Wallis’ veteran Alex the one to beat for Golden Sprint victory
Patrick Janssens believes his friend and former boss — Mark Wallis — boasts the dog to beat in Friday’s Coral Golden Sprint final at Romford (9.08pm), writes Liam Apicella.
Victories for Barricane Hazard and Diablo in last week’s semi-finals means Hockwold-based Janssens will have two representatives gunning for the £10,000 first prize.
In contrast, Imperial Kennels handler Wallis saw just one of his three dogs make it through to the final in the form of veteran Clondoty Alex.
But with plenty of big-race victories under his belt, Janssens rates Alex as the favourites.
“Every dog in the final is going to have to beat Mark’s dog to win,” said the Dutchman.
“He is a really good dog, one that I have always liked.
“He is not flashy, but runs to his full ability every time and that makes him hard to keep out of the top three.”
While Janssens is confident both of his entrants will provide good accounts of themselves, he feels the more experienced Diablo provides his best chance of glory.
The 2014 dog, who recently returned to action after an ear infection, was the quickest on semi-final night, clocking a time of 24.21 seconds over 400m distance.
“Diablo is our strongest of the two and a lot of that is down to experience,” added the trainer.
“He has been there and done it, so I have no concerns.
“I would not rule out Barricane Hazard, though, because he is improving all of the time.
“We know we have it all to do to beat Mark’s dogs on the night, but if they can both get away well, you never know what will happen in the latter stages.”