Yogi bears high expectations
PETER O'Reilly hopes his veteran Yogi Blue can find the elusive ingredient all greyhounds need in the Group 2 Lismore Workers Club Cup (520m) tonight - luck.
The experienced chaser has his 80th career start when he jumps from box seven in the $40,000-to-the-winner annual race, one of the biggest in NSW.
O'Reilly's much-travelled greyhound has had 23 wins butis yet to win a Group race in a handful of attempts.
He narrowly missed placings in the recent Townsville Cup and Bob Payne Spring Sprints but his Queensland owner/trainer thinks this could finally be his sprinter's moment.
"He's the unluckiest dog I have trained," O'Reilly said.
"In Townsville a dog fell over in front of him just when he looked like he had won. He's unlucky with box draws as well.
"But he is boxed well here and as long as he gets out okay he will have a chance."
Yogi Blue, which was rated a $6 chance on the TAB, enjoyed a solid display in the heats last week, finishing a nose behind Walk With Faith in 30.27s.
That was a debut performance at the track but with his solid record, including two wins and four placings from the seven box, he demands respect.
"He's a hard chaser and been a good dog," O'Reilly said.
"He did well last week and should go better for the run."
O' Reilly, who is based at Ipswich, ran a pet food supply business before deciding to give training a crack himself about five years ago.
He won his first race at Ipswich with Mary Hoppins and has been hooked ever since, with his daughter Amy now a successful trainer too.
"That was me buggered," O'Reilly said with a grin. "I should have stopped there.
"We've had a big year for greyhounds; we have bred ourselves and done well.
"It's a great feeling when you win - even now after five years I still love it - and it's great being involved in these Group races."
Bill's Fantasy (box two) has been pricing as favourite on the TAB at $3.50 with Northern Rivers hope Love Kills (box one) $6.
Fastest heat qualifier Birkdale Beauty (box eight) is at $4.50.
This is the latest leg of the Thank Dog It's Friday series, which showcases regional racing in a primetime Friday night slot.
CUP FIELD AND SELECTIONS
Draw for Lismore Workers Club Cup (TAB fixed odds in brackets):
1 Love Kills ($6), 2 Bill's Fantasy ($3.50), 3 Mal Rose Hi ($13),4 Walk With Faith ($8), 5 Outa Tempo ($8), 6 Fusaichi Kahn ($8),7 Yogi Blue ($6), 8 Birkdale Beauty ($4.50). Reserves: Dulcie Dee, Intensive Storm.
Selections for the Lismore meeting (from thedogs.com.au):
Race 1 Kikem Cheeky (Box 4), Race 2 Party Man (Box 4), Race 3 Spanish Queen (Box 8), Race 4 Short Cake Cloud (Box 4), Race 5 Country Charm (Box 1), Race 6 Tuavasa Shek (Box 1), Race 7 Victory Prince (Box 4), Race 8 Bill's Fantasy (Box 2), Race 9 Lois Grffin (Box 1), Race 10 Suen's Cruiser (Box 3).