By Isaac Murphy
About seventy kilometres South-West of Melbourne lies the sleepy township of Anakie with a population of under one thousand the town is far removed from the bright lights of The Meadows and Sandown Park, but for trainer Angela Langton’s it’s turned into the perfect location for her breeding ground of champions, with her latest star Circle of Dreams headed North to conquer The Group Two Bogie Leigh Futurity at Albion Park this Thursday night.
Though Langton has been firmly embedded in Victoria for a number of years her family roots lie in Queensland and she relishes the opportunity to regularly bring her greyhounds to The Creek, winning The Group One Brisbane Cup and Queensland Greyhound of the year with Hasten Slowly in 2018 and if Circle of Dreams runs up to her potential it might not be long until she salutes again in her home state.
“I always look forward to getting back to Brisbane, I’m very lucky to have bitches like Circle of Dreams in the kennel who need to travel for races like this,” Langton said.
“Not only do I get the opportunity to catch up with family and friends, but also have a crack at winning another prestigious race.”
Circle of Dreams has built a remarkable record in her twelve starts, headlined by a Group Two Laurels Final win at Sandown Park and a National Futurity win in front of Queensland’s own Dam Slippery at Wentworth Park last year.
The results have culminated in over $160,000 in career earnings before the age of two and Langton is looking to cash in before she joins open company.
“It’s a dream to have her do what she’s done so far in her career, she broke in well and looked like she could run, but you never expect to win two Group races in the first dozen starts and to get an invite into the Temlee (Group One The Meadows) shows the regard she’s already held in,” Langton said.
“It was a no brainer to bring her up, she’s still only young and if I can keep her in puppy races it’ll only be better for her maturity wise, if we kept her down here with the money she’s earnt she’d be top grade almost every track she went to.”
“The next Futurity is in Perth, who have tighter age restrictions than Brisbane’s 30 months she should be an even better chance against dogs younger than or the same age as her.”
Circle of Dreams wears the black run in heat three on Thursday night and without a look at the track and over four months off the scene through injury Langton is relying on some of her hallmarks to get her through to next week’s final.
“She’s always been a good beginner and musters pace when she hits the ground and we’ll be relying on those assets because she hasn’t had a trial at the track and we’d probably prefer her from an inside draw than the seven,” Langton said.
“She’s also a mad railer who likes to run about an inch away from the fence, if she can get there from the draw she knows how to take a gap.”
“Hopefully she can get an unimpeded run through to the first corner and be very hard to beat but winning isn’t everything this week our main goal is to try to get her through to the Final where she’ll take great benefit from the run.”
On paper Circle of Dreams would be a walk up start in next week’s final, but Langton believes additional intangibles and a well-known Queenslander may stand in the way of her third Group triumph.
“Not knowing a whole lot about the other dogs in the field is a challenge, who’s quick away, who’s strong late, who likes to run wide that’s all a mystery to us, we’ll be relying on her class."
“Obviously we know Dam Slippery is a very handy bitch finishing just behind us in The National Futurity and if they do clash again in the final she has a few things in her favour, being on her home track and race fitness.”
Circle of Dreams hasn’t raced since her invite to the Group One Temlee last December and while Langton says the bitch has done everything right at home race fitness could be an issue.
“We’ve done plenty of work with her at home and she’s had a trial at Sandown where she went quickest of the day so all the signs and there, but you just can’t simulate race conditions,” she said.
“The heat is so vital this week, not only to hopefully qualify, but to get her back acclimated to racing in a field and running a strong 520.”