The Betfair Blue Riband takes place at Hall Green on Tuesday, with £8000 in prize money available
Coming just after the weekend's first Classic of the season at Shawfield, the Scottish Derby final, Tuesday's race will see the Sky cameras beam top-class greyhound racing into our living rooms for the second time in four days.
Some £8,000 is up for grabs in the Betfair Blue Riband final and the line-up is bolstered by a number of leading contenders for the Derby at Wimbledon, headed by Monmore Puppy Derby runner-up Express Shuttle.
He lines up from trap one and kicks off my run down of the six greyhounds gunning for glory...
Trap 1: Express Shuttle (Chris Allsopp)
Came over with a big reputation from Ireland and has not disappointed. Famously led in the Monmore decider until the stirring finish of wonder pup Droopys Greg denied him late on. Ran a great race given the trouble he found at Wimbledon on Trainers' Championship night to claim valuable points for Allsopp. Boasts great early pace which laid the foundation for an impressive success in the heats at Hall Green, but will be edging out to the middle from trap one in the decider.
Trap 2: Westmead Guru (Kelly Findlay)
This strapping near 39-kilo dog certainly knows how to put his weight round. Could dive inwards or outwards from this pitch and backers of the favourite inside will be hoping he turns right! Winner of the Henlow Derby he certainly has a big-race pedigree and is being geared towards Wimbledon and the English Derby. Helped by having a wide-mover outside and could be tough to hold if blazing a trail. And remember he knows Hall Green well, he started his career here!
Trap 3: Springwell Hot (Bob Hall)
This local runner has excelled in a competition which represented a steep rise in class. In the form of his life, he's been like a fine wine of late, maturing with age. He's a veteran performer now, no less. Must trap in the style he has shown of late, particularly in heat and semi which showed a mark improvement from recent A1 contests. Can he do it again now pitched in the middle?
Trap 4: Johnnys Way (Nick Colton)
Trainer Colton is looking for a quickfire Sky big-race double after Jolly Poacher in the Arc at Swindon. The kennel is red-hot just now and this two-year-old is doing them proud. Ran on strongly to finish second in the semis, but it's difficult to see him strike a blow unless there's a Jolly Poacher-type start. And with Springwell Hot moving off from three, trouble looms at the turn. But equally any trouble up front could see him cause a shock as, like Sweeps Hill, he's strong from halfway
Trap 5: Alfies Options (Dean Childs)
Led almost from start to finish in the semis and clearly packs an early punch required to lead on the outer. If anything he slightly stumbled on exiting the boxes in the semis before pacing up well to the turn. A cleaner break, and he might just be the improver in the field to upset some of the shorter-priced runners.
Indeed, that might be a necessity because both trap three and four will be swinging off at the turn. Thankfully for supporters, there is a zero pace outside. Always highly regarded, Alfies Options is no strong runner but this 480m is easier than Swindon's where he struggled to last home in the Arc.
Trap 6: Sweeps Hill (Craig Andrews)
Like Springwell Hot he's a Hall Green ever-present and that is worth two lengths here. A fast finisher who struggles to go with the early pace, crowding amongst the leaders is a must for him to strike gold. Nevertheless he is brilliantly drawn and could well get a gorgeous tow round behind earlybird Alfies Options. And were Express Shuttle and Westmead Guru to tangle he could find himself turning closer up the field than is usually the case. And noone wants this strong runner on their shoulder off the last bend.