RIGHT back to when Golden Currency and Worth Backing dead heated in the very first Topgun, it has been a headline grabbing race worthy of its place as one of the world's true tests of the greyhound.
Take a squiz at the list of winners and there is no doubting that.
It seems that only the very, very best can win it. But, then again, no greyhound gets into a Topgun without plenty to recommend it.
Stud success among winners of the Topgun has been mixed. Bombastic Shiraz proved himself a powerhouse.
Many other winners achieved mixed results at stud.
A quick look at those who have finished "down the track" in a Topgun is example enough the race is one broodbitch owners should use as a guide when planning matings.
Saturday night's Topgun includes six males and all have a future stud career.
Aqua Cheetah (Cosmic Rumble-Dalta Bale by Pure Octane) took my eye as a future stud success given the right opportunities.
There is no doubting his racetrack credentials will make him attractive to broodbitch owners.
He has won the Group 1 Adelaide Cup, Group 1 Dapto Megastar and the Bathurst Cup.
He's been placed in the Cranbourne Classic, Spring Sprint, Black Top, Warragul Cup and Traralgon Cup and been a finalist twice in the Topgun and also the Golden Easter Egg.
He is sound and genuine having started 67 times for 25 wins and 20 placings and earned $302,000.
If that doesn't give him the right to a stud career ... well, what does!
Aqua Cheetah has never been a "boom" race dog which, as one leading Australian studmaster once said to me, is just as big a criteria for stud success as race credentials.
But what he does have is a fabulous and balanced pedigree which allows him to mate a myriad of broodbitches and give them a great opportunity for success.
Aqua Cheetah is by Cosmic Rumble the Egg winner who has been a very, very good stud dog, not a champion at stud, but very good.
His dam Dalta Bale (Pure Octane-Cynthia Bale by Awesome Assassin) won nine races and was from a handy litter. Obviously, as the "Bale" name indicates, she is from the Wheeler family's famed Gail's Beauty line.
It is not necessarily a successful line for stud dogs but I put this down more to Paul's want to continually outcross his bloodlines. The really great stud dogs are heavily in-bred ... not all, but most.
Barcia Bale is NOT typical of a Wheeler-bred dog that goes to stud. He's been a huge success.
The Bale influence is NOT the reason I believe Aqua Cheetah has what it takes to become a stud success, even though a reinforcement of the Bale lines will help him succeed at stud.
He is bred on the highly successful Brett Lee/Pure Octane cross which is really just an extension of the Brett Lee/Elusive Rebel cross that produced Hallucinate, Where's Pedro, Crash and Carnage all of them an asset in any pedigree.
Have a look at the best progeny sired by Pure Octane. Many of them are out of daughters of Brett Lee.
Aqua Cheetah is also in-bred 4x4 and balanced to Gun Law Osti coming through his son Brett Lee in Cosmic Rumble and his daughter Bliss Bale in Dalta Bale.
This is a VERY strong aspect of the pedigree of Aqua Cheetah.
And, Aqua Cheetah also carries a cross of the similarly bred Rumble Spirit and Token Prince. Many of the best progeny sired by Collision have Token Prince in their damline. Collision is, of course, a half brother to Cosmic Rumble's dam.
The cross of Awesome Assassin in the direct damline of Aqua Cheetah is also very strong and allows for some great line breeding to him.
So, what lines could best suit Aqua Cheetah?
The fact Aqua Cheetah is bred on the same Brett Lee/Elusive Rebel cross as Hallucinate, Where's Pedro, Carnage and Crash makes bitches with them in their pedigree an absolute MUST.
This will especially include bitches by Barcia Bale and now My Bro Fabio. That's because they both also bring in further crosses of the Gail's Beauty family.
The Brett Lee/Elusive Rebel cross in Aqua Cheetah will be especially suited to daughters of Kinloch Brae. Remember, champion Destini Fireball and his great littermates are by Where's Pedro from the same direct damline as Kinloch Brae.
Bitches by Dyna Tron too will be especially suited to a mating to Aqua Cheetah first to introduce that most wonderful of crosses between Elusive Rebel and Lansley Bale, but also to duplicate and balance Awesome Assassin and link the half relations Spiritual Rumble and Collision.
A number of the star performers by Bekim Bale are out of daughters of Pure Octane (damsire of Aqua Cheetah) so daughters of Bekim Bale (and his brother Heston Bale) too should be ideal for a mating to Aqua Cheetah.
Aqua Cheetah has no Black Shiraz or Bombastic Shiraz in his pedigree and bitches with Bombastic Shiraz in particular should suit Aqua Cheetah. That's because the cross of Awesome Assassin in Aqua Cheetah is particularly suited to a link with Bombastic Shiraz and it is a highly proven "nick".
I particularly like daughters of Knocka Norris as mates for Aqua Cheetah. This will link the full relations Awesome Assassin and Goddess Of Fire and that too is a highly successful cross.
Champion El Grand Senor, already starting to make his mark as a broodbitch sire, "could" be one to aim at for Aqua Cheetah.
El Grand Senor is especially noted for the chase he puts into his progeny and that is always a trait to be admired.
Like Aqua Cheetah, he too is balanced to Gun Law Osti and brings in a cross of Awesome Assassin in his damline. And El Grand Senor is by Where's Pedro.
I probably would NOT put a speedy daughter of El Grand Senor that could not run out a strong 520m to Aqua Cheetah.
Daughters of Magic Sprite too are a great opportunity for Aqua Cheetah. It will duplicate Spiral Nikita and balance him via son and daughter. Magic Sprite has done well when Spiral Nikita is duplicated in his progeny.
There are many, many options open to Aqua Cheetah at stud.
Let's hope he gets his chance to show he can make it.