Shock Scratching Of Topgun Stayers Favourite

A shattered trainer Paul Abela has been forced to scratch Five Star from next week’s Group 1 Topgun Stayers (725m) at The Meadows with injury.

Adam Dobbin

29 October 2021

A shattered Paul Abela has been forced to scratch Five Star from next week’s Group 1 Topgun Stayers (725m) at The Meadows.

Five Star was the $4 pre-box draw favourite for the $75,000-to-the-winner invitation but will miss the race due to a monkey muscle injury.

“I’m shattered,” Abela said.

“The way he was going I had no doubt he could win the race but these things happen in racing.

“It’s only a slight tear to the muscle but if I put him around I risk it getting a lot worse and the dog’s welfare and long term future is what matters most.

“He’ll miss the Group 1 Bold Trease next month as well but I’m hoping we can reset and aim towards the Sale Cup over Christmas.”

Winner at 16 of his 40 career starts, Five Star, winner of the Group 3 Speed Star at Sandown in June, was going into the Topgun Stayers in sublime form, winning his past five starts in dominant fashion.

“I gave him a hit out on Sunday at Sandown and he didn’t run what I expected so I knew something was up straight away,” Abela said.

“It’s the worst time for this to happen with all the big races but the positive is it’s not too bad and he’ll definitely return. I’ll just start looking towards 2022 with him now.”

With the Topgun box draws yet to be conducted, it’s understood GRV stewards are currently deliberating on whether to remove Five Star from the draw.

Final field betting has taken place since the fields were announced on Tuesday night, meaning the prospect of including another greyhound to the race as a reserve isn’t feasible.

The Jason Magri-trained Zipping Niseko is first reserve for the race and will now assume Five Star’s place in the field.