• Tuesday, 31 Jan, 2023,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Burnett’s Brisbane ‘Gold’ mine

Brisbane has proven to be a happy hunting ground for David Burnett over the last decade and the Little River trainer is hoping that trend continues in Thursday night’s Group 1 Gold Bullion Final (520m) at Albion Park.

Burnett has homebred sprinter Boo Boo Billy (box 4) engaged in the $250,000 to-the-winner Gold Bullion – race 8 at 10.01pm – where the $8 Sportsbet chance is following a ‘golden’ trail blazed by several illustrious predecessors.

Burnett won the G1 Brisbane Cup in 2013 with Kiss Me Ketut, while his champion Simon Told Helen, the 2019/20 Australian Greyhound of the Year, was victorious in the G2 Queensland Derby in 2019 and a finalist in the 2020 Brisbane Cup.

Snags McKenzie was a finalist in the inaugural Gold Bullion in 2020, running sixth to Victorian-trained winner Sennachie.

“Boo Boo Billy ran 29.75sec and Simon Told Helen ran 29.83sec at his first start at Albion Park.”

“Does he compare to Simon Told Helen?” Burnett quipped, when asked how Boo Boo Billy stacks up against his previous Queensland raiders.

“Kiss Me Ketut won the Brisbane Cup and then ran third the following year.

“They’ve done it and this dog’s only win in the city was a maiden!”

Boo Boo Billy, a May ’20 son of Barcia Bale and Thanks Cheryl, has won seven of his 23 starts.

He qualified for the rich Gold Bullion decider when running second to the quickest of last Thursday’s five heat winners, Hara’s Herbie, in 29.64sec, beaten 1.5 lengths on debut at Albion Park.

“For his first look, he went super,” said Burnett.

WATCH: BOO BOO BILLY (B3) qualified for Thursday night’s G1 Gold Bullion Final (520m) after running second to fastest heat winner HARA’S HERBIE (B2) in 29.64sec at his Albion Park debut.

“Boo Boo Billy ran 29.75sec and Simon Told Helen ran 29.83sec at his first start at Albion Park. So he’s gone more than a length quicker than Simon Told Helen.

“We were going to fly up the previous Sunday for a trial, but the flights didn’t work out, so for him to do what he did and still run that time was pleasing.

“Inexperience definitely cost him something, so hopefully he can find a couple of lengths.

“If he boxes like he did last week, he’s in the race. But he’s got to contend with seven local dogs that have been around Albion Park many more times than he has. And they’re good dogs too.”

The Gold Bullion is Boo Boo Billy’s second interstate assignment, after running sixth in a G1 Hobart Thousand heat last month, where litter brother and kennelmate Jebediah qualified for the final after upsetting WA star Vice Grip.

“I always try to sneak up to Queensland,” Burnett said.

“Boo Boo Billy was coming off a 25.49sec win at Geelong. Brisbane contacted me about the race, and I thought I can race for $7000 in Melbourne or go up there for a chance at $250,000!

“It was surprising there were no other dogs from Victoria in the heats.

“Three years ago, when Simon Told Helen made the Brisbane Cup Final, it was worth $50,000 and he was racing against dogs like Black Opium and Hooked On Scotch.”

Boo Boo Billy’s dam, Thanks Cheryl, is a litter sister to Burnett’s 2016 Queensland Derby runner-up My Silver Chisel, with the Gold Bullion contender named after the owner/trainer’s nephew William McDonald.

“I bred and own the dog, which is a bonus,” Burnett said.

“He had four months off when he broke a fibula. It didn’t mend, so he needed an operation to fix it.

“He came back and ran 25.05sec at Warrnambool and 27.14sec at Horsham. Then he went into the Melbourne Cup probably a week or two too soon.

“I took him down to Hobart and he didn’t handle the trip away or the track, but he handled the flight up to Brisbane extremely well, so we’ll stick to the same routine this week and fly up again on Wednesday.”

Click HERE  for Sportsbet’s latest Gold Bullion market

Thursday night’s Albion Park meeting also features the G3 Gold Cup (710m) – race 6 at 8.58pm – with Jeff Britton qualifying two finalists in G1 winner Mepunga Ruby and G1 placegetter Korda.

Mepunga Ruby was at her brilliant best in a dominant 41.95sec heat victory at her first appearance in Brisbane, the quicker of the two run-offs, with Korda finishing a close third in the second heat.

Mepunga Ruby (box 3) is $2.90 favourite with Sportsbet, with Korda (box 4) a $12 chance.

BOO BOO BILLY with namesake William McDonald, trainer David Burnett’s nephew.

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

Gerard Guthrie

One of Australia’s leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)

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