Mark Wallis has made it clear that Bridge Honcho faces a stiff task in tonight’s 67th East Anglian Derby final at Yarmouth.
Champion trainer Wallis feels that the Peter Bridges owned will have to be at his best if he is to topple odds-on favourite Any Dak in the Category One contest and take home the £12,000 first prize.
The son of Hondo Black, who was only entered in the competition following a first round exit in the Betfred Steel City Cup at Sheffield, qualified for final after finishing third behind Any Dak in the second semi-final on Saturday.
“Realistically he has got it all to do in the final and it is only his class that has got him through to this stage as Yarmouth is not his best track,” said Wallis.
“Any Dak is a worthy favourite as he has not put a foot wrong in the competition so far, but it is not the final everyone expected and his camp will be fearful of our record in big finals.”
The Lakenheath handler will also be represented in the final of the Category Three Magners Sprint over which features on the supporting card by Murlens Crash.
However, the four-times champion trainer is less than optimistic surrounding the chances in the contest worth a £1000 to the winner.
“Murlens Crash has got it all to do as he was comprehensively beaten by Glenvale Ozzi in his semi-final and it will be difficult to turn things around,” said Wallis.
Away from Yarmouth Jazz Apollo is to have his final start for Wallis tonight in a veterans contest down at Hove.
“Jazz Apollo had a race over the course and distance last week which should have blown away the cobwebs” said Wallis. “He is in trap one tonight and has a great chance.”
On Sunday, Sittingbourne track specialist Bridge Bandit advertised his claims for next month’s John Smiths Kent Derby when powering to victory in a trial stakes at the track in 28.98 seconds.
n For an extended video interview with Wallis about Bridge Honcho in the East Anglian Derby visit www.newmarket journal.co.uk