Victorian sprinter Mepunga Blazer has exceeded all expectations upon his recent return from retirement and is set to start a short-priced favourite in Thursday night’s Group 1 Winter Cup (520m) in Brisbane after winning his heat in track record time.
After spending six months in retirement at stud with an injured triangle muscle, Mepunga Blazer won on return at Sandown Park on July 21 in a Best of Night 29.39sec. Then, two nights ago, he stepped out at Albion Park and won by 10 lengths in 29.41sec, 1.5 lengths faster than previous track record time which was held by Dyna Double One.
“I trialled Mepunga Blazer at Albion Park a couple of weeks ago and the experience did him the world of good because he was far more settled travelling up there this time around. He understood that he was getting on a plane to go and race somewhere, which really helped him relax. I expected him to go well, but when he ran the time he did I couldn’t believe it,” trainer Jeff Britton said.
Britton has a second finalist in the Winter Cup, the classy Hasten Slowly, who clocked a time of 29.89sec when winning his heat.
“Hasten Slowly is going really well. He has travelled interstate a few times now and we are really starting to see the best of him,” he said.
A third Victorian greyhound, Not Available, whom trainer Robert Britton (Jeff’s brother) has temporarily left in the care of local trainer Steven Scott, also won his way into this Thursday night’s $75,000 to-the-winner final in the time of 29.65sec, four lengths inferior to Mepunga Blazer.
WATCH: Mepunga Blazer (5) sets a new track record at Albion Park.
WATCH: Hasten Slowly wins his heat in 29.89sec after coming from mid-field.
WATCH: Not Available (1) was never in any danger in his 29.65sec heat win.