UK Snooker Championship: Does history beckon for red-hot Trump?

Snooker player Judd Trump
Is Trump set to win in York?
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Can Judd Trump add the UK Championship to the World Championship and Masters he won earlier this year and seal a prestigious Triple Crown? Snooker expert Gary Moss discusses the world number one's chances in York.

"There is no question Trump is the best player in the world at the moment and more importantly he believes it. It’s not an arrogance in the slightest. It’s a free-flowing confidence and a winning mentality like no one else around."

It's rare to see someone other than Ronnie O'Sullivan (7/2) going into one of snooker's major events as the favourite. But this is the tag placed upon Judd Trump (5/2) as this year's UK Championship gets underway in York today - and rightly so.

Trump is the man of the moment on the green baize right now and is on a trailblazing run of domination, so much so that history could await him at The Barbican.

Triple Crown would be stunning achievement

The world number one has the opportunity to become only the fourth player in snooker history, and the first since Mark Williams back in 2003, to hold all three of the sport's prestigious Triple Crown titles after winning both The Masters and the World Championship earlier this calendar year.

The other two are Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis. He is bidding to join esteemed company and it would really rubberstamp his position as the sport's in-form star.

There is no question Trump is the best player in the world at the moment and more importantly he believes it. It's not an arrogance in the slightest. It's a free-flowing confidence and a winning mentality like no one else around. He is playing fearlessly and is intimidating everyone he meets on the table.

The more Trump achieves, the better he gets, showing that the taste of success is proving mightily sweet. We are watching a player who has always had enormous potential simply coming of age.

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The pressure of expectation doesn't seem to be weighing on him. In fact, it's making him even hungrier in his quest for titles. First-time world champions often struggle in the immediate season after Crucible triumph such are the demands of turning from the hunter to the hunted.

Trump though appears to have found another level since the turn of the season. He's already pocketed more than £400,000 in prize money since his win in Sheffield and with it three more pieces of silverware. This already equals the record number of ranking titles won by a maiden world champion in the proceeding season - a badge of honour held by Hendry back in 1991.

All of this is why Trump is out in front as the favourite for the title. He is without doubt the man to beat.

Who can stop Trump becoming the Duke of York?

Trump's UK Championship campaign begins this Thursday against Morocco's Amine Amiri. It is the minnow's first season on tour and only his second match as a professional. He shouldn't present any problems for Trump. In fact, you can pick up 8/15 on Trump coming through his first round match a 6-0 victory.

Sterner tests will certainly await Trump beyond this match and if you don't think he will end the fortnight lifting the trophy, maybe Mark Allen is the man to stop him in his quarter of the draw.

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Trump beat Allen back in the final in 2011 when he last won the title but if you believe the Antrim potter could have the edge in a potential quarter-final match up, he's 4/1 to reach the semi-finals over Judd or 16/1 to win the whole thing.

Elsewhere, the only player playing snooker remotely near Trump's level is Australia's Neil Robertson who pipped him in a decider in their recent Champion of Champions final. Robertson is a 5/1 third favourite to lift the title.

Or if you think two-time defending champion Rocket Ronnie is the only man who can possibly derail Trump's title bid, you can back him at 7/2 to make it a hat-trick of wins in York in the outrights market.

Gary Moss,

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