Superstar Simon Told Helen is on the comeback trail after a spider bite forced his withdrawal from the Group 1 National Derby at Wentworth Park in Sydney on January 21.
His trainer, David Burnett, said the wound – situated on the calf muscle of his right hind leg – was “healing nicely, but not quite 100 per cent”.
“It came up like a boil and then popped,” Burnett said. “We’re almost three weeks into the recovery period.”
A four-time group race winner, Simon Told Helen has been installed as the $2.60 pre-box draw favourite on tab.com.au for the $100,000-to-the-winner invitational G1 Temlee (525m) at The Meadows on February 15.
He is also the $18 pre-nomination favourite for the G1 Melbourne Cup, to be decided at Sandown on November 27.
“To be rated that well, it’s just huge,” Burnett exclaimed. “Even to get an invitation to run in the Temlee, it’s a credit to the dog.”
Simon Told Helen trialled in sensational style over 400 metres at Geelong last Tuesday night. He clocked a flying 8.14sec first split and a sizzling overall time of 22.23sec.
“He’s been doing a lot of swimming while convalescing… He’ll have a couple of handslips leading into the Temlee, and that should top him off,” Burnett said.
Bred and owned by the Emma’s Boys syndicate, Simon Told Helen (Jan ’18 Barcia Bale x Who Told Lindylou) has notched 10 wins and four seconds from 16 starts, with stakes totalling $262,955.
His burgeoning CV includes wins in the G1 Silver Chief, G2 Queensland Derby, G3 Cup Night Sprint and G3 Great Chase. He was also runner-up in the G3 Silver Bullet.
Known for his amazing mid-race acceleration and catch-me-if-you-can tactics, Simon Told Helen has won four races from five starts at The Meadows. He boasts a 29.68sec personal best on that track, established in the Silver Chief final defeating brilliant young sprinter Aston Wizard.
WATCH: Simon Told Helen (4) run his rivals off their paws in the G1 Silver Chief.