Williamhill.com Grand Prix and Classic trials preview
William Hill's resident greyhound expert Ian Magor is offering his take on proceedings at Sunderland tonight where the object of the game is qualification for the next round of the williamhill.com Grand Prix or williamhill.com Classic trials.
Farley Zach and Ten Dollars More come here fresh from contesting the final of the Summer Classic at Monmore where the latter was crowned champion. He trialled well enough earlier in the week to make me believe he can show that running to be no fluke. The draw is not a problem and Chris Allsopp's brindle can get favourite backers off to a winning start.
There is plenty of pace to the bend here and an early lead is going to be more important than ever. Hurleys Hero produced one of the fastest four bend trials during Monday's mammoth trials session and if he produces anything like that pace here he should be able to dominate and stride out to victory.
Forest Spider has been re-named Fatboyz Diva and she can start life under her new moniker on a winning note. She has yet to race competitively over six bends but has shown enough in two trials to give the impression that she could be a major player in all six bend competitions over the next couple of years. Ex - Australian racer Jean Jeannie is an interesting recruit to Team Lister but may need more experience and Farloe Rocket looks badly drawn. Droopys Flo has a lovely draw but that may not be sufficient to reel in the red jacketed runner.
Many good judges thought that this would be the year for Fear Zafonic to improve on his Derby runner-up position of 2009 but it wasn't to be and he comes here on a retrieval mission. Unfortunately he finds himself drawn in the middle of a field loaded with early pace and I find it very difficult to envisage him getting a clear run into the first bend. If Superb Course can track cleverly from the lids he is very nicely drawn to emerge handy and his Irish card is more than decent enough to make him a value alternative to the probable favourite.
Ten Large Down returns to the scene of his Northern Puppy Derby triumph but his connections would not have been looking for a draw outside the early pace of Lyreen Mover and Romeo Reason. Jimmy Wright's new recruit, Magna Buddy, showed exceptional pace in a series of Sheffield sprints a couple of months ago and a sub 27sec trial this Monday makes him the selection to start life in a new kennel with a winning debut.
Ballymac Ace comes here fresh from winning the Pall Mall at Oxford where he never put a paw wrong and he was sensational when winning the final from what appeared to be a very poor draw. His trial was only moderate though, whereas November Weather won a trial stakes last week in a manner that finally made sense of the rave reviews the dog had picked up in Ireland last year. He looked a certainty to dip under the 27sec barrier when getting a clear and that would probably be sufficient to grab victory here, so at the odds he has to be the pick.
Tyrur Dream has been running really well for Charlie Lister during June and held off the very talented Droopys Alma earlier this week at Sheffield. She could be a big player here but the draw has been kind to Honey Trampas and Diane Henry's charge should be able to turn in the vanguard and stride out for victory.
This is the only heat of either competition that looks straightforward. Kinda Easy is running better than ever and is going to do everything possible to hang on to his St Leger crown later in the year. It is hard to see him not leading this field and if he accomplishes that task it is harder still to see him being caught.
He Went Whoosh is not breaking with the same kind of consistency as he was a few months ago and that is a concern here as Greenwell Viper could prove very difficult to overtake if he comes out in front. However, there isn't a dog in the field that you would mark down as a confirmed stayer and that should mean that if Claude Gardiner's dog hits the front at any stage, which is probable, he should win.
Jogadusc Ace has been a brilliant servant for the Mark Wallis kennel and it is great to see him lining up to defend his Classic title. He finds himself in the heat with the most early pace in the competition and would need things to fall just right at the first bend to be able to win. A lot is going to depend on the break here and I will plump for King Lee to get out, show the best pace into the bend and open up a sufficient gap down the back to ensure victory for Rab and Liz Mc Nair.
It is fantastic to see Harry Williams so enthused about the prospects for his outstanding pup, Blue Artisan. He is now two years old and faces a baptism of fire in all-aged company, with pace either side of him. If he wins tonight he will be a genuine Derby prospect but at the prices I have to side with Deanridge Rage who has been running really well at Romford after a disappointing Derby campaign. He trialled well on Monday and can show tonight why his young trainer rates him so highly.
Sniper Petra hardly runs a bad race and loves it around here but the draw out in four is a big negative for me. Boherbradda Mac refuses to retire but why should he when he maintains his form so brilliantly. He is drawn well to make his early pace the critical factor in the race and bring a fairytale final involving himself and Blue Artisan closer to reality.