There’s a sibling rivalry between Jeff and Rob Britton, but when you get down to tin tacks, they’re brothers-in-arms.
Most at the top of their field are competitive by nature, and the ‘Britton boys’ are no exception.
In 2014, Jeff upstaged his older brother, Rob, when Star Recall defeated Space Star in the Group 1 Sale Cup (pictured).
And now, five years later, he’s hoping history repeats.
WATCH: Star Recall (4) defeat Space Star (7) in the 2014 G1 Sale Cup.
“Over the years, Rob has invariably taken the honours… But this year, for some reason, I’ve probably had the wood on him,” Jeff said.
“Yes, it’s a friendly rivalry but we’re close-knit. I don’t think we’ve ever had a fallout… We both have a competitive streak, but we still give each other advice.”
Jeff says he naturally hopes Rob wins when he’s got a dog racing. “But I’ll be happy if he runs second in the Cup,” he said tongue-in-cheek.
Meanwhile, Rob said: “He’s beaten me all year and I don’t see it changing in the Cup… We always want to win, but if we don’t, we’re hoping it’s the other. So long as he doesn’t beat me too much,” Rob quipped.
Jeff has Steinbrenner (Box 3) while Rob has Blazing Cartier (Box 6) in the $75,000-to-the-winner Group 1 Sale Cup (650m) on Boxing Day.
Both finished second in their respective heat last Friday night, with Blazing Cartier (37.03sec) almost three lengths quicker than Steinbrenner (37.19sec) on overall times.
This will be Blazing Cartier’s second G1 appearance, having finished fifth to champion kennelmate Tornado Tears in the Bold Trease (715m) at Sandown, while Steinbrenner finished runner-up to Kessler Bale in the G3 Sir John Dillon Memorial (595m) at Sandown.
Steinbrenner is quoted at $8 on the TAB Fixed Odds market, with Blazing Cartier at $8.50.
So, how do the brothers rate their Cup chances?
“I think Steinbrenner has a chance of leading… If you’re in front, anything can happen behind you. I’ll just be hoping he hangs on if he can find the lead. But, at the end of the day, if I don’t win then I hope Rob does.” – Jeff
“I think you’ll have to be in the first couple to win… Mine is more of a dour stayer; she’ll need a lot of luck to get into the race. And if it’s a cleanly run race, I think she’ll struggle to get into it.” – Rob
Jeff and Rob will enjoy each other’s company at a family Christmas lunch. And then, a little over 24 hours later, let the ‘Battle of Britton’ begin!
Pawnote: Rob Britton won the 2010 Sale Cup with Symmetry. He has also finished runner-up with Czar (2012), Space Star (2014), Lithgow Panther (2015) and Fanta Bale (2017).