Buckle Up Wes could become the first Tasmania greyhound to win a Topgun on Saturday night.
If he is successful, he will become the first greyhound in history to win an Australian Cup and a Topgun.
Trainer Ted Medhurst will be buoyed by the fact that Buckle Up Wes beat the best greyhounds on the Mainland when he won the Group 1 Australian Cup in February, but a lot has happened since then.
After earning the right to represent Tasmania in the National Sprint Championship with an easy win in the state final at Launceston in August, Buckle Up Wes had to pull out of the Group 1 Grand Final in Perth because of a ligament injury.
The setback has seen him sidelined for the past 10 weeks, far from an ideal preparation leading into the Topgun, Australia’s richest invitational greyhound race.
However, the experienced Medhurst has adapted his preparation accordingly.
“He (Buckle Up Wes) had never seen a walking machine before this injury, but he has been on one virtually every day since he hurt himself.”
“I couldn’t let him run as I would have risked him injuring himself further, but with the Topgun in sight I have had to try and maintain his fitness.”
“So he did a lot of walking as part of his recovery and in recent weeks I’ve been able to trial him, and he shown me in his trials that he has fully recovered and that he is still a very, very fast greyhound,” Medhurst said.
Buckle Up Wes, who turned three in June, has won 29 races from 48 starts.
Despite his recent injury setback, Medhurst believes we are yet to see the best of his star greyhound.
“He’s a son of Collision, and Collision’s pups tend to keep improving with age, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Buckle Up Wes takes his career to even greater heights over the next six months or so,” he said.
Such is his talent, that even with an imperfect preparation Buckle Up Wes is third favourite to win the Topgun at $4.80 with TAB fixed odds.