Scene Set For Explosive Silver Bullet Clash

DAVID Burnett has been hearing the comparisons made about Dr. Tucker to his four-time group 1 winning champ Simon Told Helen for a week’s now.

Adam Dobbin

30 October 2020

DAVID Burnett has been hearing the comparisons made about boom youngster Dr. Tucker to his four-time group 1 winning champion Simon Told Helen for a week’s now.

So much so that on Thursday night he decided to have a good look at what all the fuss is about when Dr. Tucker annexed a prelude of the TAB Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park in a flying 29.28.

“After seeing him at Sandown I sat down and watched all 12 of his replays – there’s no doubt he’s a serious race dog,” Burnett offered.

Burnett’s heightened interest was due to the fact that Simon Told Helen is set to match motors with Dr. Tucker in Monday night’s Group 3 Silver Bullet (525m) at The Meadows.

It’s a race being dubbed as the proven bull against the young buck – a promoter’s dream on the eve of the first Tuesday in November and the thoroughbred Melbourne Cup. 

“I can see where the similarities are being drawn between the two dogs at the same stage,” Burnett said.

“Racing wise they do a lot the same. Looking at Dr. Tucker he can be risky away but then shows tremendous speed with no real concern for his own welfare. He breaks them up the back; just like Simon does.

“He’ll shoulder them out of the way or crash across; really whatever he needs to which is what the real good ones do. Impose themselves on a race and field and do it at both ends.

“In 12 months he could be anything. Bill’s (McMahon) going to have a lot of fun with him. But whether he can get across me on Monday night from box eight is another story.

“It should be a top race – great for racing.”

The clash of Simon Told Helen and Dr. Tucker in Monday night’s $25,000 to-the-winner Silver Bullet has all the ingredients to be a thriller.

This time last year, Simon Told Helen went into the Silver Bullet following his Great Chase triumph, the same scenario facing Dr. Tucker on Monday night.

After leading the field a merry dance last year, Simon Told Helen was run down on the line by Barooga Brett, a two-time group 1 winner at The Meadows circuit in his own right.

“It was pouring rain that night which didn’t help my dog at all,” reflected Burnett.

“In fact the Geelong Cup win the other night was the first time he’s really excelled on a wet track so full credit to the dog. He’s going as good as ever.”

Bookmakers have installed Simon Told Helen the $2.6 favourite for Monday’s Silver Bullet from box six while Dr. Tucker is on the next line at $4.8 from box eight.

Simon Told Helen capped off his Silver Bullet/Topgun preparations with a 24.45 post-to-post trial at The Meadows on Wednesday, bettering his previous explosive mark of 24.50.

“The Geelong win and the post-to-post on Wednesday tells me he’s feeling as good as ever,” Burnett said.

“His 24.50 trial in July was going into his 29.60 Maturity win in July so that tells you where he’s at. I couldn’t be happier.

“I’ve had a few people calling me out as to why the dog is in on Monday night but the fact is he needs a run going into the Topgun on the Saturday.”

Winner at 23 of his 38 starts and on the cusp of $700,000 in prize money, the next month of racing is significant for the eight-time group winner.

But don’t expect the results of November to trigger any potential retirement and a transition to a much hyped stud career.

“The plan is to race on providing the dog is fit and healthy,” Burnett said.

“The owners are on board and I think he’s at the point that his results from hereon won’t dictate the response he gets at stud.

“I get inundated with requests all the time but we won’t draw a straw until he’s officially retired.

And that will likely be after the Melbourne Cup. In 2021 that is.”