Houdini Boy Set For Mad Sydney Dash

DARREN Pattinson will make a mad dash to Sydney on Tuesday with Houdini Boy after it was announced the NSW/Victorian borders would close.

Adam Dobbin

6 July 2020

DARREN Pattinson will make a mad dash to Sydney on Tuesday with Vic Peters Classic hopeful Houdini Boy after the NSW government announced on Monday morning it was closing its Victorian border.

And if the Kel Greenough-trained son of Zambora Brockie somehow finds a way to navigate his way to a win in Saturday’s $75,000 to-the-winner finale, it will cap off the most unlikely of group 1 victories.

In the money at each of his eight career appearances, the hugely exciting sprinter finished a well beaten third in his heat behind Ebby Jet Power, the result enough to see him stationed as first reserve for Saturday night’s blockbuster finale.

But with trainer Darryl Thomas forced to scratch Green Siren on Sunday with a career threatening stopper tendon injury, Houdini Boy has gained a start from box seven in the aged-classic feature.

“Darryl rang me on Sunday to let me know his dog was coming out which I was very thankful for,” Greenough said.

“He didn’t have to call but he did. Even though he is doing it pretty tough coming to terms with his dog coming out. It was a very nice thing to do which I appreciated. Great sportsmanship by him.”

With the Victorian and NSW premiers announcing on Monday that borders between the two states would close from midnight Tuesday, Greenough has been forced to take an unconventional approach to Saturday night’s group 1 feature.

“Allen Williams gave me a call last week to say he could help out if it came to this so I’ve taken him up on that,” Greenough explained.

“I’ve known Allen for a long time and I appreciate the offer. I hate feeling like an imposition but this is how it’s played out. Darren will drive the dog up tomorrow (Tuesday) and stay at Allen’s for the week.”

Quoted a $8.50 chance with TAB for Saturday night’s feature, Greenough is quietly confident that his powerhouse chaser can find his way into the finish.

“I’d never say this dog is out of any race he goes in,” Greenough said.

“He’s so smart in a field. I haven’t had one chase as hard as he does since Hotline Hero back in 2004 and he won a couple of group 1s for me.

“But it’s not going to be easy. I’ve got a heap of time for Tommy Shelby and always thought he’d measure up in the better races over this way. It’s a very good field and we’ll need a lot of luck.”

Another spanner in the works for Greenough ahead of Saturday night’s final is some niggling issues suffered at the weekend.

“He pulled up pretty ordinary,” Greenough said.

“Especially in his right calf which we’re working on. I watched the replay quite a few times and you can see where he’s copped it in the run.”