Sent to the boxes as the $4.70 third elect, the Jason Thompson-trained dog began fairly from box one, but was outpaced in the run to the first turn by Major Jackpot, with the Anthony Azzopardi-trained dog kicking clear through the catching pen.
Down the back and Buck Forty was glued to the fence and was sitting in a prominent second, three lengths off the lamplighter, and began grinding away, slowly cutting back the margin.
Turning for home and Buck Forty punched up on the inside of Major Jackpot which shifted off the track, allowing his competitor plenty of room to assume the lead and race away.
In the run to the line Buck Forty gapped his rivals, crossing the post 4.86 lengths clear of Major Jackpot in a fast 29.23, with Rob Britton’s Pagan Midnight running a handy race to finish third.
Owned and bred by Dave and Danielle Pringle, Buck Forty came into the series with just one win from seven starts, however after tonight he now boasts three victories and five minor placings from 10 career outings, with the lucrative winner’s cheque taking his career earnings to over $160,000.
Thompson also took out one of the support races on Thursday night, with Dalgetty landing a strong win in the Listed Easter Gift.
Beginning well from box four, the son of Stagger and Rockin’ Along got plenty of room to move in the early stages and quickly slipped into another gear, taking up the lead in the run to the post on the first occasion.
Once out in front it was a case of times and margins, with the Group 1 Temlee winner racing to the line to defeat Gaucho by just over four lengths in an airborne 29.09.
The victory was Dalgetty’s 15th from just 24 career starts, with the black speed machine relishing being back home after an unsuccessful interstate campaign in recent weeks.
Moreira, a son of Kinloch Brae and Donna Ricca, has drawn box one in the $250,000 to the winner event, with online bookmaker Sportsbet installing him as the $3 favourite from the ideal draw.
If Moreira can land the Egg, Thompson’s greyhounds will have won a massive $425,000 within the space of 48 hours – plenty of cash to buy all the family some choccies ahead of Easter.
Watch Buck Forty (1) winning the 2016 Group 2 Launching Pad final.