Wheel And Go is clearly the fastest qualifier for Thursday night’s Group 3 Carnival Chase (600m) at Albion Park; however the move from box one to five has dented trainer Tim Britton’s confidence.
After being beaten favourite in a G1 Sandown Cup heat, Wheel And Go dropped back in distance for the Carnival Chase heats, where he made an impressive Brisbane debut, enhancing his imposing record from box one.
Wheel And Go started $3 favourite in the first of four heats and utilised his inside draw in a dominant all-the-way 34.70sec victory, with local Adulate’s 34.92sec the next best effort.
Eight of Wheel And Go’s 16 career successes have come from ‘the red’.
The son of Benali and Erelda Bale, a litter sister to the great Fanta Bale, is racing in career best form, winning five of his last nine starts, with three of those victories coming from box one.
However, after drawing five for the $60,000 to-the-winner Carnival Chase decider (race 6, 8.28pm), Wheel And Go is on the second line of Sportsbet’s market at $3.80, shaded by equal $3.60 market elects Adulate (box 2) and Palawa King (box 8).
“He went really good last week; he likes ‘the red’,” Tim Britton said.
“He went three or four lengths quicker than anything else in the heats; I’m just hoping he can overcome the box.
“He’s been running over ‘700’ the last month or so, but I think 600m really suits him. He’s got speed and strength.
WATCH: In-form Victorian WHEEL AND GO (B1) set the pace in the G3 Carnival Chase heats (600m), leading all-the-way in 34.70sec on debut at Albion Park.
“He can get out well, but sometimes not that well. I’m hoping he can lead or maybe be sitting behind our other bloke (On The Off).”
Britton’s ‘second stringer’, On The Off (box 3), a younger full brother to the great Tornado Tears, is a $16 outsider after running second in his heat to Adulate, beaten 1.25L after leading early.
“Box three is good for On The Off and he usually gets out good, but he does hit flat spots in his races,” Britton said.
Britton is striving to emulate his father, master distance conditioner Robert, who won the Carnival Chase in 2010 with the freakishly talented stayer Nellie Noodles when the event was run over 710m.
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It wouldn’t be a feature staying race without a Britton influence, and Tim also has a finalist in Thursday night’s G3 Dashing Corsair over 710m (race 5, 8.07pm) in Play Nice, a litter brother to On The Off.
Play Nice (box 4) is a $12 chance after running second in his heat, with Sandown Cup hero Korda, trained by Tim’s uncle Jeff Britton, among a number of high profile heat casualties.
“I think it’s a pretty open race after a few of the favourites got rolled,” Britton said.
“If Play Nice is at his best, he’s a chance, but he’s a bit up and down.”
The Brittons’ Brisbane contingent met with mixed fortunes last Thursday, with Robert’s star litter brothers Trooper Tears and Trapper Tears failing to qualify for the G2 Flying Amy Classic, finishing fifth and sixth in their respective heats.
The ‘Tears’ siblings will contest Brisbane Cup preludes this week.
“The plan is for them to stay up in Brisbane for another run and see how they go, because there’s not much at home for them until the (G1) Maturity (heats, July 15),” Tim explained.