All eyes will be on The Meadows tomorrow night for the 22nd running of the Group One Topgun, which will see eight of the country’s best greyhounds chasing top honours and the $150,000 winner’s cheque.
The Wheeler family have won the last three Topgun’s and will be looking to make it four in a row with Adelaide Cup winner Allen Deed, who’s drawn perfectly in box seven. Trained by Andrea Dailly, the son of Jarvis Bale and Greta Bale isn’t blessed with early toe but has a massive motor and will to win. He has been clocking slick times in his recent starts against top company and is currently the $2.80 favourite with Sportingbet to land the cash.
Darren McDonald has two runners in the final, with Keybow in box two and Awesome Project in box six.
Keybow is a good beginner and has an exceptional record from the two alley, but hasn’t been seen on the track for a while and this is not an easy assignment. However, there is no doubt that McDonald wouldn’t race him unless he was 100% fit. He should be fresh and ready to go.
Awesome Project will face a tough task from box six being only a moderate beginner. He is a very fast animal but will need plenty of luck from the green.
Jeff Britton also has two runners in the final with Group One winner’s Oakvale Destiny and Mepunga Hayley.
Oakvale Destiny is another slow beginner but she is drawn well in the three and should be able to find the fence early on. With plenty of field sense she could certainly run into the money if she can position herself well in the early stages.
Following the scratching of Flash Reality, Mepunga Hayley gains a start in the field and, unless there are further scratchings, she will jump from box four. That isn’t a bad alley for her as she has a slow beginner on her inside and will hold a good line to the first turn. She is hit and miss at the start but she really pings the lids when she gets her timing right.
Tassie has it’s first Topgun representative with Buckle Up Wes drawn box five. He has a perfect two from two at The Meadows including a brilliant win in this year’s Group One Australian Cup. He has good pace once he hits the ground and will make his presence felt if he is left alone in the first few strides after box rise.
NSW rounds off the field with Chica Destacada drawn along the rail and Zipping Willow drawn in the pink.
Little Chica is a pocket rocket and can explode from the traps, she will relish the draw. She has been a little flat since winning the National Sprint at Cannington but has had a freshen up since then and will just need to step well to be in with a winning chance.
Zipping Willow is probably the state’s best bitch. She has a good record from out wide but this is tough company and she will really need to burn in the early stages to be close to the lead around the first turn. It will be a big challenge but she is more than capable on her night.
Let’s have a look at each runner’s stats and hear what the trainers have to say:
Doreen Drynan (Trainer) – “When you are in a race like this having box one is an advantage, but you have got to be able to use it. She is going well, she is trialling well and she is feeling fit and ready to go. We are just hoping for luck because in a field like this you have got to have luck, that’s for sure.”
Darren McDonald (Trainer) – “He’s drawn a good box, he just hasn’t had the racing that you sometimes need in these big races, not by choice. He is very fit and he is very well so we are just hoping more than anything, it’s a hard race.”
Jeff Britton (Trainer) – “It is a good box. She is a little bit tardy early so we are hoping for a clear run through to the first corner. The best part of her race is the middle part, she shows a lot of pace once she hits the ground. I am hoping through the first corner she can find herself in a nice position.”
Ted Medhurst (Trainer) – He is reliant on a good beginning. If he begins fairly well he has got high speed to the first peg so I don’t really think the box draw is that bad. He has just got to come out nice and use that speed.
George Dailly (Co-Trainer) – “He is drawn well, we needed him drawn out wide. We are hoping he will be in a good position going around the first turn, you can’t give dogs like this a start and a beating. He has got to be running two or three going around the first turn.”
Jason Mackay (Trainer) – “It’s a real hard race and box eight isn’t an advantage at The Meadows, but we are happy with her. It all depends on box rise. If she nails the start I’d expect her to cross and lead at the winning post. I couldn’t be happier with her, her last few trials have been outstanding.”
ARG Comments: “More than handy chaser who demolished the Canberra track record recently in a heat of the Group Three Canberra Cup before returning the following week for a dominant win in the final. Hit and miss at the start but could figure in the finish if he gets a start.”
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An intriguing race, I think the inside pair hold the key. Both are terrific beginners on their night and if either bounce on the bunny they can set up a big enough break to snare the prize.
I will go with Keybow for the simple reason that he has plenty of experience around the track. I think Buckle Up Wes will be nice and fresh and can win if he gets a clear run. Allen Deed is well boxed but can’t give this field too much of a start.
5. Buckle Up Wes
7. Allen Deed
1. Chica Destacada