Three-times champion greyhound trainer Mark Wallis believes veteran stayer Blonde Fletch has an excellent chance of reaching the semi-finals of the williamhill.com St Leger at Wimbledon on Saturday.
Having been sidelined with a minor tendon injury, the former williamhill.com Grand Prix winner bounced back to his best to take the final opening round heat of the Category One competition at the South London track by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
Despite Blonde Fletch being handed an awkward draw in trap four for the third of the quarter-finals ,Lakenheath handler Wallis remains very hopeful about his chances.
“The draw in trap four is not ideal for Blonde Fletch, but he is likely to go off favourite for his race on Saturday as he has the weakest-looking draw on paper,” said Wallis.
“Considering he had a rushed preparation for the event, he ran very well, and the break probably helped him as he runs well fresh.
“If he breaks like he did at the weekend he has a great chance.”
The two-times Greyhound Derby winner trainer has, however, warned that recent Ladbrokes TV Trophy winner Blonde Reagan has it all to do if he is to keep alive his chances of more top level glory, despite running out an easy seven-length winner in the first round of the 687m competition.
“Blonde Reagan did well to win by seven lengths on Saturday, but he has a hard draw on Saturday night up against ante-post favourite Droopys Robels and will have to be at his best,” said Wallis.
The Imperial Kennels handler will be triple-handed in the event after Ballintine Molly crept into the next round when finishing third behind Bubbly Swallow in heat five of the opening round.
“Ballintine Molly stayed on really well on Saturday and, although she has a bit to find, is not totally out of it and could be a lively outsider,” continued Wallis.