Star Victorian youngster Who Told Stevie (pictured) will be striving to emerge from the sizeable shadow of his superstar sibling Simon Told Helen in the heats of the Group 1 Paws Of Thunder (520m) in Sydney on Saturday night.
Simon Told Helen has taken just 15 starts to stamp himself as Australia’s most exciting sprinter, including a brilliant last start victory in the Group 1 Silver Chief, upstaging litter brother and kennelmate Who Told Stevie in both the Silver Chief and Group 3 Great Chase.
Both will be headline acts at Wentworth Park this weekend; however astute Little River trainer David Burnett and the ownership group have decided to separate the boom duo.
Simon Told Helen will contest the age-restricted National Derby heats, while Who Told Stevie, the winner of eight of his 12 starts, will step up to open class in the Paws Of Thunder.
“A couple of times they’ve raced against each other they’ve collided,” Burnett explained.
“In the Silver Chief and Great Chase they touched each other during the race; whether it’s by chance I don’t know.
“I had a discussion with the owners and we decided it was best to split them up and put one dog in the Paws and the other in the Derby. I’m happy with the decision we’ve made.”
While Simon Told Helen has campaigned successfully in Queensland, winning the Group 2 Derby, the Paws Of Thunder is Who Told Stevie’s first interstate foray and he pleased Burnett with an impressive 29.83s trial at Wentworth Park last weekend.
Who Told Stevie has drawn box three for the last of four heats and he’s the $2.50 favourite with TAB, shading hometown cult figure Feral Franky, which is $2.60 from box one.
“Taking on the local hero, on his home track, from the red,” Burnett quipped.
“They haven’t made it too hard!
“He did everything right in his trial. He needed the look and he needed the run, so you’d hope he would find something. To win the final you’re going to have to run in the 29.60s or 29.70s with local dogs like Feral Franky and Good Odds Harada, as well as the other Victorians.
“He’s got to lead Feral Franky. If he doesn’t lead him, we’re in trouble.”
Burnett will launch a two-pronged assault on the heats of the $75,000 to-the-winner Paws, with Who Told Stevie joined by experienced performer Snags McKenzie (heat 1, box 4), which has performed creditably in Brisbane in recent weeks.
At his most recent appearance, Snags McKenzie ran sixth to Sennachie in the Group 1 Gold Bullion Final after finishing a close second to Good Odds Harada in his heat and he will once again do battle with Good Odds Harada in his Paws qualifier.
“He’s an old campaigner keeping the young dogs company,” said Burnett.
“He’s a good, hard trier. He railed up beautifully underneath Good Odds Harada in the Brisbane heat and nearly pipped him.
“Box four isn’t going to suit him but you can’t win sitting at home in your kennel.”
WATCH: Who Told Stevie (6) wins a Silver Chief heat in December in a scintillating 29.68sec.