Leading Victorian trainer Jeff Britton is hopeful rather than confident that strength in numbers will result in his second Group 3 event this month in Saturday night’s Cranbourne Classic (520m).
Britton boasts four Classic finalists, headed by fastest heat winner Weblec Ace, which is the $2.70 favourite from box three in TAB’s market.
Britton’s other three finalists are (in market order), Spearhead ($4), Mister Harlewood ($5.50) and Weblec Jack ($11), a litter brother to Weblec Ace.
Tightening Britton’s stranglehold on the $25,000 to-the-winner Classic is rails runner Black Signature ($12), which is prepared by his partner Angela Langton, and the Britton–Langton quintet have drawn from boxes one to five.
Earlier in August, Britton also had four finalists in the Group 3 Warragul St Leger, which he won with outsider Mepunga Daniel, with Weblec Ace, the $2.50 favourite, Weblec Jack and Spearhead all unplaced.
“At Warragul they were spread out but this time they’re all drawn together,” Britton said.
“With five in the race – I’m counting Angela’s dog as well – you want them spread out because if something cuts down it will jam all our dogs up and the three dogs on the outside (Get It Gizmo, Ashley’s Entity and Waging War) can all run.
“Before the Warragul St Leger everyone was asking me which one was the best chance and I had to go with the red (Weblec Ace) but there’s not a lot between them.”
Weblec Ace produced the standout heat performance at his Cranbourne debut, clocking 29.92s to improve his record to seven wins from 13 starts.
Weblec Jack gave Britton a heat double when upsetting odds-on favourite Get It Gizmo in 30.26s, his seventh win at start 15, while Glenn Rounds took out the third run-off with Waging Way posting 30.03s.
“Weblec Ace probably deserves to win a final because this is the second series in a row he’s gone the quickest in the heats,” Britton said.
“He jumps out fairly consistently and the dogs around him will go fairly straight.
“The checks (Spearhead) will stay straight, Mister Harlewood will gradually work his way over and the five (Weblec Jack) stays in the middle of the track.
“Angela’s dog hasn’t been beaten off the red (4 from 4) but I don’t know if he’s going as well as he was.
“We need the three to get out and go and if he does I don’t think anything will catch him.”