TAB Million Dollar Chase

Tiggerlong Tonk Heads 'Home' for Million Dollar Chase

By Jeff Collerson
Wagga-owned and bred Tiggerlong Tonk will be out to emulate Simon Told Helen when he contests tomorrow (Thursday's) regional heat of the TAB Million Dollar Chase at his local track.

Although bred, reared and broken in by owner Michael Finn, the Correy Grenfell-trained Tiggerlong Tonk has done all his racing in Victoria where he has compiled the remarkable record of 27 wins from 52 starts and earned nearly $284,000.

Simon Told Helen, from Victorian trainer David Burnett's kennels, won the Temora final of the Million Dollar Chase last week and has qualified for the semi-finals at Wentworth Park on October 9.

Tiggerlong Tonk will be handled by Michael Finn at Wagga where he will exit box seven in the only heat of the Chase, leading up to the regional final on September 25.

And while the dog has not raced at the Riverina course Finn said: "Tiggerlong Tonk was broken in at Wagga and has had three trials over the 320m trip there so at least he knows his way around half the track.

"It is only a four-and-a-half hour trip from Correy Grenfell's kennels near Ballarat to Wagga so the travelling isn't an issue.

"Tiggerlong Tonk has box seven at Wagga but draws never seem to worry him because he runs straight.''

Finn, who operates a 25 acre greyhound breeding and rearing property, got his first dog when he was 12 years old.

"I'm 62 now so have now been in the game 50 years and while I've had some handy greyhounds during that time, Tiggerlong Tonk is the best,'' he said.

In Dubbo's second heat of the TAB Million Dollar Chase on Friday Along The Line, who has raced just once and has not seen a racetrack for nearly six months, is hotly tipped to progress to the regional final on September 26.

Owned and trained at Clergate, near ORANGE, by David Pringle, Along The Line was with Victorian trainer Jason Thompson when he won on debut over 515m at Sandown on April 5.

Along The Line's talent had been well documented and he was sent out a $1.40 favourite before winning easily in 29.53, fastest time of the meeting.

"He broke down in a trial immediately after that win and for a while there things did not look too good,'' Pringle said.

"Jason sent Along The Line home to me and thanks to a long rest he has come good and is trialling extra well.

"I took him to Wentworth Park last week and he broke 30sec at his first look over 520m there.

"If he holds together Along The Line has a bright future, although he will probably go over longer distances after the Million Dollar Chase series.

"He is a handy beginner without being a brilliant box dog and is as strong as a bull at the finish.''