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‘Shaky’ road to Healesville maiden success

Andrew Paraskevas is optimistic it will be a case of second time lucky in a feature maiden series at Healesville for speedy homebred youngster Shake And Treble in Sunday’s GRV Vic Bred Maiden Final (350m).

Pearcedale-based owner/trainer/breeder Paraskevas initially targeted the inaugural running of the Highway 31 Maiden Challenge (300m), staged during Healesville’s Festival of Racing.

Shake And Treble, an October ’19 son of Fernando Bale and Pretty Bomb, made his debut in the Highway 31 heats, where he started $2.60 favourite ahead of Aston Merit at $2.70, but after being best to begin he met with severe interference from a wayward rival, finishing fourth to Aston Merit.

While luck deserted Shake And Treble, Aston Merit went on to claim the Highway 31 series’ $10,000 winner’s purse, then ran second in a Healesville Cup heat before finishing a close fourth to superstar Ferdinand Boy in last weekend’s G2 Cup final.

Shake And Treble will get a golden opportunity to make amends for that misfortune on Sunday after qualifying fastest for the Vic Bred Maiden Final, race 3 at 11.32am.

Shake And Treble started $1.60 from Box 8 in the last of four heats held at the Cup meeting and while he wanted to head to the inside, he was impressive in opening his account with a slick 19.26sec victory at his second start.

“I was shattered after the Highway 31 heats but he’s got a second chance now,” Paraskevas said.

“The Vic Breeders wasn’t on the radar but he was ‘spiked’ in the Highway 31 heats and needed a couple of weeks off. Then I saw the Vic Breeders was on, so we decided we might as well keep him at Healesville because he was educated there and it’s the right distance for him at the right time.

“He ran the quickest of the heats and he does go okay but he’s not overly strong and it doesn’t look like he wants much further than 400/450m.”

Shake And Treble has again drawn Box 8 for Sunday’s final, which offers $7,750 to-the-winner, offering satisfactory compensation for the Highway 31 misfortune, but Paraskevas isn’t overly concerned about the wide draw.

WATCH: Shake And Treble claimed time honours in the heats of Healesville’s Vic Bred Maiden series last Sunday, clocking a smart 19.26sec.

“He does want the rails but in saying that it’s probably not a bad Box 8 because there’s a few other dogs in the race with a bit of speed that want to do the same thing he does,” he said.

“Neirbo (Box 6) speared to the fence from Box 5 when it won its heat so hopefully it will give us a cart across.

“Shake And Treble strikes me as smart dog. Every time I’ve put him in a field or a pair he’s found his way across sensibly.

“He’ll be competitive. He’s just got to get across.”

In race 8 at Healesville, Paraskevas isn’t as confident that in-form Dash Home, trained by his partner Jessica Shill and a relative newcomer to the kennel, will be able to offset Box 8.

Dash Home, a son of Barcia Bale and Angel Dash, has won five of his six starts for Shill and Paraskevas, improving his career record to six from 16; however Paraskevas was playing down his chances.

“He came here as a Tier 3 dog and has won five out of six,” he said.

“He’s going terrific and hasn’t put a foot wrong but he’s in a tough race and he’s poorly drawn.

“He’s more desperate for the fence than Shake And Treble, so he won’t be suited at all out there. Shake And Treble is 100 per cent the better chance of the two on Sunday.”

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About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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