Britton Chasing More Sydney Classic Spoils

JEFF Britton knows a thing or two about claiming age-restricted Group 1s at Wentworth Park ... and he looks to play a strong hand yet again this weekend.

Adam Dobbin

10 July 2019

LEADING Victorian trainer Jeff Britton knows a thing or two about claiming age-restricted Group 1 classics at Wentworth Park.

Back in February, Britton landed both the Group 1 National Derby and Futurity finals on yet another memorable night for the Anakie-based conditioner, Axel Footluce capturing the Derby, while Circle of Dreams defied Dam Slippery in a memorable Futurity decider.

Fast forward to Wentworth Park this Saturday night and Britton, along with partner Angela Langton, is well represented in both the Ladbrokes-sponsored Vic Peters Classic and Peter Mosman Opal finals, the two 520-metre events carrying a cool $75,000 each to-the-winner.

The formidable combination line-up Western Envoy, Mister Harlewood and Weblec Jack from boxes six, seven and eight in the Vic Peters, while in the Peter Mosman Opal, Flossing (box four) and Mepunga Frankie (box seven) take their place in the bitches classic.

“We haven’t had much luck with the box draws,” said Britton on Monday, just rounding up a brief four-day trip to the Gold Coast.

“We only noticed these races were on a couple of weeks back and with a lot of nice pups racing well it looked to fit in well. I thought they all went well and they’ll improve for the runs but it’s hard to be too confident in these races.

“I was surprised Black Signature got run down in his heat as he’s very strong, but it looks like he’s pulled up a bit lame.”

Enjoying another spectacular year of results on the track, Britton admitted that while the riches on offer this weekend were most appealing, the fast approaching Million Dollar Chase has caught his attention also. 

“It’s been a good opportunity to give them some experience traveling away from home and get some track experience at Wentworth Park for the Million Dollar Chase later in the year as well,” explained Britton.

In what looms as an intriguing Vic Peters Classic Final for the boys, bookmaker Bet365 currently has NSW star Feral Franky at the head of betting at $2.60, in front of Britton’s duo, Mister Harlewood and Weblec Jack, at $4.00 apiece.

Western Envoy, prepared by Britton’s partner Angela Langton, is quoted a $21.00 outsider, a horror box six draw expected to make things awfully difficult for the powerhouse son of Kinloch Brae.

“I try not to get too far ahead with them but there’s a lot to like about Mister Harlewood, he’s heading in the right direction,” offered Britton.

“He can do it at both ends. He has great speed but he can come from behind as well – I’d say he’s the pick of our three and the hope is that he begins and comes across and brings the eight – Weblec Jack – with him.”

Winner at five of his nine starts in explosive times, Mister Harlewood is a son of Worm Burner and Miss Woods, with Saturday night’s rampaging 29.87 Vic Peters heat success his first venture to Wentworth Park.

“The most pleasing thing was hearing from the boys that he traveled really well which showed in how he raced,” added Britton.

“He’s quite full on around the kennels and drags you to the boxes so the fact he traveled well was good to hear. He can get over the top.

“Weblec Jack can be hit and miss early but he’s gaining confidence. Western Envoy will find it hard from the draw. His run to finish second in his heat was huge but his hope will be getting a run down the back if things work out for him. He may be going for the same rails run as Feral Franky – plenty can happen in finals.”

In the Peter Mosman Opal finale Britton concedes he’s more hopeful than confident, with all-the-way 30.04 heat winner Flossing the best of his chances, quoted a $6.50 chance early doors, while Mepunga Frankie, runner-up to Zipping Truvy in the opening heat, is a $41.00 chance.

“Flossing’s owner got a nice offer for her a few weeks back and I said while the decision was up to him I did think she’d get back to some form in her own age and sex,” explained Britton of the daughter of Banjo Boy.

“She’s been crucified in grades lately, getting knocked around in races so it was good to see her do what she did on Saturday – she really likes Wentworth Park.

“If she can jump and find the lead she’s a chance, Mepunga Frankie can run but she needs the rails, she’ll find it hard from out there I’d think. It’s a very good race.”

Betting for the Peter Mosman Opal is led by Nichole and Tony Mason’s Miley Nismo at $2.50 from box one, ahead of astonishing heat victor Zipping Truvy at $4.80 (box two) and slick 29.77 heat winner Aston Peregrine, a $5.00 chance from box five.

The revamped format adopted by the NSW GBOTA and GRNSW for these two time-honoured features looks like proving successful – if the quality of Saturday night’s two blockbuster group 1 finals is any indication.