It might not have been part of trainer David Burnett’s original plans, but greyhound racing fans are in for a treat on Thursday night when Who Told Stevie meets his litter brother – and Australia’s highest ranked sprinter – Simon Told Helen.
As Simon Told Helen swept all before him over the last month winning the group 1 Harrison-Dawson and two Gr8 Eight special events, Who Told Stevie has continued to work his way back from a serious wrist injury. After winning his first two starts in Best of Night time over 450m at Ballarat, Who Told Stevie ran second to Shima Shine at Shepparton before finishing third when Shima Shine and Warrnambool Cup winner Zambora Smokey dead heated over 450m at Shepparton.
After those impressive performances, Burnett believes he’s now ready to return to city racing.
“He started his maiden at the Meadows and so prior to his injury he’d never raced over 450m or shorter,” he said.
“Since his injury we’ve had to bring him back through the country tracks to build him back up. His last couple of runs have been in pretty hot fields so his form is acceptable. He’s ready to go now.”
Who Told Stevie boasts an excellent record at Sandown Park, winning his first two starts in 29.14 and 29.36 before running third to Oakvale Destiny in a heat of the TAB Melbourne Cup. The seven month break between runs is of little concern to Burnett, however he believes Who Told Stevie will need to be at his best to topple his litter-brother in their first meeting since contesting the group 1 Silver Chief in January.
Simon Told Helen has drawn box 2 and will start a long odds favourite in the race.
“In all of their trials, Stevie has been faster, but Simon Told Helen is the better race dog – at the moment.
“It wasn’t the plan for them to meet in the same race but he needs the 500m run and he’s going to take 3-4 runs to get back to his peak over 500m.
“Simon Told Helen is 110% fit and ready to go, but it’d be nice to see them both out in front, toe to toe, and see how they go.”
Burnett was non-committal when pressed on plans for the pair beyond Thursday night, with both the Brisbane and Bendigo Cups possibilities.
Thursday’s Free For All, race 8, will jump at 8.34pm.
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