The brilliant Buckle Up Wes has become the first Tasmanian greyhound to win the $215,000 Group 1 Sky Racing TOPGUN, leading from go to whoa in Australia’s richest invitation-only event.
The son of Collision and Everlong Bale flew out of box five, giving nothing else a chance to score in 30.02, pushing his prizemoney past $500,000 in the process.
Trained by Ted Medhurst, the black chaser set up the win with fast splits of 5.05 and 17.76 before becoming the first greyhound to achieve the Australian Cup/Topgun double.
Oakvale Destiny finished second in what was a terrific run, and Awesome Project ran home very well for third.
Favourite Allen Deed missed the start and was never in contention, finishing fifth.
But the spoils belonged to Buckle Up Wes, who maintained his unbeaten record at the Broadmeadows circuit after huge wins back in February in the Australian Cup series.
Trainer Ted Medhurst did a remarkable job in getting his star up for the race after 10 weeks on the sidelines with a ligament injury and, ironically, he said the spell may have been the cornerstone of his all-the-way win.
“The fact he was fresh may have been the reason he won tonight,” Medhurst said after the greyhound won the $150,000 first prize.
“Greyhounds often begin better when they are fresh, and if he didn’t lead he wouldn’t have won because he probably didn’t have enough race fitness to come from behind and win.”
“I’ve been laser-ing him every morning and every night for the past nine weeks, and walking him on the walking him at a gentle pace on a walking machine every day, all in an attempt to get him right for the Topgun.”
The race against time was reward for effort after Buckle Up Wes was withdrawn from the Group 1 National Sprint Championship.
“He has only had four trials since he injured himself in August, so he’s still a couple of runs off his peak.”
Group racing continues at The Meadows on Monday week with the running of the Group 1 Hume Cup over 600 metres, with My Bro Fabio and Eliza Blanche the early favourites for the event.
Buckle Up Wes wins the 2014 Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun