A busy week of greyhound events continues with the Classic final at Sunderland with the action all live on RPGTV (Sky 431) from 6pm. Check out Darrell Williams' considered best bets.
"The fact Droopys Trapper is not favourite is down to his fast-improving kennelmate Velvet Juliet, who got within a spot of the clock last week but while she must be respected I believe the consistency of Droopys Trapper ensures his case is a stronger one and therefore he rates the selection"
Twelve months ago, Allowdale Bruno dominated the Classic final to provide this column with a big price success and with huge credit to trainer Harry Williams he is back in the same trap six box in a bid to repeat the feat. Under-estimating him as many found out last year can prove costly, especially given his excellent seven from nine record over the somewhat specialised Sunderland 450m trip. However, while I do expect him to run another big race at a fair price my attention on this occasion is focused elsewhere.
Were it not for a defeat, ironically to Allowdale Bruno in a pre-event Trial Stakes, Droopys Trapper would be defending an unbeaten record over this CD. Uncharacteristically slowly away that day, Angela Harrison's runner can generally be relied upon to trap smartly as he proved in the semi-finals and the track-record holder - achieved in last year's Puppy Plate final - is expected to have too much early zip for his old rival.
Juliet the jolly
The fact he is not favourite is down to his fast-improving kennelmate Velvet Juliet, who got within a spot of the clock after a resounding all the way win in her semi-final last week. Given her strong running style, as witnessed in the first round, a ping break was always going to make that a possibility but while she must be respected I believe the consistency of Droopys Trapper ensures his case is a stronger one and therefore rates the selection.
O-live over Live
Harrison's Droopys Live was one of a host of short-priced favourites turned over in the supporting races on semi-final night and while she will be strongly fancied to return to winning ways in the Maiden Stayers final (20:29) I see no reason to desert her conqueror Black Olive who has clearly hit form with a vengeance since a recent step up to six bends and with the same trap six draw to work from she can repeat the feat.
Coal Butler, one of the few hotpots that did oblige last week, can confirm his fastest heat winning status by claiming the Sprint final (19:57) where his repeat trap one draw can again prove invaluable.
Don't miss Bliss
The four-bend Maiden final (20:13) is more competitive but it's another Pelaw raider Bliss for Paul Lithgow that catches the eye. A recent recruit from Romford, where she held A1 status, she has scope for further improvement over the Sunderland 450m trip having progressed markedly with each look. I'd also suggest a lay of Calzaghe Geraint in the same race who continues to prove difficult to catch right.