• Friday, 21 Jan, 2022,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Britton’s ‘Paws’ on Wenty till

Jeff Britton is well-acquainted with Group glory at Wentworth Park and Saturday’s huge G1 triple-header – featuring the Paws Of Thunder, National Derby and National Futurity – could be another night to remember in Sydney.

Britton has TAB’s $3.20 National Derby favourite in Boston Garden, as he takes aim at a fourth victory in the age-restricted classic, having been successful with Mepunga Blaze (1998), Pacific Sky (2004) and Axel Footluce (2019).

Britton and partner Angela Langton opted to base fastest Derby heat winner Boston Garden and $26 outsider Osprey Phantom with respected NSW trainers Alan and Christine Proctor for their Derby campaigns.

Britton also has the $3.90 second elect for the Paws Of Thunder in Adelaide Cup winner and Hobart Thousand runner-up Do It, and two key chances in the G2 Summer Distance Plate (720m) in Mepunga Ruby and Hank The Hustler, $4.20 and $5 respectively.

“If I had to pick one it would probably be Do It, because he’s drawn well.”

“I sent the Derby dogs up a bit earlier because they hadn’t seen Wentworth Park before, so they went to Alan and Christine (Proctor),” Britton explained.

“Do It and the two stayers (Hank The Hustler and Mepunga Ruby) had raced at Wentworth Park previously, so they just travelled up on the day.”

Britton identified Do It, which has drawn ideally in Box 2 for the Paws Of Thunder (Race 8 at 8.32pm), as the pick of his feature race contenders.

“It would probably be Do It, because he’s drawn well,” said Britton.

“I know it’s a hard race but it means a lot when you draw well in these races and Do It needs the fence, so he’s where he wants to be.

Wentworth Park Saturday, Race 8, 8.32PM
1 WICKED FLASH (Peter Ray, Mowbray Park NSW)
2 DO IT (Jeff Britton, Anakie VIC)
3 IRINKA RILEY (Ray Smith, Forbes NSW)
4 JUNGLE DEUCE (Ray Smith, Forbes NSW)
5 WOW (Danielle Matic, Canyonleigh NSW)
6 BANDIT NED (Jodie Lord, Gunning NSW)
7 WHERE’S ROCKY (Jason Magri, Kemps Creek NSW)
8 CHASE ME HONEY (Michael Hardman, Parkesbourne NSW)
9 FERNANDO HUNTER (Darryl Thomas, Sawyers Gully NSW)
10 QWARA BALE (Brendan Wheeler, Murringo NSW)

“He seems to be pretty consistent lately at getting out of boxes. He’s not a rocket early, so he just needs a bit of clean running in the first 20 metres.

“He’s always had the ability but his owner, Jarrod Sharp, who also owned Pacific Sky, was always complaining to me about him doing things wrong!

“He’s proof that dogs can come good when they get to around two and a half.  He has drawn some good boxes too, which helps get some confidence.”

Britton provided his thoughts on his other Group contenders:

Boston Garden (Box 8) – National Derby: “He’s been flying, the dog, but he’s been missing it all the time down here. He’s been missing it a length and doing a hard left, so he’s been losing races through bad habits. It was perfect in his heat, having ‘the red’, but in saying that he did come out. Now he’s got ‘the pink’, so I’m just hoping he can get out the same as last week.”

Osprey Phantom (Box 3) – National Derby: “I don’t think there’s a lot between him and Boston Garden but he’s not showing the pace Boston Garden is. Earlier on he showed good pace but now he seems to be coming home much stronger and the next job will probably be stepping him up in distance.”

Hank The Hustler (Box 2) and Mepunga Ruby (Box 7) – Summer Distance Plate: “They’re both going well, hopefully they can be in the first couple. It’s going to be hard to lead Untapped but I’d like to see them in the first couple on the first corner. I don’t really like Mepunga Ruby out there – I prefer to see her drawn in – because she doesn’t have great field sense. Hank The Hustler was injured in the catching pen at The Meadows and it’s taken a long while to get him back.”

Boston Garden is the fastest qualifier for the G1 National Derby after a 29.79sec heat victory.

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

Gerard Guthrie

One of Australia’s leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)

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