JEFF Britton is hoping for a night to remember on Saturday with runners in two Group 1 races on opposite sides of the country.
The Victorian conditioner has Star Recall in box one in the Perth Cup final at Cannington, while earlier he will be represented in Sydney by the well-performed Weblec Belle in the National Futurity final.
The daughter of Dyna Tron and Snow Excuse qualified for the final by running third in her heat on January 23 and second in her semi-final last Saturday behind Spring Leaf.
Even though she is yet to taste success at the Glebe circuit, Britton has still been happy with her performances throughout the series.
“She had never been on the track before her heat so she was just feeling her way around and she was probably lucky to qualify,” Britton said.
“The next week she had box one and she ran 29.70 [in running second] and was the second-fastest qualifier, so she has really improved on her first run there. Hopefully she can do that again this week.”
Weblec Belle has been a more-than-handy race bitch for Britton and her connections. The fawn greyhound has won nine races from 23 starts including the Group 3 Brian Johnson Memorial at Angle Park last December.
“She has been pretty faultless so far and she has been in some big races, she hasn’t been given it the easy way so she has done really well,” Britton said.
However, he said his 27-kilogram chaser would need plenty of luck from the wide draw on Saturday night against speedy greyhounds Spring Leaf (box one), Kerrigan Bale (box four) and Zipping Midge (box six).
“She can handle box eight but I think she is going to need some favours from the dogs inside her.
“I don’t think she will crash to the fence, I think she will run straight, so it is not a bad box for her, but not a lot of dogs win at Wentworth Park from box eight.”
Two things working in Weblec Belle’s favour are that she is drawn outside of a speedy railer in Jinjing and she possesses an abundance of strength. Britton is hoping this will help her figure in the finish.
“She has got a bit of speed and she is very strong – so if there is a speedster out in front that can’t run it out that well then she would be a chance of picking it up.
“If Spring Leaf or Kerrigan Bale are in front of her, it will be very hard to run those types of dogs down though.”
A win in the Futurity series would help to soften the blow for Britton, whose kennel star Oakvale Destiny had to be scratched from last Saturday’s semi-finals through injury.
“It looks like it is a three- or four-month injury, she has got a crack in her hock. It is very disappointing but if she comes back the same it won’t be a worry, it is just a concern when you get those kinds of injuries if they will or not.”
Two hours and 22 minutes after Weblec Belle contests the Futurity in the Harbour City, Star Recall will be aiming to score her second Group 1 victory for Britton since Boxing Day when she lines up in the Perth Cup over 530 metres.
A winner of the Sale Cup over 650 metres, Star Recall has adapted well to the drop back in distance, winning her heat last week in a strong 30.17.
While the former WA star is flourishing since returning for a stint at glory at her old home track, Britton said she would need to do everything right from the inside draw with talented chasers such as Astronomize (box two), Quartz Bale (box four) and My Bro Fabio (box eight) also in the final.
“Box one sounds terrific but I was more worried that there was going to be pace around her and there seems to be a fair bit. She is going to have to do everything right because if she half misses it then they will be cutting across her pretty quickly.
“If she does jump well then it will take something pretty special to run her down. Hopefully she can get around the first corner in front and then it will be catch me if you can.”