It’s not often that Linda Britton is in search of her first feature race victory, the Puppy Classic Final is an exception. The age-restricted race is run over the 530 metre distance and showcases the best young talent in WA. This year Britton has five chances of winning the race with Bekim Maxim (4), Petra, (6) Gone To Heaven (2), Star Recall (8) and High Recall (5).
Up until recently Britton was known for getting older dogs going again, often after what looked to be career-threatening injuries.
“We don’t have a lot of young dogs, but that’s what we are working towards at the moment and its pretty exciting.” Linda Britton explained.
Its not just the excitement and high reward Britton gets from bringing through future champions, the practicality of filling a field up with the majority of chasers in her name made it hard to bring old dogs through.
“Its partly because of the grading system, you only get one city free to all a week, so you’re really limited because you have 4 or 5 dogs in it each week. Sometimes I would even have 6 or 7 in a field.”
“You get handy dogs from over east, but you never get that amazing dog; so we decided to start breeding and buying a few pups and hope for the extra special ones and we have got a couple now.”
With Britton making up five of the eight finalists in the Puppy Classic it’s needless to say she has some special ones, none more then WA bred High Recall and Star Recall.
“I really liked the mum (No Recall) when she was racing because she was very strong and consistent. We loved High Earner because of Christine and Dave Robartson’s involvement as well as him being a super dog.”
“We went up to buy two pups, but we ended up buying four and thankfully two of those four were the good ones.”
“Kevin Dover got one (Star Recall) because his race dog Tempted got a bite and we weren’t sure if he was going to survive or not. Luckily he did and now Kevin has them both running around and it has worked out to be a bit of a fairytale for him. They keep on pinching themselves because they can’t believe how good she is.”
The 2014 Puppy Classic is set to jump at 8.22 pm Perth time and this year there isn’t just one standout, which should make for spectacular viewing come box rise.
Stanga Tom received the favorable box one and is currently paying $15.00. The black dog has jumped from box one on two occasions; finishing first and second. This week he needs all the help he can get and box one will be a great starting point. At best he can run 5.68 to the first marker which puts him in good stead of keeping within a few lengths of Star Recall and High Recall, both of which are known to fly the lids. He is a more then capable dog over Mandurah’s 405 and 490 metre distance, but he doesn’t quite run out 530 well enough to take out this classy field.
Gone To Heaven is exiting from box two and is set to pay $4.50 at box rise. This beautifully bred Collide – Casey’s Angel bitch is coming back into form. She began her career winning her first seven starts in more then impressive times and her personal best time stands at 30.23. Of late she has missed out on victory in her last five starts; including a start at Sandown in the Judy Hayley Memorial heat that saw her finish in last position. With a more then impressive run behind her last week, it’s only a matter of time before she finishes first past the finishing post.
Miss Moto will be jumping from box three; she is a handy chaser but will find it hard to mix it with some of the best young chasers going around. She has won from both inside and outside boxes. Box three should prove helpful being closer to the rails. The black bitch is set to pay $30.00 and will have to improve on her personal best time of 30.70 if she is going win this.
Linda Britton’s second chaser involved in the race is Bekim Maxim; the black dog will be jumping from box four paying $15.00 for the win. The son of Bekim Bale – Sassy Guess isn’t known for his box manners, failing to lead a field at box rise from his 14 career starts. If he’s to win this race he can’t let the field lead him too much because there are some strong chasers in this race.
High Recall will exit from box five for the fourth time in her 16 career starts. She has had three starts back from her Australian Cup campaign in Victoria, for two wins and a third including a Canning Trophy win in a personal best time of 30.21. The daughter of High Earner – No Recall is set to start at $3.20, second favorite behind litter sister Star Recall.
Petra is the most inexperienced dog in the field with just six starts behind her for two wins and four placings. This week she is jumping from box six paying $20.00 to take out the race. Like a number of Bekim Bale sired chasers, she doesn’t fly the lids and her strength is what makes her runs impressive. This was evident when she took the outside route in her heat victory over Stanga Tom.
Brad Yates chaser Stangafied showcased his strength by running over Bekim Maxim in their heat last week. In the final he drew box seven and is set to jump paying $6.00. He will need to rely on the Recall bitches and Gone To Heaven not gaining too much of a lead out of the boxes if he is going to run over the top of them.
Star Recall rounds out the last of the Puppy Classic field jumping from box eight and is currently $3.00 favorite to take out this year’s final. Her personal best time of 30.28 will hold her in good stead coming into the race; she wont be able to give kennel mates Gone To Heaven or High Recall too much of a head start from their inside boxes draws if she is to run over the top of this classy field.
“I think its between the three girls; High Recall, Star Recall and Gone To Heaven. I am leaning towards Gone To Heaven because she is boxed the best.”
“I can’t split the two girls, Star Recall and High Recall because they seem to share their wins – whoever jumps better goes the best. I really wouldn’t like to pick one.”
“Stangafied was very impressive last week; he went past Bekim Maxim like he was standing still.”