Dr. Tucker In Race Against Time For Healesville Cup

TRAINER Bill McMahon will make a decision later this week as to whether Dr. Tucker assumes his place in Sunday’s G2 Healesville Cup heats.

Adam Dobbin

30 August 2021

TRAINER Bill McMahon will make a decision later this week as to whether Dr. Tucker assumes his place in Sunday’s Group 2 Healesville Cup (350m) heats.

McMahon was forced to sit back and watch on yesterday as the inaugural ‘The Arrow’ match-race series was staged at Healesville while his superstar sprinter was convalescing at home.

“I was swinging from the trees watching on,” McMahon lamented.

“Full credit to the winner Zambora Lou. He’s a mighty dog and won the Healesville Cup last year but I’m confident my bloke would have gone close.

“The track was quick yesterday – quicker than when Dr. Tucker ran 18.84 up there a while back. But it’s easy to say what would have happened from the sidelines.”

Dr. Tucker hasn’t faced the starter since stringing four wins together with a flying 29.48 Sandown Park victory in the middle of July.

The week following that victory the prized son of Bernardo was a late scratching from a Sandown Park assignment due to a light ligament strain.

“He got 21 days but it was right as rain in 14 days,” McMahon said.

“But straight after that he got struck down with a really bad virus which has knocked him around.

“Another dog brought it home from Cranbourne and of the 200 dogs we have here he’s the only one that got sick with it.

“He was drinking three litres of water a day there for a while, it attacked his kidneys and didn’t look good there for a while.”

McMahon had earmarked the $50,000-to-the-winner Healesville Cup for Dr. Tucker way back in May when the Great Chase hero made a stunning return to racing following an injury enforced six-month break.

“He loves Healesville and his record shows that,” McMahon said.

“But he’s not having much luck with injuries and illnesses. I say to people all the time it’s easier to get a good dog than it is to keep a good dog.”

McMahon has declared the next 48 hours critical as to whether Dr. Tucker takes his spot in Sunday’s heats.

“He’s shown plenty of improvement in the last few days and I’m probably 80 percent confident he’ll be right for the heats on Sunday,” he said.

“On Tuesday he’ll get his bloods done again and that will give us a better indication as to where he is at and how he’s feeling.

“He works himself pretty hard at home so he’ll naturally run the 350 metres out strong at Healesville even off limited work.

“If he starts and his class gets him through the heats and into the final he’ll be a lot better for it in the final the following week.

“But if he’s there it’s because I’m confident he’s good to go.”