Simon Told Helen Safely Through To MDC Semi-Finals
By Michael Cowley
COVID-19 has ensured that nothing is simple and everything is different, and having to improvise is what we have all had to do.
And that was what Victorian trainer David Burnett did with his superstar sprinter Simon Told Helen, and the reward came on Saturday night, while David was at home in Geelong, and the dog was six hours away in Temora.
Burnett had to courier his three dogs to Temora to contest the heats of the TAB Million Dollar Chase last week, and do likewise for the final on Saturday night, and while Who Told Stevie and Snags McKenzie didn’t have much luck in the race, Simon Told Helen did exactly what was expected, won the Regional Final, and made his way through to the semi-finals of the world’s richest greyhound race on October 9 at Wentworth Park.
Mustering speed soon after jumping, Simon Told Helen raced away to a big lead up the back and looked on track for a big win and potentially to push the track record of 25.45s.
But he weakened noticeably in the run home, winning only by a length and clocking 26.16s, which did concern Burnett.
“The time wasn’t really what I thought it would be,” Burnett said after watching the race. “I was hoping he would go better than he did last week and there didn’t look to be any excuses, and the second dog was taking ground off him at the finish which isn’t the perfect scenario.
“But I won’t know until he gets home tomorrow how he pulls up, it’s not the best way to do things, but it’s just the way it is and what we had to do.”
Burnett has planned to run Simon Told Helen in the Speed Star next week in Melbourne, but will now wait until he has the dog checked before deciding whether to nominate or give him a break.
It turned out to be a master stroke from trainer Patrick Parrelli taking his dog Rivergum Road to Temora for the series.
Parrelli is based at North Rothbury in the Hunter Valley, but instead of looking at the Ladbrokes Gardens’ or Maitland heats’ he took Rivergum Road to Temora for his debut at the track last week and after finishing fourth to Keenando, he gained a place in the final.
Then on Saturday night he ran a fantastic race finishing second to one of the country’s superstars, and clinching a spot in the semi-finals on October 9, where he will be one win away from a shot at $1 million.
The Shannon Ellis trained Keenando, who won one of the heats last week, produced another great performance running home to grab third, and also booking a semi-final berth.