Britton On The Verge Of More Sydney Group 1 Glory

JEFF Britton is well-acquainted with Group glory at Wentworth Park and he's set to play a strong hand in Saturday night’s huge G1 triple-header.

Gerard Guthrie

20 January 2022

JEFF Britton is well-acquainted with Group glory at Wentworth Park and Saturday’s huge G1 triple-header – featuring the Paws Of Thunder, National Derby and National Futurity – could be another night to remember in Sydney.

Britton has TAB’s $3.20 National Derby favourite in Boston Garden, as he takes aim at a fourth victory in the age-restricted classic, having been successful with Mepunga Blaze (1998), Pacific Sky (2004) and Axel Footluce (2019).

Britton and partner Angela Langton opted to base fastest heat winner Boston Garden and $26 outsider Osprey Phantom with respected NSW trainers Alan and Christine Proctor for their Derby campaigns.

FIELDS AND FORM WENTWORTH PARK SATURDAY NIGHT

Britton also has the $3.90 second elect for the Paws Of Thunder in Adelaide Cup hero Do It, while he has two key chances in the G2 Summer Distance Plate (720m) in Mepunga Ruby and Hank The Hustler, at $4.20 and $5 respectively.

“I sent the Derby dogs up a bit earlier because they hadn’t seen Wentworth Park before, so they went to Alan and Christine (Proctor),” Britton explained.

“Do It and the two stayers (Hank The Hustler and Mepunga Ruby) had raced at Wentworth Park previously, so they just travelled up on the day.”

Britton identified Do It, which has drawn ideally in Box 2 for the Paws Of Thunder (Race 8 at 8.29pm), as the pick of his feature race contenders.

“If I had to pick one it would probably be Do It, because he’s drawn well,” said Britton.

“I know it’s a hard race but it means a lot when you draw well in these races and Do It needs the fence, so he’s where he wants to be.

“He just seems to be pretty consistent lately at getting out of boxes. He’s not a rocket early, so he just needs a bit pf clean running in the first 20 metres.

“He’s always had the ability but his owner, Jarrod Sharp, who also owned Pacific Sky, was always complaining to me about him doing things wrong! 

“He’s proof that dogs can come good when they get to around two and a half.  He has drawn some good boxes too, which helps get some confidence.”

Britton provided his thoughts on his other Group contenders:

Boston Garden (Box 8) – National Derby: “He’s been flying, the dog, but he’s been missing it all the time down here. He’s been missing it a length and doing a hard left, so he’s been losing races through bad habits. It was perfect in his heat, having ‘the red’, but in saying that he did come out. Now he’s got ‘the pink’, so I’m just hoping he can get out the same as last week.”

Osprey Phantom (Box 3) – National Derby: “I don’t think there’s a lot between him and Boston Garden but he’s not showing the pace Boston Garden is. Earlier on he showed good pace but now he seems to be coming home much stronger and the next job will probably be stepping him up in distance.” 

Hank The Hustler (Box 2) and Mepunga Ruby (Box 7) – Summer Distance Plate: “They’re both going well, hopefully they can be in the first couple. It’s going to be hard to lead Untapped but I’d like to see them in the first couple on the first corner. I don’t really like Mepunga Ruby out there – I prefer to see her drawn in – because she doesn’t have great field sense. Hank The Hustler was injured in the catching pen at The Meadows and it’s taken a long while to get him back.”