Respected trainer Peter Dapiran celebrated a feature race quinella at Shepparton on Saturday night when Circus Oasis edged out more-fancied kennelmate My Bro Lewis in a thrilling finish to the Group Listed Northern Districts Cup Final (450m).
The one/two finish in the $25,000 to-the-winner Cup was a real family affair for the Northwood-based Dapirans on what they consider their home track.
The victorious Circus Oasis is raced and bred by Josh Keirl, the partner of Peter’s daughter Bethany, while runner-up My Bro Lewis is raced by Peter and wife Mandy and was bred by Bethany.
“It would have been nice if ours (My Bro Lewis) had won, but with Josh being my daughter’s partner it was good to get a result for them,” Peter Dapiran quipped.
“Josh handled Circus Oasis and I handled My Bro Lewis. Josh and his dad, Royce, breed a couple of litters a year so I was happy to see them win a nice race like this.
“Circus Oasis and My Bro Lewis have equal ability. My Bro Lewis has a motor but he doesn’t have a lot of early pace and he can find himself in all sorts of trouble, while Circus Oasis held the track record at Horsham over 410m, which was only broken recently, so they’re both fast dogs.”
Both Dapiran’s finalists had to contend with awkward draws, with 25.29sec heat winner My Bro Lewis starting at $5.10 from box six, while Circus Oasis, which finished a close second to final favourite Mayor Digby in his heat, was a $10.90 chance from the four alley.
Dapiran’s duo settled midfield and My Bro Lewis looked the winner when he dashed to the front turning for home, but Circus Oasis followed him through and finished the stronger, scoring by .29 of a length in 25.45sec.
“I thought it was all over when My Bro Lewis hit the front but then I looked up at the screen and saw the other dog right there,” Dapiran said.
“I know there were a lot of local dogs in the race but it was a really good field; they were all experienced at Shepparton and had good form at Shepparton and I thought it would be a matter of whoever got the breaks.”
The consistent Circus Oasis has now won eight of his 25 starts, with nine minor placings, while the quinella was a noteworthy training achievement for Dapiran, considering he only has five race dogs in work, and he has now set his sights on a much bigger target.
“My Bro Lewis will run in a Melbourne Cup Prelude at Sandown on Thursday night and if he goes well we might put him in the heats, but at this stage Circus Oasis is only a reserve for his Prelude.”