Legendary Linda Set For Strong Sandgroper Say

WA Racing Hall Of Famer Linda Britton mightn’t have a runner in Thursday night’s The Sandgroper at Cannington, but her presence still looms large.

WA Racing Hall Of Famer Linda Britton mightn't have a runner in Thursday night's $600,000 The Sandgroper (520m) at Cannington, but the legendary trainer's presence still looms large.

Britton is a member of the Total Container Solutions/Team Britton Syndicate that selected Trooper Tears for their slot in the second running of The Sandgroper, WA's richest greyhound race.

The Total Container Solutions/Team Britton group kept their slot in the family, with Trooper Tears trained by Linda's brother, champion Victorian conditioner Robert Britton.


The syndicate is looking to go back-to-back after securing inaugural Sandgroper winner Crumble Monelli last year.

Buoyed by that successful foray into slot racing, the group targeted The Phoenix in Melbourne, running third with another Sandgroper aspirant in Victorian powerhouse Hector Fawley.

Trooper Tears, pictured winning at Sandown Park, has drawn box seven in Thursday's The Sandgroper Picture: Clint Anderson

"Last year we had two syndicates and we combined our slots, so we had two runners in The Sandgroper, Crumble Monelli and Electrifed, which ran fourth," Linda Britton explained.

"The Sandgroper basically paid for our slot in The Phoenix and Hector Fawley ran a great race.

"This year we decided to take one slot in the Sandgroper and we're locked in for the next three years.

"Obviously, we like the concept. It's a lot of fun and we see it more as a way to bring us all together and have a great time.

"Chris (Halse, partner) and I went to Melbourne for The Phoenix and now we've got Jeff (brother) and Angela (Langton) and Robert and Mary coming over here this week."

Trooper Tears is returning to WA after being the fastest qualifier for the G1 Perth Cup Final last month, winning his heat in a near-record 29.39.

He started favourite in the final but wasn't suited by box one, running sixth, but has tightened into $6.50 in Sandgroper betting after drawing more favourably in seven.

"When Trooper Tears came over for the Perth Cup he trialled super and then ran very quick time in his heat," Linda explained.

"We know we've got a very fast dog but we also knew he had to draw well and we're pretty happy with box seven. 

Crumble Monelli took out the inaugural The Sandgroper last year

"Hopefully Explicit (box 8) doesn't knock him but we wanted to be on the outside of Sunset Frazier (box 3) more than anything. He's so fast early and cuts hard left.

"The two dogs on Sunset Frazier's inside (Big Energy and Morton) could be in a bit of trouble."

In addition to hosting Trooper Tears, Britton has also thrown out the welcome mat for another two Victorian raiders in Hector Fawley and Mepunga Smokey.

Perth Cup placegetter Mepunga Smokey (Ram Racing Syndicate) is trained by Linda's brother Jeff Britton, while Hector Fawley (Ladbrokes) is prepared by Lisa Cockerell.

Mepunga Smokey also performed admirably during the Perth Cup series, winning his heat in 29.58 and running a close third in the final, while Hector Fawley trialled in a fast 29.45 at Cannington on Saturday night.

Hector Fawley (box 6) is the more fancied of the Britton boarders at $12, with Mepunga Smokey (box 4) a $23 outsider.

"Hector Fawley is looking amazing," Britton said.

Powerhouse sprinter Hector Fawley has drawn precariously for his The Sandgroper tilt Picture: Clint Anderson

"He had a nice trial on Saturday and could easily win the race.

"He should get a clear run. They (Ian and Lisa Cockerell) weren't disappointed with box six.

"Mepunga Smokey is on Sunset Frazier's outside, so he could get a reasonable run.

"Off his trial (track record 29.25), Big Energy is the one to beat, but it's such a quality field. They're all capable of winning."

The Sandgroper is race 5 at 10.03pm on Thursday.

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