David Burnett believes dual group 1 winner Simon Told Helen is back to his brilliant best ahead of his return to Sandown Park for Thursday night’s heats of the group 1 Harrison-Dawson.
After winning the Perth Cup in March, Simon Told Helen returned from a six week spell by running second a heat of the Warrnambool Cup before again running second in an eye catching gallop in the final the following week.
Simon Told Helen won the group 3 Cup Night Sprint on TAB Melbourne Cup night in his last start at the track, running what may have been the fastest middle section ever recorded on the circuit.
He rounded out his Harrison-Dawson preparations with a hand slip after the last race on Sunday night, clocking a staggering 22.75 (12.38,10.37).
“He went super, I’m really stoked with how he went,” Burnett said following the trial.
“He’s had a few runs back since resuming, tonight’s trial has him ready for Thursday night.”
He will need to be at his very best to qualify for Thursday week’s $50,000 to the winner final though, having drawn box 7 in a star studded heat that also features Shepparton Cup winner Hard Style Rico (box 4) and Bendigo track record holder Jim Zarr Dashian (box 6).
Other notables to contest the heats include TAB Million Dollar Chase winner Good Odds Harada and three-time finalist Aston Cade in the first heat, while pre-nomination favourite Tiggerlong Tonk will meet TAB Australian Cup winner Fernando’s Riot in the other heat.
One notable name that won’t be contesting the heats is Sandown track record holder Hooked On Scotch, trainer Jason Thompson deciding he wasn’t ready to contest the series.
“I decided not to put him in, I reckon he’s still a couple of weeks away,” Thompson told RSN’s Breakfast Club.
“He had his first run back at Warrnambool over 450m (last week). He came through the race well, but I think he’s lacks a bit of match fitness for a group 1 race like it would be on Thursday night so we’ll keep him home.”
Thursday night will also see the first of three group 1 finals for the month of May, with the final of the Sapphire Crown for female greyhounds the first to be decided.
Black Opium is the current favourite to claim the $50,000 first prize and win at group 1 level for the first time in seven attempts.
Click here for a wrap of last week’s Sapphire Crown heats
There is a $100,000 projected TAB quaddie pool on Thursday night’s meeting! Click here for the latest markets from tab.com.au
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