Queensland trained Glen Gallon is the favourite for this Saturday night’s group 1 Top Gun at the Meadows in Melbourne after drawing box one.
The draw was conducted at the Meadows last night. The Tony Brett trained keen railer (pictured with Brett) was immediately installed as a $3.80 favourite in a local betting market for the 525 metres sprint.
The box draw for the $150,000 to the winner event, with prizemoney earnings shown, is : 1 Glen Gallon (Tony Brett, Qld., $307,607), 2 Zara Zulu (Ross Hume, Vic., $239.300), 3 Don’t Knocka Him (Jason Thompson , Vic., $341,479), 4 Spud Regis (Andrea Dailly, Vic., $123,785), 5 De Salle Bale (Graeme Bate, Vic., $155,780), 6 Heston Bale (Andrea Dailly, Vic., $98,500), 7 Peggy May (Jason Thompson, Vic., $187,320), 8 Bye Bye Bucks (Ken Lewis, NSW, $165,720), Reserves: 9 David Bale (Vic.), 10 Transcend Time (NSW).
Glen Gallon has won 23 of his 43 starts and been successful from every box. The son of Flying Stanley and Incoherent has the box one record of five starts for three wins and one third.
Glen Gallon trialled in a fast 29.66 at the Meadows last Wednesday. The dog is a winner there in 29.69. Heston Bale holds the track record at 29.45 seconds. He ran that record time from box three in December last year.
The Reg Kay owned Don’t Knocka Him is the highest prizemoney earner in the Top Gun field. Should he win on Saturday, the son of Knocka Norris would jump to number seven position on the list of all time prizemoney earners in Australia. Should Glen Gallon win, he would move to number eight on that list.
Current standings are: 1 High Earner ($610,070), 2 El Grand Senor ($581,335), 3 Radley Bale $570,883), 4 Rapid Journey ($530,995), 5 Dyna Tron ($519,753), 6 El Galo ($519,380), 7 Bogie Leigh ($488,335), 8 Mantra Lad ($455,985), 9 Dashing Corsair ($455,665), 10 He Knows Uno ($445,464).
The top nine on the list are all retired, with He Knows Uno at number ten still racing for Mick and Lillian Patterson.
The fact that Rapid Journey who raced in 1997-98 and Bogie Leigh (2003-04) are still in the ‘’Top Ten’’ is testament to their amazing ability. Most of the feature races they won were worth in the $50,000 to $100,000 range. Nowadays, the Golden Easter Egg is worth $250,000 to the winner and next month’s Melbourne Cup at Sandown has a first prize of $350,000. Rapid Journey and Bogie Leigh never had the chance to race for that sort of money.
The Top Gun was the brainchild of a number of Victorian administrators including Henry Harrison, John Stephens and Bill Collins
As well as being renowned for his brilliant race calling, being dubbed ‘’the accurate one,’’ Bill Collins was chairman of the Greyhound Racing Control Board of Victoria, nowadays known as GRV. He envisaged a race which could become a greyhound racing invitation championship, very much along the lines of horse racing’s famous W.S. Cox Plate of which he had called so many great runnings. Stephens floated the name of ‘’Top Gun’’ for the race, after the 1986 movie of the same name which starred Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer.
The first Top Gun was run at Sandown in 1993 and was worth $40,000 to the winner. On a rainy night, the race resulted in a dead heat between Victorian sprinters Worth Backing and Golden Currency, with Revealing a nose away in third place. It’s appropriate that the event is run, nowadays, on the same date as the Cox Plate, in fact, just a few hours later.
Collins proudly witnessed four runnings of the Top Gun before he passed away in 1997.
Story by Paul Dolan, photo by Corey Pearce.