Ipswich, Qld) trainer Peter O\’Reilly was full of praise for his talented sprinter Shakey Diesel after the dog\’s gallant victory in last month\’s $26,250 Group 3 TAB Rockhampton Cup (510m).
Shakey Diesel, the $2.50 favourite, had to overcome a poor start and a first-corner scrimmage before running down the Craig Emery-trained front-runner Waltzing Danube in the shadows of the post.
Although the black chaser still had almost two lengths to make up on the home turn, O\’Reilly knew his kennel star was up for the battle.
\”He\’s a serious race dog,\” he said. \”He\’s there to race and he always gives his best.\”
And give his best he did.
Shakey Diesel kept coming in the straight to finally break through for his first Group success, winning by a neck from the gritty Waltzing Danube ($23).
O\’Reilly\’s other runner in the final, Naturally Gilfted ($5.50), finished one-and-a-half lengths away third.
This was his second Group success. He won the Group 2 Lismore Cup with Yogi Blue in 2014.
O\’Reilly heaped praise on Shakey Diesel, after the victory, indicating that it\’s the dogs that have to get out there and win.
\”The dog makes the trainer,\” he said. \”They have to do all the work.\”
And he agreed that Shakey Diesel (Shakey Jakey-Paint) had to do it tough.
\”His start wasn\’t great and he got into a bit of trouble,\” O\’Reilly said. \”He normally gets out of the boxes better than that.
\”He had some work to do after he was bashed on the first corner. I wasn\’t sure if he could run down the leader.
\”He was a run short going into the final, but I knew he would benefit from his heat run (Shakey Diesel ran an encouraging second in his heat seven nights earlier).\”
The victory took the black sprinter\’s record to 24 wins and 21 placings from 74 starts and lifted his prizemoney to almost $136,000.
Although O\’Reilly considers five-time Group finalist Yogi Blue (124: 28-21-18, $149,890) as the best dog he has trained, he said Shakey Diesel was a close second.
\”He\’s just turned three, so hopefully he has a long way to go,\” he said.
\”He\’s a very calm dog and never plays up in the boxes, he goes to the races to race.\”
O\’Reilly said Shakey Diesel would now tackle the Townsville Cup \’but before that there are a couple of handy races at Albion Park we will target\’.
Although Moura-based trainer Craig Emery, who played a part in the preparation of all three Cup placegetters, would have been hugely disappointed with his grand bitch\’s narrow defeat, O\’Reilly was grateful for his assistance early in the series.
As the Central Queensland zone was still in lockdown – restricting trainer movements due to COVID-19 – in the week leading up to the Cup heats, O\’Reilly sent his three representatives – Shakey Diesel, Naturally Gifted and Flying Jet – to Emery as caretaker trainer.
\”Craig had them for four days before the lockdown restrictions were lifted on the Thursday,\” O\’Reilly said.
\”I flew up to Rockhampton on the Friday to help Craig on heat night and then brought the dogs home to prepare them for the final.\”
O\’Reilly\’s third Cup runner, Flying Jet – a reserve for the feature final – ran third in the Cup Consolation behind the Darren Taylor-trained Over Time.
Despite rugging up three winners on the night, it was a disappointing Cup series for Taylor.
After the devastation of being forced to scratch his kennel star Are Jay Lochie from the series, luck deserted him in the feature final.
Rosi Ali, the best supported of the Taylor trio at $4.80 in front of Precious Hope ($5.50) and Tommy Lava ($13), was extremely unlucky.
The black bitch was turned sideways in a first corner scrimmage when making a promising forward move and trailed the leaders by more than nine lengths down the back straight.
She showed tremendous grit to finish a close fourth, just over three lengths away from the winner.
THE Albert Harker-trained sprinter Special Speed lived up to her name with an impressive all-the-way win in the $3675 Dynamic Electric Rocky Carnival Sprint (407m) on Cup night.
Special Speed ($4.80) bounced out from box one and after an early challenge from Darren Taylor\’s Tuta Time ($3) raced clear for a two-and-a-quarter-length victory.
Mark Bube\’s Speed Action ($51) was another two-and-a-half lengths back third.
The victory lifted Special Speed\’s career record to eight wins and 22 placings from 54 starts.
Meanwhile, the Darren Taylor-trained Elle Koda scored a stunning six-and-a-quarter lengths win in the $3675 Dinky Di Web Design 4/5 Grade Final (407m).
The lightly-raced Elle Koda ($3.20) clocked an slick 23.85s (BON). She was the only sprinter to break 24s on the night.
The Cosmic Chief-Sophie\’s Mate black bitch has an impressive record of seven wins and three placings from 12 starts.