Ballarat Cup is on the Doc’s ‘wish list’

\"\"Caption: Bill McMahon with his exciting chaser Dr. Tucker after success in the Great Chase at The Meadows (Photo: BlueStream Pictures)

By Andrew Thomson 

Long-time Gippsland trainer Bill McMahon has unleashed a potential superstar in slick chaser Dr. Tucker.

The 32.5kg black dog is by McMahon\’s former top flight sprinter Bernardo out of one of his brood bitches Dr. Dawn.

Dr. Tucker has had 13 starts for nine wins two placings, collecting  $95,000 in prizemoney, including a win in the Group Three Great Chase and an impressive third placing behind Hard Style Rico and Simon Told Helen in the Group Three Silver Bullet.

McMahon said his new kennel star was among the best greyhounds he has trained.

\”He\’s up there with them. His old man was probably the best, but it just depends on how much Dr. Tucker progresses. He\’s certainly coming along,\” he said.

\”In the Silver Bullet that\’s probably the best he has begun. He was a little bit flatter on the Thursday four days later when he ran 29.28 in the Melbourne Cup preludes.\”

McMahon said his short term goal would be to continue racing on Melbourne tracks before turning his attention to races like the Ballarat Cup, with the heat of that prestigious time-honoured event on December 5.

\”We\’ll just progress through the Melbourne Cup and then take every race as it comes,\” he said.

\”We\’ve just come off the Silver Bullet and if you put my bloke inside Simon Told Helen it may have been a different race.

\”I didn\’t think I would ever be saying that, but Dr. Tucker checked off Simon Told Helen and probably cost himself two lengths and still ran third.

\”At present we just have to keep our feet on the ground. Dr. Tucker is still a work in progress. He\’s still learning to race.

\”He\’s a really nice dog and we want to take on the good sprinters. We want to take him to the next level and to do that I believe you have to take on the best.

\”He\’s only had 13 starts and won $95,000. His first start was in the Healesville VicBreeders.

\”We have been lucky with the dog, some dogs are like that. He\’s got speed and nouse and he\’s not scared to hit them to get through.

\”He\’s still learning track sense, but he is learning it.\”

McMahon said the beauty of Dr. Tucker was he ran straight, while Bernardo went to the rail.

\”I like dogs that go underneath, not go wide. He\’s a fantastic chaser,\” he said.

\”His old man was a good chaser, but he turned left and killed himself to get to the paint. I had a big opinion of Bernardo.

\”I took him to Sale after he had six months off with an achilles and first look on a trial day ran 24.37.

\”He was an absolute rocket. Dr. Tucker ran 24.41 at Sale on a trial day when he was 18 months old.

\”He may not be as quick as his old man, but he could be a better race dog.\”

The trainer said Dr. Tucker\’s litter brother Dr. Nathaniel was equally blessed with speed.

\”He was a jet. First time out of the 500 metre boxes at Sandown Dr. Tucker ran 29.72 on a bog and Nathaniel ran 29.56,\” McMahon said.

\”Tucker ran 18.84 down the back while Nathaniel ran 18.98. That tells you how strong he was.

\”He broke his wrist at Sale and finished off the race despite having a compound fracture. We had to put him down.

\”He passed It\’s My Party in a maiden at Sandown. Just barged through and ran away from him.

\”There was another one in the litter, Dr Phoenix,  beaten three-quarters of a length to Aussie Secret at his only start before falling after doing a stopper bone.

\”We\’ve had a bit of bad luck with the litter.\”

McMahon said the litter was out of Dr. Dawn who went back to Dr. Lowball on the bitch line.

She had 46 starts for 18 wins and was free for all class on both Melbourne city tracks.

Dr. Lowball goes back on the bitch line to Lady Hazard, Hard Hazard and Sabby Image, who threw group performers Buka Sunset (67 starts, 33 wins, 22 placings) and Rich Marzipan.

McMahon said he had faith in the line through Dr. Dawn.

\”She did the ligaments in a back toe or she would have won a lot more races,\” he said.

\”At her best she was probably a 29.7 bitch at Sandown. She\’s a really nice bitch and her brother, Dr. Leonardo, was a nice distance dog, winning a few in town.

\”I like the Barcia bale bitches, especially when they are crossed back to the KC And All (American) dogs.

\”That\’s a proven cross.\”

The trainer said he had about 80 greyhounds in work, but he didn\’t know how many dogs he had on his property.

\”I know the meat bill is $3500 a fortnight and I\’ve had 58 winners at Sale this year. No idea how many all up this year.

\”We previously travelled more than we do now, but I wish they would hurry up and build another track at Traralgon.\”

McMahon said his wife Judy was an enormous assistance, but getting much work out of his five kids was becoming more problematic.

He said his oldest 26-year-old son was in the army, his next 24-year-old son was a qualified chef and his 22-year-old son was working with the dogs, but about to start as a fridge mechanic.

The oldest daughter is a vet nurse and the youngest daughter is going to university next year to study to be an architect.

\”They all have a good work ethic. That\’s one thing greyhound racing teaches you,\” he said.

\”It\’s 24/7 and if you worked out the hourly rate it would be about $5.

\”Dr. Tucker will be set for the Silver Chief. I think that\’s a great race for him longer term.

\”There\’s a new younger brigade coming through. There\’s some really good dogs like Earn The Answer that ran second to Dr. Tucker in the Great Chase. He\’s a really nice dog.\”

The 55-year-old said he had been training greyhounds his whole life, learning under the guidance of neighbours Johnny and Julie Finn while helping his father William McMahon senior.

\”We have our own track which is a replica of Sandown,” he said. “It\’s got softer corners and is 1.5m bigger all round.

\”With Dr. Tucker all we need is a bit of luck. He looks OK now, but we all need that bit of luck.”

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