Working out big races like the TOPGUN is never easy because there is always a lot of talent involved.
However, at a track like The Meadows the local peculiarities are important, mainly the heavy bias to inside boxes and the importance of getting around that first turn on the rail.
Barring major interference, this year there are two runners that cannot win. Glen Gallon (6) and Dyna Nalin (8) are not only poorly boxed but will also be giving them a start. You can’t do that in top events.
Xylia Allen (5) has much the same problem and will depend on accidents to be able to negotiate its way through the field, just as it had to do in the Geelong Cup (4th).
Ernie Bung Arrow (7) will give them a fright for a while but will stay off the track and should be overtaken by the time the home turn arrives.
Peter Rocket on the rails will do everything right but that may not be quite enough this time. Just outside it, Punch One Out (2) is the big rage yet it does not normally come out of the boxes brilliantly and depends on mustering speed on the way to the turn.
In turn, that will depend on whether Tomac Bale (3) leans on it on in the early stages – quite possible although both tend to race one or two off the rail – incidentally leaving the way clear for Peter Rocket to move up into the placings.
Either way, Spud Regis (4) is likely to lead the inside division and will also have room inside the flying Ernie Bung Arrow. They should be the leaders into the back straight. The only question with Spud Regis is that it has not raced for a month and we are dependent on the Daillys presenting it in hardened condition.
Spud Regis has won here previously in 29.63 and won its last race here in 29.83 on September 21. The odds are that it will lead into the home straight, after which it’s just a matter of whether the heavy hitters can round it up. If it is at its best, they will just miss out. Ernie will have disappeared, of course.
By the way, the GRV Watchdog shows Tomac Bale leading Spud Regis early. Not on my calculations, which are based on average sectional performances, not their occasional best run.
Good race, though.