LIGHTNING Frank is the favourite to claim his third group race when the lids fly open for Wednesday night’s Group 2 Warrnambool Classic (450m).
The Mat Wright-trained greyhound is the odds-on favourite with most online bookmakers and comes into the final on the back of a solid second in his semi-final last week.
On that occasion, the black dog was slow to leave the boxes, but showed plenty of determination to finish just half a length behind Kumbia Lass in a handy 25.59.
Prior to that, the son of Black Magic Opal and Kirabilli Abbie resumed from a spell with a sensational 24.82 heat victory – at his first start since finishing down the track in the Group 1 Australian Cup final in March.
The star greyhound moves into box one for the final, a draw from which he has won two of his three starts,
The biggest danger to the favourite appears to be Up Hill Jill which will start wearing the black stretch vest.
The 29-kilogram speedster is already a group 2 winner, having won the Laurels Classic earlier this year, and since that time has continued to race well at the top level making the finals of the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, the Group 1 National Futurity and the Group 2 Richmond Oaks.
Also in contention for the $75,000 first prize is Seona Thompson’s Bewildering, which also managed to crack the elusive 25 second barrier when stopping the clock in 24.93 in his heat.
He moves out to box eight for the final and will need to begin to avoid getting trapped out wide.
The market then drifts out to double figures, with the next best being Rig Fifty Five for Angela Langton. The black dog is undefeated throughout the series, including a 25.18 heat win, but cannot afford to miss the start with a stack of pace in this event.
Kennel mate Kumbia Lass will be showing speed in the early stages, however the last 20m will be a concern for the daughter of Barcia Bale and Wiradjuri Girl.
Meanwhile, Langton’s partner Jeff Britton is represented by Our Turbo Boy, a brother to Rig Fifty Five, however he is at big odds after drawing poorly.
Even bigger odds are on offer about Moneypenny and Premier Zed, which will both be aiming for their first win of the series when they line up for the final.