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Silver Bullet’s ‘speeding bullets’

Sprint tyro Dr. Tucker is one of the sport’s most exciting prospects.

Last week’s G3 Great Chase winner, Dr. Tucker has even been rated by one form expert as a ‘clone’ of Australian Greyhound of the Year, Simon Told Helen.

Ironically, it was last year’s Great Chase win that kick-started Simon Told Helen’s star-studded career.

His Gippsland-based owner-trainer, William McMahon – albeit slightly bemused by the comparison – treats it as a compliment. However, he says Dr. Tucker “still has a long way to go” in measuring up to Australia’s No. 1 sprinter and four-time G1 winner.

But McMahon may not have to wait too long to find out, as his ‘apprentice’ meets the ‘master’ in the G3 RSN Silver Bullet (525m) at The Meadows on Melbourne Cup Eve.

A fantastic field will assemble for a $25,000 first prize, but it’s eight-time group race winner Simon Told Helen (Box 6) against Dr. Tucker (Box 8), a winner of nine races from 12 starts, that oozes X-factor.

Dr Tucker (Oct ’18 Bernardo x Dr. Dawn) has also notched six wins from seven starts over 525m at The Meadows.

“He’s above average and should handle the rise in class,” McMahon said. “He also has amazing acceleration and is smart enough to sit outside a dog and stay out of trouble. But he’s a ‘new kid on the block’ against ‘older heads’ and if he runs a place, I’ll be happy.”

Both greyhounds are ‘speeding bullets’ with an ability to carve out unbelievable sectional times.

Let’s analyse both greyhounds’ splits when they’ve led and won at The Meadows:

Simon Told Helen

16/10/19 – 4.99sec/17.40
28/12/19 – 5.00sec/17.41
4/1/20 – 4.99sec/17.40
18/7/20 – 4.97sec/17.40
25/7/20 – 5.00sec/17.38

Dr. Tucker
16/5/20 – 5.03sec/17.65
26/9/20 – 5.07sec/17.60
1/10/20 – 5.05sec/17.48
7/10/20 – 5.07sec/17.55
21/10/20 – 5.12sec/17.68

So, another exciting Silver Bullet poser is: can one of them break the split records (4.89sec & 17.37sec) that megastar Fernando Bale set in winning the 2015 Maturity Classic?

On Thursday night at Sandown, Dr. Tucker ‘warmed up’ for the Silver Bullet with a dazzling display in a Melbourne Cup Prelude (515m). He clocked a scintillating 29.28sec (Best) and his 18.55sec second split was just 3L off Fernando Bale’s record. Additionally, his 13.49sec between the first and second splits was only 1.5L off Simon Told Helen’s unofficial mark.

“When I broke him in, I knew I had something special,” McMahon said. “But he goes so fast for the first two sections, he’s ‘gassing’ himself a bit. Sometimes they need to go with the real good dogs to season up.”

And McMahon added: “He’s put the writing on the board… He’s got everything in front of him.”

The G3 RSN Silver Bullet is Race 6 at 8.06pm.

Peter Quilty
About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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