WA Derby contender Envy To Burn had the toughest of acts to follow when he arrived at David Burnett’s kennels the same day ill-fated champion Simon Told Helen departed.
“The good dog’s kennel was vacant when Envy To Burn arrived so he went straight in,” Burnett said.
That’s not to suggest for one moment that Envy To Burn is another Simon Told Helen.
Not many are, with Simon Told Helen crowned the 2019/20 Australian Greyhound of the Year and a four-time G1 winner, including last year’s Perth Cup.
But in winning six of his 13 starts, Envy To Burn has shown Burnett enough to earn a flight to Perth for Saturday night’s Group 2 Derby heats (520m), where he’s drawn box four in the second of four run-offs, to jump at 11.02pm.
Envy To Burn, which is by US sire Superior Product, a son of KC And All, will tackle in-form local Domino Mac (Box 1), winner of seven of his last eight, including the Listed Mandurah Derby (490m) at his most recent appearance.
“We started planning for this race when he ran 25.69sec at Geelong,” Burnett explained.
“A few weeks ago he ran 29.63sec at Sandown. Then he had a bit of a flat run at The Meadows when he had a blood disorder but he bounced back at Geelong last Friday, running 25.68sec.
“The way it’s worked out he won’t get the chance to trial at Cannington but he’ll have a walk around the track on Friday.
“He comes out pretty hard and wants to get to the rail.
“There’s three or four good young dogs over in Perth at the moment and the ‘red’ (Domino Mac) equalled the track record at Mandurah a couple of weeks ago so it will be hard to beat but the aim is to run second and qualify and win the following week!”
It’s not the first time Burnett has targeted the WA Derby, having run third in 2013 with Kiss Me Ketut, which went on to win the G1 Brisbane Cup and qualify for the G1 Melbourne Cup final later that year, while My Silver Chisel finished fourth in 2016.
“I’ve had a couple of goes at the race and whether Envy To Burn is good enough we’ll find out but I never die wondering,” Burnett said.
“Whatever happens he’ll benefit from the trip and he has a terrific nature so the travel won’t worry him at all.
“It’s really a privilege that his owner, Kyle Goodwin, asked me to train the dog.
“You get a bit spoiled with a dog like Simon Told Helen but I’m very grateful to be trusted with a dog than can run 21.93sec at Warrnambool and 25.69sec at Geelong at his third and fourth starts.”
Victorian star Catch The Thief won last year’s WA Derby and the task of defending the title has fallen to Envy To Burn and Earn The Answers, which has drawn box eight in heat one.
Earn The Answers, a G1 Silver Chief finalist and runner-up in the G3 Great Chase, is based with leading trainer David Hobby for his WA campaign and was runner-up in the Mandurah Derby at his last start.
WATCH: G2 WA Derby aspirant Envy To Burn (2) clocks a 25.68sec (Best) win at Geelong last week.
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