Jeff Britton is hopeful rather than confident that box one will compensate for lack of Wentworth Park experience when True Detective makes his NSW debut in Saturday night’s heats of the Group 2 Summer Distance Plate (720m).
Winner of the Group 1 Hume Cup at The Meadows last November, True Detective is tackling his second straight interstate staying feature, coming off a gutsy last start victory in the Albion Park Gold Cup.
True Detective snuck into the Gold Cup Final after finishing a soundly-beaten fourth in his heat, but with that experience under his belt he bounced back superbly to lead all-the-way in the lucrative Listed decider, which was run for Group 1 prizemoney.
Leading Anakie trainer Jeff Britton says he would be happy to see a similar scenario unfold in Sydney.
“He hasn’t gone very well first-up at a track. He gets a bit lost,” Britton explained.
“I’d rather win both weeks but hopefully he can run in the first four on Saturday and then be better for the run next week.
“He only just qualified for the final in Brisbane and I thought ‘we’ve got to go back up there again next week!’ But with the run under his belt he won the final and went really well.”
Unbeaten in five career appearances from box one, including his Gold Cup success, and boasting the imposing record of 16 from 25 overall, True Detective will be striving to enhance his perfect record from the red in the second of two Summer Plate heats.
There’s a very strong Victorian representation in by far the tougher of the two heats, with Andrea Dailly’s Boom Down (box 2), winner of the Group 3 Sydney Cup last October, the $2.50 favourite in TAB’s market, ahead of True Detective at $4.60.
Sale Cup winner Weblec Eagle, trained by Matt Lanigan and also first-up at Wentworth Park, is a $7 chance from box seven.
Local Just Terms is the even-money favourite in the opening heat, with the lone Victorian contender Blazing Cartier, trained by Britton’s brother Robert, well in commission at $4.
“The box should help but we’re really just hoping he can get through to next week,” said Britton.
“It’s a hard heat, with Blue Moon Rising (dual Group 1 winner) in there as well, and the other heat looks like one for the locals, although Robert’s dog goes okay.”
Britton will also have two class sprinters lining up in the heats of the Group 1 Paws Of Thunder at Saturday’s Wentworth Park meeting in Melbourne Cup runner-up Western Envoy (heat 1, box 2) and Laurels winner Oakvale Beauty (heat 2, box 7).
Western Envoy is the $3.40 second elect behind $1.90 favourite Good Odds Harada, while Oakvale Beauty is also on the second line of betting at $4.60, with fellow Victorian Start A Riot heading the market at $3.80.
“Western Envoy is going well, although his last run wasn’t as good as we would have liked,” Britton offered.
“We had a blood test done and he had a slight infection. He’s had a bit of a let-up and he’ll go in fairly fresh.
“Whether he’s a run short or not I’m not sure but he’s drawn okay and hopefully he remembers the track.
“Oakvale Beauty did trial up there. She had a box-to-box on Tuesday and went pretty well. Whether she can get across is the question but if she does she’ll be hard to beat.”
WATCH: True Detective (1) beats a hot field in the Gold Cup Final at Albion Park on January 10.