The cream has risen to the top in the Champion Stakes final at Romford tonight. But who will emerge victorious? Check out Darrell Williams exclusive thoughts and selections.
"It is kennelmate Bombers Bullet that is taken to come out on top in a contest where his strength could prove the difference against generally more early paced types"
It's a line-up that simply oozes quality but finding the Champion Stakes winner is no straight-forward task. Three unbeaten competition records are on the line but that doesn't even scratch the surface in a race where multiple big race winner Shotgun Bullet will probably go off at double figure odds, albeit on this occasion a correct analysis of his chances.
Logically the place to start is June Harvey's Ower Boy Bullet who has tasted defeat only once in seven starts and boasts a perfect three from three record over the course and distance. But securing a run drawn inside probable pace setter Saleen Ash, one of two Mark Wallis trained finalists, is far from guaranteed and he is reluctantly overlooked, and it is kennelmate Clash, also unbeaten at the track, that offers Harvey perhaps a better chance especially if able to dominate early on.
It is Wallis though that may hold the key to the final, with Saleen Ash, by far the quickest in the semi-finals, making plenty of appeal and worth including at reasonable odds given his lead ability claims. All five of his CD wins have come from trap six and he is again drawn to advantage.
However, it is kennelmate Bombers Bullet that is taken to come out on top in a contest where his strength could prove the difference against generally more early paced types. While trap one might not be his ideal slot (one from eight in OR's), his draw inside middle operator Kanturk Repeat, who may struggle to secure a clear run, more than alleviates the issue for a greyhound that has maintained form at the top level in securing the Grand Prix and a runners-up spot in the Summer Stayers Classic final since reaching the Derby final. Like his kennelmate, he too appears fairly priced, an important consideration, in such a competitive heat.
Elsewhere, the best bet of the night could be Paving The Way (19:03) who can reverse form with Profound, whose victory last week was his first in 14 starts over CD while the loss of trap six is also likely to count against him.
Vinegarhill Ruby has proved a backer's pal for some time over the 575m trip and Paul Hebbs charge is strongly fancied to gain a tenth win over the trip (21:26). The key is her ability to hold a strong early pitch and the switch back to trap six (five from eleven over CD) can make the difference tonight.
Burton Lodge Bob sprung a big surprise in the heats of a Standard competition last week but can prove that was no fluke in the final (20:38) where he can overcome a slightly less favourable draw.