Trainer Robert Britton’s chances of winning the $150,000 Group 1 Bold Trease (715m) for the third time in six years appeared to have been dealt a fatal blow when superstar brothers Tornado Tears and Rippin’ Sam were both ruled out by injury.
But despite having Australia’s two best stayers on the sidelines, Britton has once again shown why he is regarded as the Bart Cummings of greyhound racing.
The master long distance conditioner will have two finalists with fastest heat winner Barcali rated the joint $2.50 favourite in TAB’s market, with NSW raider Poco Dorado, along with $12 chance Soda Flash.
“Barcali is my best chance but he’s five or six lengths behind Tornado Tears and Rippin’ Sam in ability,” said Britton.
“Barcali has consistently run placings behind the other two, so this is his chance to win a big one.
“If he gets a clear run he can run the time but my biggest fear is that he’s not a very tractable dog and often gets himself into trouble. He’s a bit of a bull at a gate and tries to find gaps that aren’t there. He’d make a good footballer!”
Britton is taking aim at back-to-back Bold Trease victories after his champion Fanta Bale was successful last year, famously cracking the million dollar prizemoney barrier in the process, while he also won the 715m feature in 2013 with Cheetah Zorro.
“I never knock back a stayer because the pool is relatively small, compared to the sprinters,” Britton explained.
“I have concentrated on the stayers over the last couple of years and there’s no doubt that when you have some success, owners, especially from interstate, keep sending stayers to you.
“There’s no real secret. The trick is to make sure they’re fit when you first try them over the ‘700’. You really need to put a lot of work into them.”
Britton will be chasing a Group 1 double, with West On Augie, winner of the National Sprint Championship at Sandown in August, rated a $7.50 chance in the Melbourne Cup.