The trainers of eight greyhounds have had their Topgun ‘dreams’ fulfilled!
And, for the second year running, the world's highest earning greyhound – Wow She's Fast ($2,389,995) – headlines the field for the $233,250 Group 1 Sportsbet Topgun (525m), which was announced on Thursday morning's episode of Sky Racing's 'The Morning Line'.
The Topgun is the main event on opening night of the Sportsbet 'Dream Chasers Festival' on November 11 at The Meadows.
This is the second edition of the Dream Chasers, which is the world's richest greyhound racing festival carrying $4.1 million in prizemoney.
Prepared by "Team Greenough" (Jackie and Kel), Wow She's Fast was a shock acceptor for the race – first staged in 1993 – as she hasn't raced since finishing eighth in the G1 Sapphire Crown at Sandown Park on May 18.
However, the Greenoughs decided upon a stunning return for the 'wonder woman' following two recent Warragul 460m trials (25.53sec & 25.64sec).
Wow She's Fast is one of six Victorian-trained greyhounds contesting the invitational sprint event.
"Team Greenough" will launch a two-pronged challenge for the $150,000 first prize with Big Energy joining his illustrious kennelmate. The Greenoughs won the Topgun with Cindeen Shelby in 2009.
Champion Victorian trainer Jason Thompson also has a 'dynamic duo' engaged – Alpha Zulu and Transponder. Thompson and his wife, Seona, have three Topgun trophies on their mantelpiece – No Intent (2001), Whisky Assassin (2004) and Poke The Bear (2018).
Launch Code, trained by Brooke Ennis, and Schillaci , prepared by Jihad Talgi, are the other Victorians contesting the 'best 30 seconds in greyhound racing'.
Meanwhile, WA speedster Elite Machine (Jamie Marsh) and Queensland flying machine Jay Is Jay (Selena Zammit) – make up the field. Only two 'Sandgropers' have been victorious in the Topgun – Lindale Blue (2002) and Dyna Nalin (2013) – while only one 'banana bender', Black Enforcer(2006), has had the 'need for speed'.
The reserves are Saige Tenniele (WA) and Nangar Lucy (NSW).
Below is a 'pre box draw' snapshot of the 2023 Sportsbet Topgun field (in alphabetical order):
ALPHA ZULU (VIC): Trainer Jason Thompson. Won 15 from 20. $196,925 prizemoney. Won: G2 Cranbourne Cup, G2 Bendigo Cup. Finalist: G2 Flying Amy Classic, G3 Warragul St Leger (2nd).
BIG ENERGY (VIC): Trainer Jacqueline Greenough. Won 12 from 25. $141,310 prizemoney. Finalist:G1 Adelaide Cup (2nd), G2 Cranbourne Cup (2nd).
ELITE MACHINE (WA): Trainer Jamie Marsh. Won 24 from 45. $1,064,339 prizemoney. Won: G1 Perth Cup, G1 Brisbane Cup. Finalist: G2 WA All Stars Sprint.
JAY IS JAY (QLD): Trainer Selena Zammit. Won 18 from 34. $1,316,250 prizemoney. Won: G2 Queensland Derby, G3 Golden Ticket Match Race. Finalist: G1 Gold Bullion (2nd), G3 Grafton Cup.
LAUNCH CODE (VIC): Trainer Brooke Ennis. Won 11 from 29. $176,590 prizemoney. Won: G1 Maturity Classic. Finalist: G1 Adelaide Cup, G2 Cranbourne Cup.
SCHILLACI (VIC): Trainer Jihad Talgi. Won 10 from 15. $61,145 prizemoney. Won: G3 SA Derby. Finalist: G1 Adelaide Cup.
TRANSPONDER (VIC): Trainer Jason Thompson. Won 20 from 39. $290,275 prizemoney. Won: G1 Adelaide Cup, Listed Pink Diamond Champion Sprinter.
WOW SHE'S FAST (VIC): Trainer Jacqueline Greenough. Won 20 from 32. $2,389,995 prizemoney. Won: G1 Temlee, G1 Maturity Classic, G1 Sapphire Crown, The Phoenix (2021 & 2022), G3 Shootout, G3 Bill Collins Speed Star, G3 Launching Pad; Finalist: G1 Topgun, G1 Adelaide Cup, G1 Sapphire Crown.
The field for the G1 Sportsbet Topgun Stayers (730m), worth $75,000 to-the-winner, was also announced.
Four Victorians made the cut – Like Wildfire, Moraine Suzie (2022 Topgun Stayers winner), Zoha Bale and Untapped (3rd in last year's race) – along with NSW staying supremos Palawa King, Ritza Piper and Zipping Vanessa, and Queenslander Valpolicella.
The box draws for the Topguns will be held at The Meadows during Monday night's traditional thoroughbred Melbourne Cup Eve meeting, which features the heats of the G1 Hume Cup (600m) and the G3 Silver Bullet (525m).