Tony Duncan believes box eight could be the biggest hurdle to his talented sprinter All Inn Billy proving a ‘giant killer’ in Friday afternoon’s Vic Bred Grade 5 final (500m) at Bendigo – Race 6 at 4.47pm.
Duncan, who’s based at Harston near Shepparton, and homebred All Inn Billy, the winner of 12 of his 33 starts, will tackle several ‘Goliaths’ of the sport, headlined by Jason Thompson and his high class fastest qualifier Immunity, which has won 15 from 21.
Andrea Dailly has three runners, while David Geall and Anthony Azzopardi have one apiece.
But Duncan isn’t one to walk away from a challenge, no matter the odds.
He’s currently facing a much more daunting battle with cancer that puts any racing challenge in perspective, with his outstanding Barcia Bale x All Inn Amy litter, which has thus far combined for 42 wins and recently surpassed $100,000 in earnings, providing a timely boost.
“I’m battling on all right,” said 60-year-old Duncan.
“The dogs have been going great and I just love watching them race.
“The little one, All Inn Opal, has won her last two. She’s only 24 kilos and has just come back from three months off after injuring a sesamoid.
“She’s a little dynamo and just gets out and goes. I wish the boys in the litter could do it!”
All Inn Billy is the pick of Duncan’s ‘boys’ and was well-fancied at $2.80 in his Bendigo heat but just failed to reel in Team Dailly’s 28.20sec winner Daph’s Ascend, with Immunity’s 27.94sec performance the quickest of the three qualifiers.
“He’s good enough to do it but I don’t know about him drawing out wide,” Duncan said.
“People have said he’s suited out there but you look at his record and he’s won six races from box two.
WATCH: All Inn Billy (2) semaphores a smart 30.09sec win at The Meadows on June 17.
“When he loomed up alongside the leader last week I thought he’d run away with it but he cramped on me. He’s never had a problem with cramping before, but it was really cold.
“The 500m start can be tricky and I’d just love to see him begin with them and see what happens from there.”
Duncan has three other runners at Bendigo, All Inn Billy’s littermates All Inn Benny (Race 5, Box 1), All Inn Dungee (Race 8, Box 7) and All Inn Morgan (Race 11, Box 2).
“‘Dungee’ is a disappointing boy,” Duncan said.
“He came out and won at The Meadows in 29.95sec and then should’ve made the Pink Diamond final (660m) but he decided to have ‘a look’. He would’ve been a big chance in the final too.
“He was supposed to run in the 500m heats last week too but I entered him for 425m by mistake. He came home strong and box seven should suit him.
“I think ‘Morgan’ got his heart broken in the heats chasing Immunity but it’ll be a different story this week over 425m.
“I’d say ‘Morgan’ is probably my best chance but who knows what ‘Dungee’ will do if he begins from out there.”
Friday’s final will continue a bumper period of racing at Bendigo, highlighted by the inaugural Pink Diamond finals meeting and last week’s The Prospector and Roses finals.
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