Leading W.A trainer Linda Britton appears to have an exciting prospect on her hands with Te Amo dazzling racegoers at her only two starts. This Saturday the pint sized bitch will face her biggest test to date when she lines up in heat one of the group two Solo W.A Oaks but based on her limited starts, she looks up to the challenge.
Meaning ‘I love you’ in Spanish, Te Amo first stood out in her qualifying trial at Cannington clocking a slick 30.50 seconds for the 530 metre trip. The pocket rocket returned to the track the following week, lining up from box six as the raging favourite. Exploding from the boxes Te Amo blew away her opposition scoring by just under ten lengths when declared the winner by the dulcet tones of Peter O Neil in a scintillating 30.48 seconds.
Back to the track last Saturday, the race appeared over at box rise when Te Amo bombed the start however as a testament to her tenacious nature, the peppy bitch navigated her way through the field to score a gallant victory albeit in a moderate 31.13 seconds
Although it was not the start Britton would have liked for Te Amo, she admits it was good to see her put her head down and push through a field.
“I was disappointed to see her jump like she did because she is normally a flawless beginner but it was encouraging to see she used her head so well to find the front”, Britton said.
“It wasn’t a great time like she can produce but I wasn’t really expecting it to be. It wasn’t the time but the way she won which was most impressive”.
After proving she can win as both a leader and a backmarker, Britton has shown immense faith in the 27 kilogram lightweight by starting her in the heats of the Solo W.A Oaks. The group two series carries a winner’s purse of $40,000 and despite only being a baby in the racing world, Te Amo looks to have the ability to be very competitive.
“She is not a really young bitch; she is two years old, “Britton explained, “She has had experience in trials”.
“It is a big jump in class but she has class about her too. She has to jump but not much else would lead her if she begins like she normally does. Surely she can’t jump as bad as last time two times in a row!”
“If she can lead and run her 30.40 odd she will probably win it”.
Te Amo has been afforded no favours for her big assignment drawing in box six for her heat. She also comes across a tough field with Darren McDonald’s Another Lee drawn in the cherry, John Crossley’s Gypsy Lee Coin in the white and kennelmate Heidi Go Seek drawn in box five.
It is also a busy year for Britton in the oaks series with ten runners contesting the heats.
“I have never had so many bitches eligible for something like this. We changed the training tactics and now we have a lot of new and younger dogs in the kennel”, Britton said.
With Britton’s strong hand in the series, Te Amo is definitely one of her front runners in search of the prize. The daughter of Cosmic Rumble was bred by up-and-coming breeder Michelle Romer who is now able to enjoy her biggest achievement as a breeder after eight years in the industry.
“I am so wrapped for Michelle”, Britton said, “For all the work she does it is fantastic to see her get something so good”.
Romer owns a breeding facility with her racing kennels leased out to trainer Cheryl McNamara who trains many of her chasers. The Southern River identity bred Te Amo from broodbitch Osti’s Bride who only had one litter before tragically passing away .
“I bred her myself and her mother was Osti’s Bride who I owned. She only had one litter and then died from a twisted bowel about six or seven weeks ago”, Romer said.
“It was a freak thing and I am still devastated. Now it means that every win they have I will dedicate it to her”.
The vivacious two year old nicknamed ‘Shots’ due to a hangover experienced by Romer’s friend during the whelping of the litter, is the best pup Romer has bred and has made her talent obvious from an early age.
“I haven’t had a champ but I have had some fair dogs. She is definitely the fastest dog I have bred”, Romer said.
“We knew she was handy when she was being pre-trained by Ken Murphy in Victoria. He told us that she had ability and was very quick early”.
Romer owns Te Amo with her friends Simon Allen, Grant Adamson and Bec Adamson who also assist Romer with the breeding of her greyhounds.
“They do all the litters and breeding with me and it really is a team effort. We spoil them rotten and give them the best from the day they are born”, Romer said.
The small syndicate of owners were also impressed with Te Amo’s chasing demonstration last week, with Romer especially pleased with the efforts of her pride and joy.
“I couldn’t watch. I had my eyes closed and I heard Ryan (racecaller) say she missed the start. It wasn’t until he said Te Amo pushes through that I looked up and when I saw her picking them up I was really happy”.
“She is only young but it showed me she could run in a field and handle trouble. She has a big heart but she showed last week she has brains and that she chases hard”.
Romer also praises Britton for all her hard work with Te Amo, with the two women sharing a very close friendship in addition to their business relationship.
“I think the world of Linda, she is a beautiful lady. She is a wonderful person both personally and in the industry and it is a privilege to have her training my dogs”, Romer enthused.
In addition to Britton, Romer is also extremely thankful to close friend Luke Townsend who has handled Te Amo at her first two starts and is a valued kennel hand for Britton. Townsend has also had a great few weeks, with his most prized greyhound Uno Reltub (Tank) back on the track in winning style.
“Luke would have to be one of the best workers in Australia. He is so good with the dogs and Linda is lucky to have such a good person working for her.”
“He is a top bloke but he really needs to find a decent female so if there are any young ladies wanting a great guy look him up”, Romer hinted cheekily.
Te Amo will jump in heat one of the W.A Oaks this Saturday at 8.27pm WST. The exciting youngster is sure to have a cheer squad lined up along the famous Cannington roses and looks set for a very bright future.