Last Thursday’s Gold Coast Cup winner Don’t Knocka Him and unlucky fourth placegetter, Glen Gallon, have been included in the field of eight for greyhound racing’s Top Gun.
Reg Kay trained Don’t Knocka Him for the Gold Coast Cup and other recent Albion Park victories. Kay sent the son of Knocka Norris to Melbourne’s Jason Thompson last Saturday to be trained there for upcoming features at the Meadows and Sandown. A similar plan was employed by Kay earlier this year and Don’t Knocka Him won the group 1 $250,000 to the winner Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park in April, when trained by Thompson.
Dual group 1 winner Glen Gallon (pictured) is New South Wales owned but Queensland trained by Tony Brett.
Strictly speaking, Glen Gallon is the only Queensland trained runner in the Top Gun field. New South Wales has one runner, Bye Bye Bucks and there are six Victorians, including Don’t Knocka Him.
The field in alphabetical order, with their trainers and prizemoney, is: BYE BYE BUCKS (Ken Lewis, $165,720), DESALLE BALE (Graeme Bate, $155,780), DON’T KNOCKA HIM (Jason Thompson, $341,479), GLEN GALLON (Tony Brett, $307,607), HESTON BALE (Andrea Dailly, $98,500), PEGGY MAE (Jason Thompson, $187,320), SPUD REGIS (Andrea Dailly, $122,785), ZARA ZULU (Ross Hume, $239,300).
The prizemoney earnings of those eight selected totals $1,618,491. Don’t Knocka Him and Glen Gallon are the two highest earners. Prizemoney isn’t the only criteria used by the selection panel but it’s certainly a relevant factor.
The first reserve is Victorian David Bale, with recent Bob Payne winner Transcend Time from New South Wales the second reserve.
The box draw for the $150,000 to the winner Top Gun will be conducted at the Meadows this Saturday night, with the race to be run there on Saturday week, October 27.
In northern New South Wales tonight, there are four heats of the group 2 Lismore Workers’ Club Lismore Cup over 520 metres.
There are 15 Queensland trained runners of which Ron Ball has six.
‘’I’d like to think they can all race well. But Bellagio Lad and Cakes and Pies have drawn the eight box and it might be pretty hard for them to cross over,’’ Ball suggests.
Bellagio Lad was a great second, beaten narrowly by Don’t Knocka Him, in the Gold Coast Cup last Thursday at Albion Park.
Ball is optimistic that Miss Milkshake can race well for him in heat four.
‘’She’s got box three and only has to begin well to be hard to beat. I’ve just got a feeling that track will suit her if she can lead.’’
The Cup heats are races five, six, eight and nine tonight. First and second in each progress to the $40,000 to the winner final next Tuesday.
Story by Paul Dolan, photo by Corey Pearce.