A failed middle distance campaign with NSW import Tap Out Rose could prove to be the unlikely catalyst for Robert Britton winning the Group 1 Ladbrokes Paws Of Thunder for the fourth time on Saturday night.
Britton has enjoyed remarkable success in the Paws Of Thunder with former NSW bitches winning the Wentworth Park feature with One Tree Hill (2008) and Iona Seven (2014), which both started their careers in NSW.
He also won the race with Iago in 1992, when it was known as the St. Leger.
Britton is hoping to celebrate a fourth Paws Of Thunder victory this weekend with Tap Out Rose, which like One Tree Hill and Iona Seven did her early racing in NSW before relocating to Victoria.
After being sent south by owner/breeder Rodney Metselaar in late 2015, Tap Out Rose was tried over middle distances without success, however it turned out to be a blessing in disguise with her subsequent sprinting form first class.
“When Tap Out Rose was racing up in Sydney over 500 she was working home well in her races so we tried her over the 600 when she came down to Victoria,” Britton said.
“At this stage she doesn’t get the 600 but stepping her up got her to the front twice and I think getting on the bunny has been the making of her.
“Since we dropped her back her confidence has been up and she’s beginning a lot better and putting herself in the picture on the first turn.”
After clocking a fast 29.45sec at Sandown, Tap Out Rose ran down Group 2 Laurels winner Fantastic Skye in the Damsels Dash at The Meadows to earn a trip back to NSW for last Saturday’s Paws Of Thunder heats.
Tap Out Rose completed a hat-trick when claiming a narrow 29.96sec heat victory, her sixth success at Wentworth Park, and after drawing box two for Saturday’s $75,000 to-the-winner finale she’s an $11 chance in the TAB’s Fixed Odds market.
“To be honest our plan was to take Bearville Azza up for the Paws Of Thunder and Tap Out Rose was going to be his travelling companion but Bearville Azza got kennel cough so we had to pull him out,” Britton explained.
“I’m not overly confident about her chances on Saturday night but I am confident that if she gets a clear run she’s a genuine place chance.”