Bandit Ned’s Group 1 Topgun Siege

ANDY Lord has dominated Sydney racing over the last two decades and is aiming to conquer a new frontier with Bandit Ned in the Topgun.

Gerard Guthrie

5 November 2021

PROLIFIC NSW trainers Andy and Jodie Lord have dominated Wentworth Park over the last two decades and they’re aiming to conquer a new frontier when sprint sensation Bandit Ned lines up in Saturday night’s Group 1 TAB Topgun (525m) at The Meadows.

After a scorching 29.74sec trial at The Meadows on Monday night, Bandit Ned (Box 7) is the $4.20 second elect in TAB’s Topgun market, behind $2.25 favourite Aston Rupee (Box 2).

Bandit Ned, a son of Fernando Bale and G1 finalist Bombshell Bandit, bred by the Lords, who are based at the tiny hamlet of Gunning on the Hume Highway, near Goulburn, has the imposing record of 15 from 18.

He’s won his last seven in a row, highlighted by a scintillating 29.47sec last start victory in the G1 Vic Peters Classic on October 16, and Andy Lord believes he can end a NSW Topgun drought dating back to Placard in 2000.

“I don’t think the Victorians are any better than our sprinters. What do you reckon?” Lord quipped.

FIELDS AND FORM THE MEADOWS SATURDAY NIGHT

“He’s right up there with the best I’ve had and I’m very hopeful he can win.

“He’s had 18 starts for 15 wins, won a Group 1, broken a track record (Nowra 520m), won the (G3) Magic Maiden at Wentworth Park, won the (G3) Nowra Puppy Classic and won a Gosford Goldmine – all in 18 starts.

 

“He’s definitely still improving. I still think there’s a bit more in him and I think that improvement will come from racing against better dogs.

“It’s a Topgun, so they’re all good dogs, but he’s handled everything we’ve thrown at him so far, so you’ve got to be confident.”

Lord’s already strong belief in his homebred star received two massive boosts at Monday night’s Hume Cup meeting where Bandit Ned trialled impressively and then drew Box 7, from where he’s yet to be beaten.

“I’m not big on trials – I haven’t trialled him a lot – but I was happy with what he ran,” Lord said

“Wow trialled 29.95sec and he’s been to The Meadows and won there before.

“He’s boxed to perfection. He couldn’t be boxed any better; he’s won six from six from Box 7. 

“He’s won from most boxes but he’s better boxed wide because he likes to race in the centre of the track.

“He’s obviously a winner and he can lead or come from behind. He’s one of those dogs that can win from any position and they’re very hard to find.

“It’s very satisfying because I bred Bandit Ned and I bred his mother, Bombshell Bandit, too. 

“I bought Bombshell Bandit’s mother, J’s Robin, from America. Bombshell Bandit was a really good bitch, she made the (G1) Easter Egg final, and her brother, Crash Bandicoot, won the (G1) Vic Peters too and also made the Easter Egg final.”

Lord confirmed that win, lose or draw in the Topgun, Bandit Ned won’t be contesting the Melbourne Cup series, with connections eyeing off a berth in the inaugural Phoenix.

“Hopefully he’ll run well enough in the Topgun to get a (Phoenix) slot,” said Lord.

“The Phoenix is worth $750,000, so you’d be mad not to want to be in it.

“If he doesn’t get a slot, we’ll look at qualifying through Wentworth Park. But we’re not going to bust him – he’s a special dog!”