Simon Stars In Near Record Megastar Heat Win

SIMON Told Helen has taken a giant stride towards securing a fifth group 1 title with a dazzling near record victory at Dapto on Thursday night.

Adam Dobbin

5 December 2020

SIMON Told Helen has taken a giant stride towards securing a fifth group 1 title with a dazzling near record victory at Dapto on Thursday night.

The champion son of Barcia Bale carved out a blinding 29.36 to take out heat three of the Sportsbet sponsored Dapto Megastar (520m), the time just a whisker outside Fantastic Dotty’s five-year old 29.34 track record.

And the pulsating win sets up a mouthwatering clash in next Thursday’s $75,000-to-the-winner decider with Flying Ricciardo, the budding NSW superstar progressing through to the big dance with a gritty 29.96 victory in heat one.

While the overall time was a long way off the flying 29.47 he posted in a trial at the venue last Thursday, the performance was still full of merit, given it was the prodigious talent’s first 520 outing under race conditions in just over a month.

At the finish, Kristy Sultana’s 18-time winner had two lengths to spare over a fast finishing Ritza Coen for trainer Mark Gatt who is no stranger to Megastar glory, winning the race back in 2011 with his group 1 Perth Cup winner Oaks Road.

Adding to the all-star line-up for next week’s finale is the appearance of Shetland for Peter Lagogiane, the Million Dollar Chase consolation winner taking out heat two in a stylish 29.77.

Still appearing somewhat foreign to the south coast track, Shetland scored by a dominant 3 1/4 lengths on the line over race favourite Ebby Infrared to race his way into his first group 1 final.

While numbers were light on for this year’s running of the Sportsbet sponsored Megastar, a terrific field has been assembled for next week’s rich decider, the only group 1 in New South Wales not staged at Wentworth Park.

Qualifying second fastest for the final is Winlock On Top for Jodie Lord, the son of Fernando Bale finishing a gallant second to Simon Told Helen, running 29.51 in his own right to record an eighth Dapto victory.

And while a top field has come together, favouritism for the final will be firmly with Simon Told Helen which has drawn the prized one alley for trainer David Burnett.

Next Thursday’s Megastar will be Simon Told Helen’s tenth group 1 final.

If victorious it will be the the star sprinter’s first group win in New South Wales, with group successes at home in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia already locked away.

Back in January the superstar sprinter was to start favourite in the Group 1 National Derby at Wentworth Park only to be scratched a few days out due to a spider bite.

A Megastar win next Thursday will take Simon Told Helen perilously close to the magical million dollar mark in stake earnings.

And with the aid of box one on the strength of his near record breaking heat win, it would be a brave person to suggest otherwise.

Group 1 Dapto Megastar Final Box Draw (Thursday, December 10)

1. Simon Told Helen
2. Flying Ricciardo
3. Ebby Infrared
4. Ritza Coen
5. Cumbria Belle
6. All Star Punk
7. Winlock On Top
8. Shetland