Exciting young talent Mepunga Reject passed his biggest to date with flying colours at Cranbourne on Saturday night when leaving a high class field in his wake in the lucrative Trios Winter Cup Final (520m).
Trained by Jeff Britton, Mepunga Reject had started $2.40 favourite in his heat one week earlier when second to Usman Bale, but this time went around at $7.30, with Jason Thompson’s fastest heat winner Immunity a warm $2.10 favourite.
Samantha Grenfell supplied three finalists, with rails runner Nikoli Bale the most fancied at $4.80, while kennelmate Usman Bale at $9.90 was the only other runner at single figures.
There was a keenly-contested battle for the lead, with Mepunga Reject heading Xavien Bale, Hill Top Jack and Nikoli Bale, while Immunity also began well from box four before being shuffled back worse than midfield.
After rounding the first turn in front, Mepunga Reject opened up a decisive lead in the back straight and was never in danger in defeat, dominating from the front as he cleared out for a commanding 3.5 length victory over Hill Top Jack and Xavien Bale, clocking a Best of Night 30.05sec.
WINTER CUP PLACINGS
🥇 MEPUNGA REJECT (Jeffrey Britton)
🥈 HILL TOP JACK (David Geall)
🥉 XAVIEN BALE (Samantha Grenfell)
It was Mepunga Reject’s 10th win from 21 starts and the $20,535 winner’s purse sent his prizemoney tally rocketing past the $50,000 mark in another success story for Jeff Britton’s potent partnership with iconic owner/breeder Barry Smith.
Britton celebrated a feature double at Cranbourne with Blazer Glory, a son of boom sire Mepunga Blazer, taking out the Vic Bred Maiden Final (520m).
Strength in numbers paid off for Britton with Blazer Glory, one of his three finalists, opening his account at his fifth start with a 30.17sec victory.
In what was largely a ‘cold’ night for favourite backers, there was an upset in the CGRC Special Event (520m), where G3 Launching Pad winner Kuro Kismet started $2 favourite after missing a start in the main event as first reserve.
But it was a Samantha Grenfell quinella with Knicks Bale ($8.10) finishing best to defeat leader Kinson Bale ($11.30) by one length in 30.19sec, with Kuro Kismet close up in third place.
The Cranbourne Track Star Final (311m) went to course specialist Heidi ($4.80), owned and trained by Christine Haigh, which led all-the-way in 17.60sec.
It was Heidi’s 11th win over track and distance, having also won the Cranbourne Sprint Final last August, with the only other win of her 46-start career coming in a Healesville maiden.
Photos by Clint Anderson
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