Straight track sensation Hello George has his sights set on reigning G3 Healesville Cup champion Zambora Lou in Sunday afternoon’s Super Sprint final (350m).
Hello George, bred and owned by leading trainer Angela Langton and her mother Sue Smith’s Champagne syndicate, is the only racing greyhound in Belgrave-based David Bottrell’s suburban kennel and the environment obviously agrees with him.
The well-bred son of Barcia Bale and multiple G1 finalist Vegas Bound also has a distinct liking for Healesville, where he has the remarkable record of 11 wins and four seconds from 16 starts over 350m.
He’s won 16 from 29 overall, with 12 minors, finishing unplaced only once.
“I’m friends with Robbie Crawford and he’s done a lot of pre-training for Angela Langton,” Bottrell explained.
“Hello George didn’t break in great but Robbie told me he would suit me because he’s a really nice dog and he’s very quiet, which I need living on a suburban block, and Robbie organised with Angela for me to train him.
“Robbie said to me that I’ll win a race with him, it’s just a matter of how much he improves and he’s never stopped improving.
“The reason he’s done most of his racing at Healesville is that we’ve trialled him at Sandown plenty of times and for some reason he just can’t get around the first corner.
“Because he’s so good at Healesville, why would I go anywhere else? If you’re not racing in the city the money is exactly the same wherever you go.”
“It’s just tighter corners he can’t handle. He goes around a big corner okay; he’s had four starts at Warragul for two wins and two seconds and he’s run 22.50sec there.
“Because he’s so good at Healesville, why would I go anywhere else? If you’re not racing in the city the money is exactly the same wherever you go.
“He’s only got two blemishes; he should have won his first start and he’s only missed a place once and it was the same dog, called Remember Jimmy, that brought him undone both times. Remember Jimmy – I’ll never forget him!”
Hello George has drawn box five for Sunday’s final, which is race 8 at 1.09pm, and Bottrell acknowledges Jason Thompson’s Zambora Lou (box two), which is unbeaten in three starts at Healesville, highlighted by last year’s G3 Cup, is the testing material.
“If ‘George’ gets a clear run I don’t think he’ll miss a place but I don’t know if he can beat Zambora Lou. It would be lovely if he does,” he said.
“Hello George ran 19.28sec in his heat and Zambora Lou went 19.17sec but my bloke can run that. It was also raining for Hello George’s heat but had dried up by the time Zambora Lou raced.
“I would’ve liked to be drawn inside Zambora Lou but the four (Braemar Prince), which they thought could beat me last week, goes straight to the rail so hopefully it will take my dog over.
“Hello George has won out of every box. Funnily enough the only box he’s hasn’t won from at Healesville is five, but he’s won out of the ‘yellow’ at Warragul.
“Even though he’s won three races over 300m at Healesville it’s in the last 50m over the 350m that he really takes off and zooms away from them.”
WATCH: Straight track specialist Hello George (1) notches his 11th win from 16 starts over 350m at Healesville in a Super Sprint heat last week.
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