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‘Battle of Britton’ in Cup Night Match Race

It’s ‘uncle’ versus ‘nephew’ in the Cup Night Match Race (520m) on Friday night’s G2 Geelong Gold Cup program

That’s right, it’s the ‘Battle of Britton’ – but far from a ‘family feud’… Yes, they’re a tight-knit crew!

Uncle Jeff has Mepunga Warrior (Box 1), while nephew Tim – the son of Jeff’s older brother Rob – has Utah Express (Box 3) in the $10,000 winner-takes-all event.

Utah Express recently won a Launching Pad Consolation in a scorching 29.22sec at Sandown Park and Mepunga Warrior was a G3 Launching Pad finalist on the same fixture.

It’s a big night for the ’Britton boys’ as Jeff also has half-brothers Weblec Jet and Weblec Ace in the Geelong Gold Cup, while Tim, who is only 31, has Carry On Angel in the final.

Tim also has litter sisters Lunar Star and Venus Light in the GRV Vic Bred Distance final (680m), worth more than $12,000 to-the-winner.

Now that’s keeping it ‘all in the family’!

So, who wins the ‘Battle of Britton’?

WATCH: Utah Express (1) wins a Launching Pad Consolation in a flying 29.22sec at Sandown Park.

Here’s the tale of the tape:

MEPUNGA WARRIOR – BOX 1
(Mar ’19 Fernando Bale x Mepunga Rosie)
Trainer: Jeff Britton (Anakie)
TAB Odds: $2.15
Starts: 20: 5-5-2
Prizemoney: $26,700
Group Race Record: Finalist: G3 Launching Pad (515m) – 4th

TRAINER SAYS:

“He’s put in some huge performances lately… But he hasn’t got that early zip and his box manners let him down…. He’s extremely strong and will run time if he can stick with Utah Express early… I’m hoping he can drive underneath him, and if he can get out in front, he’ll take some running down… I think it’ll be a close contest, and I’m sure a good race to watch.”  

Jeff’s thoughts on his Geelong Gold Cup chances
“If Weblec Jet (Box 4) can lead Yozo Bale (Box 3), I think he can win… He’s had a bit of time off and is now on the up and I would only expect him to improve… He’s still very young and hasn’t had a lot of racing… But he’s always shown ability and can do it at both ends.”

“Weblec Ace (Box 1) is a very good race dog and is the most experienced runner in the field… He’s drawn his box, he’s where he wants to be… He’s very strong, so if he can get through on the first turn, he’s a big chance… And he deserves to win a race like this.”

🆚

UTAH EXPRESS – BOX 3
(Sep ’18 Barcia Bale x Utah Miss)

Trainer: Tim Britton (Lara)
TAB Odds: $1.70
Starts: 22: 8-1-3
Prizemoney: $37,645
Group Race Record: Finalist: G2 Richmond Derby (535m) – 5th

TRAINER SAYS:
“It’s a tough race… He’ll probably run wide and give Jeff’s dog a bit of room… He’s tardy coming out of the boxes and then musters once he finds his feet… But Mepunga Warrior is a very strong type; I’d like to pinch a couple of lengths on him early… Jeff and I are good mates, we get on well, but one of us has to win… However, it would be nice to knock him off!”

Tim’s thoughts on his Geelong Gold Cup chances
“Prior to the box draw, I was mildly confident, but it’ll be tough to get across from the ‘pink’ (Box 8) as there’s plenty of speed on the inside… But he loves Geelong, and he’s probably my hardest chasing dog… He won’t give up; he’s got a lot of determination.”

The Cup Night Match Race is Race 9 at 9.48pm.

And here’s the WATCHDOG WORD on the G2 Geelong Gold Cup:

“I think Weblec Ace is the one to beat. He’s got a great record from box one, he’s won four and been placed another three times from nine attempts.

“Last week he was really strong in the run home. I think he settles up in the top three as they go through the turn. Especially with Sweet As Emm (first reserve), who’s expected to draw box two, drawn directly on his outside he shouldn’t cop too much interference and he’s going to hit the turn in a real prominent position.

“He’ll let them know where he is mid-race because he’s an absolute superstar and he gets his chance to crack a big one.”

“Last week Junk Food Junkie came from off the speed. I know she only sat second but normally she’s a bit of a frontrunner so to do that, pick up a good greyhound in front and win her heat I thought that was a real game performance.

“She has the speed to cross so at $16 she’s worth a look.

“Carry On Angel has gone to the next level in recent weeks. He can lead, he can come from just off the speed, he’s hitting that line really well.”

HOW THE WATCHDOG WOULD SPEND $20 ON THE GEELONG CUP

  • $12 Win – Weblec Ace @ $3.70
  • $4 Win – Junk Food Junkie @ $16
  • $4 Win – Carry On Angel @ $11

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Peter Quilty
About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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