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WA Oaks Preview: Britton’s Belles Head West

Victorian trainer Jeff Britton is optimistic his remarkable run of success with females over the last year will continue on Saturday night when Weblec Belle (pictured) and West On Delly line up in the Group 2 Western Australian Oaks at Cannington.

Britton enjoyed the best year of his training career in 2014, celebrating Group 1 glory with Mepunga Hayley (Maturity Classic), Oakvale Destiny (Sapphire Crown) and Star Recall (Sale Cup) – all bitches.

His fantastic streak with members of the fairer sex didn’t end there either; with Mepunga Tiara (Group 2 AWM Distance Championship), Oakvale Destiny (Group 3 SA Oaks) and Weblec Belle (Group 3 Brian Johnstone) also successful on the feature race stage.

Britton started 2015 in the same vein with Cosmic Wise – another female – winning the Group 1 Rookie Rebel.

And he’ll have numbers on his side in Saturday’s $40,000 to-the-winner WA Oaks after Weblec Belle (30.42sec) and West On Delly (30.65sec) both recorded impressive heat victories last weekend.

“We should have won the Oaks last year. I thought Oakvale Destiny had it up the back but she ran straight into the leader so hopefully we can go one better this year.”

Weblec Belle, which was shaded for heat honours by South Australian Real Flash (30.41sec) at her Cannington debut, has drawn box two for the $40,000 to-the-winner Oaks finale, while West On Delly will have to overcome the outside alley.

“I don’t know too much about the field but if my two had drawn the other way around I think  West On Delly would’ve been a really good chance of running in the top three,” Britton said.

“But the pink is normally a terrible box at Cannington and because of that I’d probably say the check is my best chance.

“Weblec Belle had box four in her heat, which is where she wants to be. She likes to be in the middle of the track going around the first turn with a bit of room so hopefully box two will bring her out.

“She was only a hundredth off the best time in the heats and she’d only had a box-to-box at Cannington beforehand so hopefully with the extra look at the track she’ll improve a little bit on Saturday night.

“West On Delly started off in Western Australia before coming over to Victoria for a Vic Breeders series and then she went back over to Perth for a while earlier in the year so she’s had plenty of experience at Cannington.

“She’s been missing the start a bit lately but she does have the pace to get across if she gets out with them.”

Britton certainly won’t be taking anything for granted after meeting with disappointment in last year’s WA Oaks, where his three finalists – Mepunga Moss, even-money favourite Oakvale Destiny and Mepunga Hayley – finished second, third and fourth respectively to local Free Candy.

“We should have won the Oaks last year,” Britton said.

“I thought Oakvale Destiny had it up the back but she ran straight into the leader so hopefully we can go one better this year.”
Cannington Formguide: Click Here
Heats Results & Replays: Click Here

About Gerard Guthrie - Chief Journalist The Greyhound Recorder Chief Journalist with The Greyhound Recorder newspaper since 2001, member Topgun selection panel, Dapto Megastar selection panel and Australian and NSW Greyhound of the Year judging panels, compere Dapto Puppy Auction, previously contributed to Sky Racing's The Catching Pen, Sky Sports Radio's Going Greyhounds and website. 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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