Anakie trainer Jeff Britton will have an extremely strong hand going into the two semi-finals of the Group Three 2014 Brian Johnstone Memorial at Angle Park this Thursday night.
Britton not only won all four heats but also snared the quinella in another and looks to hold the aces in terms of class.
The top four place-getters from each semi-final will advance to next week’s $25,000-to-the-winner final and it augurs as a good night of chasing.
Here is a look at the two semi-finals;
Race 7 – Brian Johnstone Memorial Semi-Final 1 – 9:22pm
1 – Oakvale Flyer (Jeff Britton) – Extremely classy conveyance from the dominant Vapour Whirl – Foot Luce (Hallucinate – Scarlett) litter who cruised to a six-length victory here last week in 29.65. She has been placed at Group One level but is yet to crack a black type win. She may be better drawn out wide but, should she get the breaks early, she will be exploding away down the back. Clearly the one to beat.
2 – Weblec Belle (Jeff Britton) – Registered her seventh career win from just 13 starts when she put on a tough display to score by two lengths in 29.84 here last week. She has a good record from the inside draws and is a likely improver. She is one of the main dangers.
3 – Young Gun McBain (Vadim Roz) – A local runner who is rarely far away but does not win out of turn. He has only won two of his last twenty, 19 of which have been at this track. He looks tested in this company.
4 – Sunday Shoes (Nathan Wilson) – Another Vapour Whirl – Foot Luce runner, this time trained locally by the owner of Oakvale Flyer, Nathan Wilson. She ran a fighting second behind Weblec Belle last week and is the sort of greyhound who needs a bit of room early. The draw may hurt her chances here but she will keep coming.
5 – Gun McBain (Vadim Roz) – A greyhound blessed with plenty of early speed who should go close to leading this field. He has a good overall record at the track and a personal best of 29.90. His record from middle boxes is good and he is likely to make his own luck in front. He looks an each-way proposition.
6 – Dashing Dee Dee (Gavin Harris) – A veteran of just eight starts who faces a tough test in this semi-final. She has only won two races and is not the quickest early. I would prefer to see her in something a little easier.
7 – Coorong Kid (Cameron Butcher) – A winner of three from 10 who has not saluted for seven weeks and is yet to break the 30-second mark at Angle Park. He managed a second last week but was still 10 1/2 lengths away from the winner. He may find a couple of these a little too hot.
8 – Lord Vader (Kenneth Trowbridge) – Has only had two runs back from a four-month layoff and has struggled in those. His last win was back in May and he has only managed a best of 30.66 in two Angle Park outings. This looks an arduous task.
9 – Miss Footluce (Kenneth Trowbridge) – A winner of just one from 15 who would struggle if she gains a start.
10 – Emerley Avenger (Peter Hurley) – His only win from six starts has been over 400 metres at Gawler. He has not managed a place in any other outings. He is hard to have based on that.
Race 8 – Brian Johnstone Memorial Semi-Final 2 – 9:42pm
1 – Gunsmoke McBain (Vadim Roz) – a dog with some early speed who has only managed three wins from 21 starts at this venue. He is yet to win from box one in six attempts and is up against some genuine big guns here. I would prefer him back in easier grades before investing.
2 – Texas Titan (Jeff Britton) – Another Britton runner from the all-conquering Vapour Whirl – Foot Luce litter who loves Angle Park. He returned to form last week with a slashing 9 1/2 length romp in 29.79 and is clearly on of the major players in this semi-final.
3 – Oakvale Destiny (Jeff Britton) – A Group One winning bitch who oozes class of the highest order. She was imperious in her 10 1/2 length heat win here last week in 29.68 and she has gone even quicker in the past. If she is given a little bit of room early she will be winning this race.
4 – Weblec Rose (Jeff Britton) – An interesting runner who was bought over from Victoria by Jeff Britton with only one win to her name. She overcame trouble to finish second to Texas Titan last week, albeit beaten 9 1/4 lengths. There is no doubt she is an improver but this race still looks a little beyond her.
5 – Dodger I Am (Cameron Butcher) – An exciting pup who won nine of his first 10 races before falling at start number 11. He has won since that and if he can produce his best of 29.80 he could pose a threat to this field at odds. He looks the knockout dog in the race if there is to be one.
6 – Taser McBain (Vadim Roz) – A speedy conveyance who could lead but will be under siege a long way from home given the string types in this race. He has only won two from 18 at Angle Park and is hard to have in this class of race.
7 – Spicy Peppa (Cameron Butcher) – A very consistent bitch who has performed well from wide draws in the past. She could only get within six lengths of Oakvale Flyer in her heat but had won eight from 14 at Angle Park. She is likely to have to go quicker than her best of 30.00 to be competitive here.
8 – Foootluce Diva (Kenneth Trowbridge) – A handy bitch who will keep coming all race. She is yet another runner from the Vapour Whirl – Foot Luce litter and she has clocked a quick 29.72 at Angle Park back in September. She wil relish the outside draw and looms as a nice each-way type at big odds.
9 – Red Can (Robin Harnas) – A winner of only one from 10 who is not the quickest early. He would struggle in this field.
10 – Allinga Dot (Yvonne King) – Is yet to win at Angle Park in 11 attempts and that would see her with an Everest to climb to be any chance in this if she gets a start.