Leading trainer Jeff Britton believes Mepunga Hayley will develop into the best sprinter he has ever trained.
Mepunga Hayley raced undefeated during the recent three week Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic series on her way to claiming the $100,000 first prize, her 10th win from 20 career starts.
Britton rates 2011 Adelaide Cup and SA Oaks winner Mepunga Nicky, who won 15 from 25 before retiring to injury, as the best sprinter he has trained, however Mepunga Hayley is fast catching up to her.
“Mepunga Nicky had a touch more early pace than Mepunga Hayley, but Mepunga Hayley is a lot stronger. Mepunga Hayley can do it at both ends, which is pretty rare in a greyhound.”
“She had her mouth closed after her win tonight which demonstrated how well she can run out 500 metres,” said Britton, who had the night of his life when training both group features on Saturday at The Meadows.
Mepunga Hayley paid $4.10 for the win, coming from off the pace to win in a sizzling 29.782sec.
“I felt she had a good chance tonight. She was the only greyhound in the final that had won both her heat and her semi-final, so she was in good form.”
“To win a race like this, which is open to both sexes and is a genuine time-honoured race, is very special,” Britton said.
Mepunga Hayley sliced four lengths off her personal best time at the track, where she has now had seven starts for five wins and a third.
“She’s by Bekim Bale, and from my experience Bekim Bale pups need a couple of looks at a track before they find their feet,” he said.
Britton said he will elect to bypass the upcoming Group 1 National Sprint Championships with Mepunga Hayley.
“She only turned two in June so she’s still eligible for a lot more age-restricted races, so that’s where I’ll be heading with her.”
“Races such as the SA Oaks, as well as one or two on the provincial circuit and even the Laurels later in the year should suit her really well,” he said.
Britton, Smith Snare Group Race Double