Steve White is hoping his great success with South Australian greyhounds will continue on Saturday night when Sir Truculent makes his Victorian debut in the heats of the Group Listed Fireball (725m).
White has guided SA imports Sennachie and Tauwitchere to Group glory in recent times and now the Festival State’s number one stayer Sir Truculent will add enormous interest to Saturday’s bumper Meadows meeting, headlined by the Group 1 Maturity heats.
Sir Truculent, a son of another star South Australian in Worm Burner, has been virtually unbeatable at Angle Park over the last six months.
He’s won 16 of his last 20 starts, his last six in succession, and has won a remarkable 18 of his 33 starts, with 12 minor placings, over his pet 731m distance, with owner/trainer/breeder Wally Harkins deciding to strike in Melbourne while the iron is hot.
“It got to the stage where it was time for him to test the water over here,” said Steve White, who’s based at Buln Buln East.
“He’s been here a week and a bit and as I said to Wally (Harkins) it will take him a while to settle in.
“Wally has a bad knee at the moment so it was a good time for him to come over.
“He’ll go back to South Australia in early August for the State National Distance Championship and after that he’ll venture back to Victoria for the Melbourne Cup Carnival and whatever else is on.”
After accumulating 23 wins from his 52 starts in his home state, Sir Truculent will make his first interstate appearance in the second of two Fireball heats, where he’s a $4.40 chance with TAB after drawing box three.
Here’s Tears, winner of the Group 1 Super Stayers at The Meadows in February, is $2.15 favourite, with Rockstar Beav at $4 and Sandown Cup victor Bronski Beat a $5 chance.
“I’m not expecting any miracles,” said White.
“I never do with dogs that have come from interstate and I’ve had enough of them to know.
“I gave him a trial at The Meadows on a real heavy track and he only went 43.17s but it had been raining all day and I was happy with that.
“It usually takes a while to settle in and get used to the different boxes and different lure system. He’ll just improve as he gets used to it.
“He’s been running time over there and South Australian dogs aren’t hopeless. I’ve proven that and whether it’s the same story with a stayer we’ll see.
“It’s a big jump from what he’s been racing against. A massive jump.
“He wants to be drawn near the fence so box three isn’t too bad.
“There’s a lot of speed stayers around and that could work in his favour or maybe it won’t. It’s a bit of mystery how he’s going to go on Saturday. We’re hoping.”
White also revealed that it’s likely another SA success story Tauwitchere, winner of the 2019 Launching Pad, will be retired after coming on season.
The opening Fireball heat will be headlined by rising star He Shall Power, $2.40 favourite from box one, and Group 1 winner True Detective, the $3.80 second elect.