Jeff Britton has labelled recent Western Australian acquisition Chips And Trains as the pick of his strong hand in Saturday night’s semi-finals of the Group 1 Feikuai Greyhounds Silver Chief at The Meadows.
Britton has runners in each of the four semis, while his partner, Angela Langton, who last week won the Group 2 Sandown Laurels, the female equivalent of the Silver Chief, has three contenders.
“Angela and I had eight runners between us in the Silver Chief heats and we were able to get seven into the semi-finals,” Britton said.
WA import Chips And Trains, a dual Group winner of the All Stars Sprint and Young Stars Classic in his home state, made his Victorian debut and first appearance under Britton’s guidance in the Silver Chief heats, running third as the $1.90 favourite.
After drawing box one in Saturday’s fourth semi, Chips And Trains is the joint $3 favourite, along with Slingshot Hammer (box 2), with Ballarat and Geelong Cup hero Aston Kimetto (box 8) at $3.30.
“Out of my four, I reckon Chips And Trains is my best chance of getting one through,” said Britton.
“He trialled at The Meadows on the Monday before the heats and only ran 30.97sec. After that we were just hoping he wouldn’t embarrass himself but he ran a good race. Hopefully he’ll improve again this week with a couple of runs around there.
“Over in WA he got out okay and he ran a couple of good seconds to West On Augie (National Sprint champion) before he came to Victoria.
“I’m just hoping he’ll begin a little bit better off the red and be within striking range because he ran home pretty strongly in his heat and my sister Linda (Britton) said the dog will run 600m.”
Britton threw lightly-raced youngster He’s For Me in at the deep end in the Silver Chief heats at only his sixth start and the gamble paid off when he led all-the-way in 30.04sec, his third straight win.
WATCH: He’s For Me win his heat of the Feikuai Greyhounds Silver Chief at The Meadows from box six.
He’s For Me ($6.50) will have to raise the bar again when he clashes with series favourite Barooga Brett ($1.80) in Saturday’s second semi.
“He’s a surprise packet but sometimes they can surprise you at that age,” Britton said.
“He was only going average until the start before when he ran down a good dog (Charging Yaala) at Sandown in 29.58sec. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have put him in the heats.
“He was the equal quickest to the first mark (5.02sec) in the heats so hopefully he can do the same again.”
Britton’s other two hopefuls are 29.90sec heat winner Crackerjack Skip, which is the $2.30 favourite in the third semi, and Axel Footluce, which is a $9 chance in the first run-off. Both have drawn box eight.
“Crackerjack Skip is a nice dog but he wants the inside,” Britton warned.
“I suppose eight is better than seven. He ran a quick time in his heat and I think if it had been a later race he would have gone a bit quicker, but he needs to.”
Angela Langton’s three semi-finalists include Black Hornet, a litter brother to her Laurels heroine Circle Of Dreams.
“Circle Of Dreams found a leg in four days and I think Black Hornet has a promising future too,” Britton said.
“He’s only had four starts so whether it will be on Saturday night I don’t know. He found a bit of trouble in his heat and could’ve given it away but he kept trying, which was a good sign for a young dog.”
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