Ireland’s Oyster for trainer Peter Franklin has claimed the $7000 VBIS Maiden Series final, holding off a number of challengers in a blanket finish. The three week series started at the Beckley Centre on the 14th of June with the complete set of 64 nominations, with four semi-finals leading up to the main event held on Friday.
Starting off his racing career in this series, Ireland’s Oyster came into the final with a perfect two-for-two record, with success on debut in 26.24, followed by a narrow win over Smooth Grin in 25.99 last week.
Starting from box four and at the short quote of $3.60, the black and white pup whelped in October 2011 was midfield early, but finished too powerfully for Bally Sleek and the rival from the semis, Smooth Grin. It what was to be an entertaining finish, six dogs finished within four lengths of the winner, with the time being a neat 26 seconds even.
Bred by Donna Sadler and owned by Barry Priest, Ireland’s Oyster is part of a Premier Fantasy x Mineola Grand litter that produced 11 pups, of which he is the first to grace the track.
Peter Franklin’s Moyston kennel is home to only a handful of racing stock at present, but with a talented chaser like Ireland’s Oyster, his name may be mentioned far more frequently in coming months.
While on the topic of Geelong, star N.S.W sprinter Transcend Time made an appearance in the fifth event on the card for new trainer Wayne Vassallo.
The mixed grade 4/5 event was expected to be a cakewalk for such a winner of over $100,000 and it proved to be just that. Starting $1.40 from the red box, Transcend Time never looked in any danger and chalked up win number 18 in the easiest of fashion. Time for the 460-metre race was a Best-Of-Night 25.69, with seven lengths being the official margin.
It should be interesting to see where the son of Bombastic Shiraz and Elite Oriental will go next, as there are no Group-standard provincial feature events in Victoria until the Shepparton Cup in September.
Speaking of Shepparton, they are one club affected by several changes to the GRV racing calendar that comes into affect this week. Wednesdays will see the biggest alteration, with Shepparton’s Tier 3 meeting moving to a Thursday twilight spot and Warrnambool’s full stake meeting sharing the stage with Sandown Park on a Thursday night.
Cranbourne will move into the vacated Wednesday night position, co-inciding with the existing Ballarat meeting, while the twilight spot has been deleted at this stage. Geelong is the other club to move days, with a Tier 3 meeting now being held on a Monday.
What it means is that there are now four meetings on a Thursday, with Warragul and Warrnambool likely to be shown on Sky Racing 2. Day/Morning meetings will occur Sunday through to Wednesday, with twilight meetings being held six days a week. Night racing will continue every night except Sundays.
The new schedule will take some getting used to, with most punters enjoying a routine over recent times, but there is still plenty to keep Victorian enthusiasts occupied this week, with several clubs conducted heats and finals for all classes and distances.
Ballarat with play centre stage with ladies on Tuesday with the Damsels Dash final, while Cranbourne is hosting a similar VBIS maiden series to the Geelong version mentioned above. Great Spartacus from the Brett Bravo kennel is appearing as a standout after a 30.36 win in its heat on debut.
It all crescendos with the McKenna Memorial heats on the metropolitan stage of Sandown Park this Thursday night.