Based at Anakie, partners Angela Langton and Jeffrey Britton will be attempting to shatter a ‘family hoodoo’ in the $435,000-to-the-winner Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup (515m) at Sandown Park.
The Britton family (Allan, Robert, Jeff, Linda and Angela) have had 18 Melbourne Cup finalists and been runner-up four times in their perennial quest for the sport’s ‘Holy Grail’.
This year, Western Envoy (Box 5), pictured above, is Angela’s second Melbourne Cup finalist. She prepared third placegetter Black Illusion in 2015, who also exited from box five.
Meanwhile, Oakvale Beauty (Box 7) is Jeff’s third Melbourne Cup finalist. He trained Cosmic Wise (5th) and Star Recall (7th) in 2014.
Pawnote: Angela also has the second reserve, Blue Shadows, for the $105,000-to-the-winner Group 1 Bold Trease (715m).
Angela said Western Envoy, a three-time G1 finalist, did it tough early in his heat and had to come from behind, but dug deep to get there. She’s also concerned with the ‘yellow’ draw, and matter of fact about his chances in the final.
“It’s not a great box, but he’s probably not the best dog in the race either. So, I’m not expecting too much and if he runs a place it’s a bonus,” she told RSN927’s Simone Fisher.
“But he’s a super little chaser and gives his best, and he’s exciting to watch because he tries all the time… He’s just a lovely dog.”
The sole female in this year’s final, Oakvale Beauty is making her G1 debut and Angela, speaking on behalf of Jeff, said she’s going to find the assignment difficult.
“She definitely needed the inside, and it’s a step up for her,” Angela said. “It’s going to be tough for her out there (Box 7), but it’s great to see her make the final.”
“She’s done a terrific job; she’s very young and hopefully there’s more to come for her.”
The Geelong region has experienced plenty of Melbourne Cup success, producing winners the ilk of Satan’s Shroud, Fair Sentence and Kantarn Bale, and more recently Dyna Tron, Dyna Double One and My Redeemer.
Western Envoy and Oakvale Beauty are $34 and $51 respectively on the TAB Fixed Odds market.
WATCH: Western Envoy (5) scores a hard-earned Melbourne Cup heat win.
WATCH: Oakvale Beauty (1) keeps Good Odds Harada (8) at bay in her Melbourne Cup heat win.
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