First Picked will be taking aim at an Albion Park hat-trick and a $75,000 winner’s purse when she flies the Victorian flag in Thursday night’s four-stayer Group 3 Super Stayers Invitational (710m).
Racing interstate clearly holds no fears for Robert Britton’s Sandown Cup runner-up, which won the G1 Galaxy in Perth in March and has been victorious at two of her three Brisbane assignments on the path to the G1 Queensland Cup on July 7.
At her most recent success, last Thursday, the ‘niece’ of former champion Fanta Bale led all-the-way to claim a narrow verdict over Dirt Farmer and Play Nice in a Britton family trifecta.
“She’s going really well. She puts herself in the race and chases hard,” said Rob Britton.
“I never wrap her up as a superstar, but if they make a mistake, she’s there to pounce.
“We did a similar thing before the Galaxy and sent her over to Perth about a month before the race and that worked out pretty well.
“I think she’s probably the pick of our stayers, but if you look at the race last week, it was half a length by half a length, so there’s not a lot between them, and Play Nice did win the (G3) Dashing Corsair up there a couple of weeks ago.”
Betting on the Super Stayers (race 8, 9.22pm) has NSW’s Palawa King (box 5) $2.10 favourite, ahead of Zipping Orlando (box 3) at $3.10 and First Picked (box 7) $5, and Britton concedes the four-greyhound format will favour the market elect.
WATCH: FIRST PICKED (B1) made it back-to-back victories over 710m at Albion Park when defeating DIRT FARMER (B7) and PLAY NICE (B2) in a Britton family trifecta last Thursday night.
“I think it’s definitely going to suit Palawa King much more than us!” Britton offered.
“Nothing against Palawa King, but to be honest I was hoping he wouldn’t win last week (G3 Origin Distance) because I thought if he got into the Super Stayers field it would suit him down to the ground.
“I think it’s going to be a tough race for us to win. Palawa King is only going to be tracking a couple of other dogs this time.
“But we’re in it and as I said, if the others make any mistakes, First Picked will be there to take advantage of it.”
Britton’s son Tim will have two stayers contesting the BGRC Chairmans Cup (710m) – race 7, 9.04pm – in regally bred litter brothers Dirt Farmer (box 4), which ran fourth in the Sandown Cup final, and Play Nice (box 8).
“I thought Dirt Farmer ran a really good race last week and hopefully he’s settled into Queensland now,” Britton said.
“If he can repeat last week’s run, he’ll be pretty hard to beat.”
Tim Britton also has two contenders in The Tempest over 600m (race 3, 7.34pm); On The Off (box 4) and Wheel And Go (box 7).
After a horror run with boxes since venturing to Queensland, Britton has given his Brisbane Cup aspirants Trooper Tears and Trapper Tears a week off before tackling what are certain to be ‘white hot’ Cup heats next Thursday.
“They’ve had shocking luck with draws since they’ve been up there and both had really chequered runs last week, so I thought they were due for a week off,” Britton said.
“They can have a lay in the sun and go into the heats next week.”
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Like the rest of the Australian greyhound racing community, Britton has been mightily impressed with the breathtaking emergence of Like Wildfire, a littermate to the ‘Tears’ siblings that’s unbeaten in six starts in NSW, including two middle distance track records.
“He’s a superstar!” Britton said.
“I’ve never chased dogs, so I’m not sure what Michael (Ivers, breeder/trainer) has planned for him. What I’ve been thinking about is how are we going to beat him?”
While the Brittons will be striving to deliver a father-son punch in Thursday night’s feature staying events at Albion Park, there’ll also be huge Victorian interest in the three Brisbane Cup preludes.
Brooke Ennis has superstar duo Amron Boy (race 5, box 5) and Rejuvenate (race 4, box 3) in action, while Jason Thompson’s sensational NZ import Postman Pat (race 6, box 3) is chasing his sixth straight success since hitting Australia’s shores.