Champion bid mooted for Stayers' ace Fletch.
THE chief supporting race to what was the 60th running of the Select Stakes was the Betfred Select Stayers over 730m and it turned into a thriller with first-bend leader Blonde Fletch tiring off the last bend, but holding off Crash Bandit to plunder another major title, writes Jonathan Hobbs.
"This 730m tests his stamina, but he started so well he'd built up a good enough lead, which he needed," said Patrick Janssens, head man to trainer Mark Wallis of the Mark Currell-owned Coral Regency, William Hill Grand Prix and Queen Mother Cup hero.
"The Champion Stakes is a possible race for him at Romford.
He was a little unlucky in last year's Essex Vase final and runs the track well enough, plus it's an easier six bends of course."
Greyhound of the Year Jimmy Lollie registerered win number 69 with another great success in the Bonus King Sprint over 305m.
It was probably one of the nowveteran sprinter's best efforts given he broke only third or fourth before unleashing a devastating turn of pace to the turn.
Elsewhere on the card there were wins for Harry Williams' Tudor Prince in the British-bred Standard Trophy, and he has the Betfred Eclipse as a long-term target after making the final last year, while Razldazl Pru looks an exciting addition to Kelly Findlay's kennel having produced a superb back-straight surge in the Goals Galore Stayers Trophy.
Skywalker Teddy followed up his puppy success at Sunderland in the Betfred Mobile Puppy Trophy for Ted Soppitt, while Ballymac Ace took the Betfred Bundles Trophy for Chris Allsopp.
Longwood Days was the star of Sky's previous broadcast from Hove when winning the Coral Sussex Cup and was back in the spotlight again as Colin Callow's dog was just as impressive as he reeled-in Romeo Amerigo to win the Betfred Standard and will now likely take on Taylors Sky and company in the Ladbrokes Gold Cup at Monmore.
Nottingham general manager Dave Baldwin was delighted with the evening, commenting: "It was a brilliant night with a record gate for a Select Stakes night and a huge turnout by Betfred LBO customers. Betfred really do put so much effort into their events.
"There was fantastic prizemoney and even monetary rewards for the kennelhands of the best turned out greyhound in each of the Sky races and pounds 1,000 of shopping vouchers for the best dressed lady."
Mark Pearson, head of media at Betfred, was also thrilled with the evening, despite a host of favourites obliging.
He said: "We were skint with all the favourites winning until Jordansoilutions sprang a surprise in the Select.
"Nottingham and the Greyhound Writers' Association put on a cracking night and we're proud to be associated with it."
Packing them in: a bumper crowd enjoy the Select action