Big Energy Fires Cup Warning In Shootout Romp
It was billed as the most even Shootout in history, but Big Energy turned the $72,500 feature into a one-act affair on Saturday night.
It was billed as the most even Group 3 Shootout (515m) in the event's history, but powerhouse Big Energy turned the $72,500 four-sprinter feature into a one-act affair at Sandown Park on Saturday night.
Big Energy broke the fabled 29-second barrier for the second time, as the WA import set night two of the $4.1 million Dream Chasers Festival ‘alight', claiming his first Group trophy in race record time.
Big Energy, a December '20 son of Aussie Infrared and Amo Bailar, gave Kel and Jackie Greenough back-to-back Shootout successes after champion Wow She's Fast was victorious in 2022 (29.28sec).
Big Energy came into the intriguing Shootout after running fifth in the G1 Topgun at The Meadows one week earlier, and after drawing box one started joint $3.20 second elect, with the heavily-supported last-start G1 Hume Cup winner Hector Fawley (box 5).
Alpha Zulu (box 3) was the $2.70 favourite, with kennelmate Transponder (box 7), the Topgun victor, the $5.30 outsider.
Jackie Greenough's pre-race comments on Racing.com's coverage proved to be prophetic.
"He's going very well, but he just hasn't been racing with any luck, so hopefully he can stay out of trouble tonight," Greenough said.
Big Energy made his own luck, flying out with a 5.02sec first section to lead clearly rounding the first turn before exploding away from his three rivals in the back straight as all eyes turned to the clock.
Big Energy defeated Hector Fawley, which finished strongly into second, by 7.25 lengths in an airborne 28.984sec.
The run was .05sec outside Big Energy's PB of 28.93sec, set in the Launching Pad Runway Final on April 6, while it was his 13th win from 27 starts and eighth from 14 at Sandown.
"He took full advantage of the good box, got a clear run and away he went," said Kel Greenough.
"Generally his first section is a little bit slower than that, so the fact that he's run his best first section is really good. Most of the time he's trying to get through the field, so it was nice to see him get clear air."
Big Energy had been knocking on the door of a feature success, demonstrating he's taken his enormous potential to another level with luckless second placings in the G1 Adelaide Cup and G2 Cranbourne Cup (at Sandown).
"He was probably unlucky in both races and probably lost more than the margin that he lost by," Greenough said.
"Being drawn on the outside of Transponder has been his nightmare, but tonight was a different story, he was drawn on the other side of him.
"I think he's matured with racing and got better and learnt how to race.
"The fact is he's learning on the job. I think when he went to Adelaide he really learned a lot and grew up a fair bit. I've found that with quite a few dogs, they mature with a trip away and he had four weeks in a row, and he got used to it and became a better dog."
Big Energy will return to Sandown, along with star kennelmate Wow She's Fast, for next Saturday night's heats of the Group 1 Sportsbet Melbourne Cup.
The sensational Shootout victory is almost certain to earn Big Energy a slot in The Phoenix, which will bring the Dream Chasers carnival to a sensational conclusion at The Meadows on Saturday, December 16.