David Burnett has a massive week ahead, beginning with a stranglehold on Wednesday afternoon’s Group 3 TAB Great Chase (525m) at The Meadows and continuing with his hometown Group 2 Geelong Gold Cup Final (460m) on Friday night.
Burnett, who’s based at Little River, looks to have the Great Chase and its $47,000 winner’s purse at his mercy, courtesy of sensational young litter brothers Who Told Stevie and Simon Told Helen.
The 21-month old siblings, by super sire Barcia Bale, set The Meadows alight in last Wednesday’s Great Chase semi-finals, with Who Told Stevie clocking a staggering best of day 29.65s, while Simon Told Helen posted a similarly impressive 29.73s.
“They’re fair dogs,” quipped Burnett, understating the obvious.
Who Told Stevie and Simon Told Helen have done enough in their brief six-start careers, netting five and four wins respectively, that Burnett has already drawn favourable comparisons with his 2013 Brisbane Cup hero and Melbourne and Australian Cup finalist Kiss Me Ketut.
“When Kiss Me Ketut was running the same sort of times he was in his prime – getting up towards three years old,” Burnett said.
“Kiss Me Ketut ran 29.77s at The Meadows, which is close to what Simon Told Helen ran last Wednesday, when he was winning a heat of the Australian Cup.
“They came back from the breakers as good as any pups I’ve had and they’ve kept finding lengths.
“Who Told Stevie has gone from 29.93s to 29.65s at The Meadows in four weeks. Who runs 29.65s at The Meadows after six starts?
“It’s nice to have the two of them but they’re totally different dogs.
“Simon leads, Stevie wins” – David Burnett disagrees with the TAB market.
“Simon has got the early pace and splits and Stevie has the strength. The first two steps out of the boxes is probably their only little problem.
“About eight weeks ago I had to force myself to go to Bali for three weeks to slow them down. When I came back they were trialling quicker!”
After their airborne semi-final romps, it’s absolutely no surprise that Burnett’s boom duo dominate TAB’s market, with Simon Told Helen (box 2) the $1.60 favourite and Who Told Stevie (box 6) the $3.90 second elect.
However; Burnett doesn’t agree.
“Simon leads, Stevie wins,” was Burnett’s succinct appraisal.
“That’s the way the form reads, that’s where the speed is.
“Stevie is the faster dog; he’s always been the faster dog.”
On Friday night, Burnett will have his first ever finalist in his local Geelong Gold Cup in Snags McKenzie, a $9 chance with TAB after drawing suitably in box two, with Adelaide Cup hero Hooked On Scotch the $2.40 favourite.
The winner of 12 from 39, Snags McKenzie qualified for his first Group event with a close second in his heat to John Barbara’s fastest qualifier Runnin’ Royalty, beaten .76 of a length in a best of night 25.48s.
“I’ve never had a runner in the Geelong Cup so I’m looking forward to it. It would be nice to win it,” said Burnett.
“I think he’s boxed right. Hooked On Scotch in box three isn’t the quickest early so he might have a bit of room but I don’t want him sitting on my backside!”
WATCH: Who Told Stevie (2) scored an astonishing Great Chase semi-final win in 29.65sec.
FEATURED PHOTO: Who Told Stevie (left) and Simon Told Helen (right) meet for the first time under race conditions on Wednesday. Photos by: Jason McKeown.