Forty-six of the country’s best greyhounds have been handed invitations for either the Group 1 TAB Topgun or the Group 2 TAB Stayers Topgun, with both races to be run at The Meadows on October 27.
The Topgun panel will then meet on Sunday, October 15, to cut both fields down to eight from the list of trainers who accept the invites sent out this week. As mentioned in the selection criteria (below), the Topgun panel may invite any greyhound deemed worthy in their opinion of a nomination, giving consideration of each greyhound’s current aged prizemoney value, recent Group Race form, recent overall form and recent form at The Meadows.
The final field will then be announced on Sky Racing 2’s The Catching Pen on Tuesday, October 16, at 6.30pm.
MGRA Manager Marg Long said that the intrigue around both races was again going to generate a lot of talking points in the lead up to both races.
“The sprinters invited for this year’s TAB Topgun are again of very high quality, so making the final field will certainly be an honour in itself. Injuries to Group 1-winning brothers Tornado Tears and Rippin’ Sam means the Group 2 TAB Stayers Topgun could be the most open we’ve ever seen.”
Of the 42 invitees, five greyhounds (Benali, Magic Hornet, Champagne Sally, Dyna Chancer and Neo Cleo) have been sent invites over both distances thanks to their versatility. Champion sprinter Up Hill Jill will be looking to become the first chaser ever to win back-to-back Topguns if she is selected for the October 27 final. If successful in the final, she will become the fourth greyhound in Australian history to win over $1 million in prizemoney.
The Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun will be worth $150,000 to the winner (the richest invitation-only race in the world), while the Group 2 Sky Racing Stayers Topgun holds a $75,000 winner’s purse.
The box draw for both races – once the finalists for both races are announced – will take place on track at The Meadows on October 20.
First round invites for G1 Topgun (525m)
TOPGUN SPRINTERS (in alphabetical order)
POKE THE BEAR
STRIKER LIGHT (withdrawn due to injury)
UP HILL JILL
VANDERWORP (withdrawn due to injury)
WEST ON AUGIE
First round invites for G2 Stayers Topgun (725m)
TOPGUN STAYERS (in alphabetical order)
BACK ON LAVA
MOMENT TO JIVE
OUT OF RANGE
QUICK JAGGER (withdrawn due to injury)
*Please note that late invitations can be sent to trainers with races such as the Adelaide Cup and Million Dollar Chase still to be run and won.
**Handed late invitations
Can Up Hill Jill replicate her famous 2017 victory of the TOPGUN in this year’s version?