Mumma Josie and Up Hill Jill will now both likely be primed for the upcoming Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg after the duo finishing first and second respectively in the Group 2 Ladbrokes Richmond Oaks (535m) last Friday night.
The Jeff Britton-trained Mumma Josie ($5.20) held on valiantly to pip fellow Victorian greyhound Up Hill Jill by a nose and win the $40,000-to-the-winner decider.
Jumping well from box one, Mumma Josie hit the front at the first corner and held on from there to score the win.
Britton had driven up to the heats and final with Up Hill Jill’s trainer David Geall and conceded he owed a lot to his friend and fellow mentor.
“It’s lucky that we’re driving back in my car, I suppose,” Britton said post-race. “There’s no way he can kick me out at Dapto.
“People were texting us on the way up saying they hope we scored the quinella or that it could be a dead heat. That would have done me fine.
“David also drew box one for me after the heats, so I owe him a lot.
“Even though she was in good form I wasn’t that confident for the race as the field was so strong.
“Every win is great but when you get one you weren’t really expecting, it makes it extra-special.”
Britton said he would now likely aim Mumma Josie for the heats of the Golden Easter Egg, which take place on Saturday, April 1 at Wentworth Park.
“We’ll see how she pulls up from this and then think about bringing her back up for that,” he said.
“She’s always been a consistent greyhound who puts in for me. She took a while to mature but she’s raced superbly over these last few months.
“The way it’s all worked out, I really couldn’t be happier.”
David Geall confirmed afterwards that Up Hill Jill ($5.70) will likely return to NSW for the Easter Egg heats.
A winner of last year’s Group 2 Laurels Classic, Up Hill Jill was also runner-up in the Group 2 National Futurity at Wentworth Park last month and looks a big threat for the Golden Easter Egg.
NSW contender Where Art Thou ($4.80) had her hopes sunk by a slow start but rattled home superbly to finish third.
Meanwhile, Nangar Flame made it a Victorian double by scoring a popular victory in the Group 2 Ladbrokes Richmond Derby (535m).
The Anthony Azzopardi-trained was only a $16.60 chance for the final but extended his career record to 18 wins and 23 minor placings with a huge run from box eight in the decider.
Mack Tux led for most of the race but was run down by Nangar Flame and had to settle for second, with the consistent Barking Bad scoring yet another placing in a feature race with third.
Nangar Flame was cheered home by a large contingent of supporters, led by NSW Central West owner Ann Barnes.
It also earned yet another major title for Victorian based Azzppardi, who was one of NSW’s top mentors before moving to Victoria last year.
“It’s lovely to come back up here,” he said. “The Derby means so much to me as a race, so it’s great to win it.
“The owners are brilliant people and I’m so happy for them.”
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