The Select Stakes, the most prestigious one-off race of the year, takes place at Nottingham tonight - on RPGTV (Sky 431). Who will join an illustrious role of honour? Check out Darrell Williams' thoughts.
"Forest Jason could hardly have been more impressive in a 480m final on the Derby final card. While a trap five draw appears a tough ask, with such an abundance of early speed I firmly believe he can handle it. An argument that is further enhanced by what appears a more than generous price"
Despite enforced changes to the original line-up, the Select Stakes remains a contest to savour with a field that includes the Derby runner-up Ballymac Tas and last season's Eclipse second Droopys Verve.
Verve one to sverve
Aside from a runaway victory in the third round, Droopys Verve had a Derby to forget with a string of heavy odds-on defeats and an early exit from the Plate. His stirring battle with Dorotas Wildcat in last year's Eclipse final is a firm reminder of what he is capable of over this CD but despite a short break and a brace of encouraging trials he remains a favourite to take on.
Red Ice a worry
That argument is further enhanced by the presence of speedy pup Ice On Fire who will be looking to edge off from the inside. Jimmy Fenwick's youngster suffered a first defeat when failing to cope with a bad draw in the Puppy final on Derby final night but is an exciting prospect although the draw may have done neither any favours.
Trickys Dumbo, an impressive winner of that Puppy final took his own unbeaten record to three with a resounding victory last week and has an exciting future. But in a race dominated by early paced railers this represents by far his toughest task to date and from trap three he is reluctantly overlooked.
Liam Dowling's Ballymac Tas stunned everyone with a huge run in the Derby final and could find this speed laden contest run to suit if able to find an opening and she is one to include for forecast purposes.
Get On Jas-on
However, in terms of the winner I'm more interested in Forest Jason who could hardly have been more impressive in a 480m final on the Derby final card. While a trap five draw appears a tough ask Julie Bateson's charge coupled admirably with trap four in both rounds of that contest and with arguably the speed of the speed I firmly believe he can handle it especially with a relatively slower starter on his immediate inside.
Sole wide seed Down To The Felt disappointed at Sheffield last week and is hard to back with any confidence.
24 Carat wager?
Droopys Carat, runner-up in the Derby night Puppy final looks a cut above in a supporting puppy contest (20:08) and can overcome a trap five slot having previously won from trap four the same CD.
Plaza Lep's early speed continues to serve him well and Lynn Cook's local can follow up last week's personal best with a repeat victory (20:23) where he is likely to have too much class for potential early pace rival Blythe Dill.
The concluding sprint looks a cracker, but I'm loathe to desert Troy Bella who can complete a six-timer. His excellent record here, three from four in this box over CD, coupled with a slower starter on his inside should prove enough.