It’s a hot field assembled for the Group 1 TAB Topgun Stayers on Saturday night at The Meadows, and Lara trainer Robert Britton is ecstatic to have three of the eight runners in 725m feature.
“Three runners helps. If you can’t win by quality, you win by numbers!” Britton laughs.
The first of his charges, Tornado Tears, has come up with Box 6 in the feature, and should the champion stayer win, the $75,000 winning purse will push his prizemoney over the $1 million mark.
“I try not to think about it too much, because when I had Fanta Bale, she got into the $900,000s, and everyone kept saying this is it, this is it, and it kept not happening! You get built up and let down.”
Tornado Tears hasn’t raced since 9 October, when he won a heat of the Sydney Cup at Wentworth Park, but he was subsequently scratched from the Group 3 Final.
“He tore a pad in that Sydney Cup heat, so it’s been a matter of time letting it heal,” explains Britton. “He hasn’t missed a lot of work, but it would have been nice to have a couple of runs into him.
“If it was any of my other dogs, I’d be more concerned, but he’s a natural stayer. Hopefully he can run a really big race and be thereabouts.
“It’s a tough draw, and I was more confident before the reserve came into Box 7 (Rockstar Beav), because he wants the fence. If he gets a clear run, he can run a really good race.”
Here’s Tears, the full younger brother to Tornado Tears, will jump from Box 4 on Saturday night. He also won a heat of the Sydney Cup, but went on to win the final, and at his most recent start, finished fourth in the Group 1 Hume Cup last Monday.
“He’s racing well. I tend to think he has to jump really well and be up in front very quickly. If he can do that, he will be there a long way.
“Our nemesis in Melbourne the past few months has been Sunset Bourbski, so I think we’ll need to be off and gone. If he jumps well and gets a clear run, the dog is going very, very well, and if he can hang on that’s great.”
Blazing Cartier rounds out Britton’s chances in the big race, and she has come up with Box 5. While she hasn’t won since June, she has been competing at the top level for some time. However, she hasn’t been sighted since finishing third at Wentworth Park at the start of October.
“She copped a little injury at Sydney just before the Sydney Cup series started. But she’s back, she’s trialled well, and she’s a natural stayer as well.
“The only downside to her is that she’s proven over time that she’s a really good dog at Sandown compared to the Meadows. If this race was at Sandown, I’d be a lot more confident,” says Britton.
- Liz Whelan