Simon Told Helen a ‘real’ Queenslander!
COMING UP AT ALBION PARK:
April 8: Easter Trophy final (520m), a Fifth Grade event worth $12,600.
April 22: Winged Runner Trophy (520m), a bitches-only event worth $17,800.
April 29: Anzac Trophy (520m), a best eight event worth $12,600.
May 13: Carnival Chase final (600m), a Listed event worth $27,250.
May 13: Brisbane Young Guns final (520m), a Listed restricted event for greyhounds 30 months of age and less, worth $27,250.
May 27: Carnival Sprint final (520m), a Listed event worth $27,250.
June 10: Flying Amy Classic final (520m), a G3 event worth $113,800.
June 10: Dashing Corsair final (710m) worth $27,250
June 17: State Of Origin Distance Challenge (710m), a G3 event worth $60,000.
June 17: State Of Origin Sprint Challenge (520m), a G3 event worth $60,000.
June 17: State Of Origin Match Race (520m), a Listed event worth $30,000.
June 17: Regional Origin Challenge (520m), an event worth $17,800.
By TERRY WILSON
QUEENSLAND could have a surprise ‘recruit’ in their team for the annual State Of Origin greyhound challenge at Albion Park in June.
The home state is set to parade Australian Greyhound Of The Year, Simon Told Helen (S.T.H.), in the canine version of the rugby league series.
The addition of Simon Told Helen, as well as new star Crazy Cool, gives the likely Queensland Origin team two absolute top-class chasers to take on the Blues.
This year’s Origin races, three in all, are scheduled for Albion Park on Thursday night, June 17, the interstate rivalry being renewed after being canned last year because of the COVID-19 situation.
In what would be a significant bonus, Simon Told Helen will be eligible to represent Queensland after being transferred to Grandchester trainer Tony Brett.
Racing Queensland greyhound racing manager Brenton Scott has clarified the rules regarding Origin representation.
“As long as Simon Told Helen stays based in Queensland for at least 76 days out of the previous 150 days prior to the event he will be eligible,” said Scott.
“That rule is consistent with conditions for the National Championship.”
Connections deemed it was time to retire the champion to stud, but after some minor complications in the breeding barn, Brett was the man to receive the phone call about a return to racing.
“I didn’t know anything about a return to the track, it has been only in the last four of five days when the owners got in touch with me about taking him and next thing I know I was picking him up from the airport” said Brett.
“The decision came about because while he was making a good amount of sperm, it didn’t have the fertility to freeze, so Paul and Michelle (Westerveld) from Meticulous Lodge advised the owners the best course of action was to get him right physically and mentally away from the process.
“The syndicate then had the decision to put him in the back yard for a few months and try again or use the time to get him back to racing while he still had plenty in the legs and fortunately, they went with the latter.”
Brett was enthusiastic about having a class speedster such as Simon Told Helen being able to run in the Origin series, then for certain the rich winter events like the Brisbane Cup.
And the prospect of having Crazy Cool and Simon Told Helen in the Maroons camp excites Brisbane Greyhound Racing club boss Luke Gatehouse.
“We could have a strong Queensland selection, but New South Wales will be very strong as well,” he said.
“Fred Swain (from northern NSW) has All Hands Off and he’s the best dog that’s racing around Albion Park at the moment.”
Gatehouse is also warming up for the winter carnival and the G1 Brisbane Cup (520m) and the G1 Queensland Cup (710m) on July 1.
“No doubt we can have a strong carnival given how well the Summer Carnival went” he said.
“And we’ll be keeping the fingers crossed on the border situations.”
Finals for those two races are on 8 July.