There’s no tougher task in Australian greyhound racing at present than taking on Victorian superstar Simon Told Helen.
But young gun trainer Correy Grenfell is bullish that Tiggerlong Tonk can turn the tables on his recent nemesis in what shapes as a mouth-watering clash between the two sprinting titans at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Tiggerlong Tonk has been placed behind Simon Told Helen at his last two starts, running third in the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson and then a luckless second in a GR8 Eight event at Sandown Park last start.
“Going into last week I thought Tiggerlong Tonk would beat Simon Told Helen if he did everything right, which he did, but interference from another dog cost us the win,” Grenfell explained.
Simon Told Helen took advantage of box one in last week’s narrow verdict, where just .16 of a length separated the dynamic duo.
But this week Tiggerlong Tonk fared best in the box draw for his first appearance at The Meadows since finishing second in a heat of the Group 1 Australian Cup back in February.
Despite drawing box two, from where he’s won five of seven career starts, Tiggerlong Tonk is a $2.80 chance in TAB’s market on Race 5, a GR8 Eight Series rematch, with Simon Told Helen a dominant $1.60 favourite from box four.
“I think if Tiggerlong Tonk can hold the rail he just wins.”
However, Grenfell is upbeat the move to a better draw and The Meadows will work in Tiggerlong Tonk’s favour.
“I think if Tiggerlong Tonk can hold the rail he just wins,” he said.
“He led Simon Told Helen last week, but Simon Told Helen had the red and got underneath us on the first corner.
“It all depends on how he comes out but I’m hoping he can cross Vivatar (Box 1) and get on the rail.
“I told Tiggerlong Tonk’s owner (Michael Finn) that I was pretty excited about getting him back to The Meadows. He hasn’t broken 30 seconds there yet, but I reckon it’ll be a totally different story now. The way he’s going I’d expect him to run 29.60sec or 29.70sec.
“The dog is absolutely flying. It’s a guessing game but I reckon if he led at Sandown he’d go close to breaking 29 seconds. The way he’s getting to the line now is huge, which wasn’t the case before.
“I’m tossing up between taking him up to Brisbane (Group 1 Brisbane Cup) or the (Group 2) Bendigo Cup but we’ll probably prioritise Brisbane. I’m a bit surprised he hasn’t won a Group 1 yet; he’s definitely good enough.”
Among his other runners on Saturday night, Grenfell identified Yozo Bale (Race 3, Box 2) and Wendalin Bale (Race 11, Box 2) as worth watching.
“Yozo Bale ran second to Zambora Smokey at Ballarat on Wednesday, but he ran 25.15sec himself,” Grenfell said.
“You’re a bit stiff to run into a dog like that on a Wednesday night at Ballarat running for $1400!”
WATCH: Simon Told Helen (1) holds off a fast-finishing Tiggerlong Tonk (5) in last week’s 515m Gr8 Eight at Sandown Park.