I’m backing against Farloe to blitz his rivals in this weekend’s Wimbledon smash up on what is one of the great nights in the greyhound racing calendar.
Here’s my trap-by-trap guide to the final.
TRAP 1: RIO QUATTRO
Big, big runner in the context of this race. Is drawn on the inside of the favourite Farloe Blitz once again as he was when qualifying in second for the final. Connections are delighted with the draw and the dog should have no trouble improving on his unusually poor start in the semi-final.
In that race he was well adrift entering the first bend and then railed superbly to chase Farloe Blitz down the back-straight to the line. Ran a huge race in defeat and is the most likely challenger to the so-far imperious favourite.
Has 28.16 around Wimbledon on his card from a puppy open on Derby Final night last year. A repeat of that would likely be enough to be crowned champion.
TRAP 2: FARLOE BLITZ
Undeniably the best dog in this race. Even if he misses the break he will pace up quickly and lead the field into the first bend.
Has immense acceleration from the traps and his sectionals throughout have been consistently excellent.
But as little voice in the back of my head says he is beatable based on the fact he’s been producing huge runs week after week and surely be caught out one night soon?
However, I’ve been saying that for the past three weeks and he’s beginning to make me look silly. Doesn’t have a good record in finals is another concern. Will the occasion get to him again?
Bookmakers will be hoping so.
TRAP 3: MAKING PAPER
Banged out of the boxes in the semi-final with a 4.83 split and never looked like being caught.
In our opinion he recorded a career best in the process. Surprisingly, that was his first win in the event after numerous solid runs beforehand. Before the semi-final I would have described him as being unable to start and unable to stay! But he does possess unreal middle pace.
Last week he finally got his act together at the boxes and the rest didn’t see which way he went.
Needs to produce trapping of similar quality and be within a length or so of the favourite coming out of bend one. Needs another career best. Up against it.
TRAP 4: EDEN THE KID
Comparable to last year’s winner Salad Dodger as he’s come from graded company to the biggest stage of them all and excelled – but this fella has more raw ability.
He’s an August 2013 pup. Let that sink in for a second. He’s not two-years old for another two months and the sky is the limit for his career.
A straw poll of greyhound fans would see this hound crowned the most popular winner.
He has lit up this competition from his track-record breaking run in round one to his theatrics on the grass after his quarter-final win and his trained by the master Rab McNair which is a big plus.
On the flip-side, his big runs may have too early and he needs to produce one of those again here.
TRAP 5: MILLWARDS DAVY
To describe this as a rags-to-riches story would be unfair on rags!
Available at 100/1 before the event simply to be trainer Paul Young’s furthest progressing dog, Millwards Davy has upset the odds at every turn and was available with Paddy Power at the start of the event at a whopping 1000/1.
Thankfully only one customer took us up on that offer or else we’d all be out of a job if he won. Has only won two of his 16 races in the UK but finds himself in a Derby Final.
He’s actually finished last more times than he’s finished first. The outsider of the field again – he needs a repeat of his stand-out career best of 28.25 recorded in Round 3 to get involved. Unlikely.
TRAP 6: TYNWALD BISH
Irish shrewdie Peter Cronin returns to the final for the second-year-in-a-row after Croker’s Champ was beaten just over a length into third in last year’s final.
This wide runner gives him another decent chance of landing this coveted prize.
While Irish eyes will be on the favourite Farloe Blitz – this dog could sneak under the radar and surprise. He’s well drawn in trap six as the only wide seed in the race and has probably been too easily overlooked.
He has a 4.70 split at Wimbledon on his card when he recorded a winning time of 28.17 last May. Not without a chance at a double-digit price on Thursday.
Here’s how I think they’ll come home:
- 1ST T1 RIO QUATTRO
- 2nd T6 TYNWALD BISH
- 3rd T4 EDEN THE KID