The $88,000 Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar is a tough, gut-busting 779m greyhound staying endurance event with the race distance being the longest race contested in Australasia.
Making it even tougher is the quick back-up over the extreme trip which got even harsher for the eight finalists after a 24-hour postponement of heats owing to last weekend's rain.
Those heats turned into a real paw slugfest owing to the rain sodden Manukau track which was graphically illustrated by last year's Silver Collar winner Ring The Bell requiring 47.47s to complete his assignment. Compare that to his winning 46.22s time last year — a staggering difference of around 20 lengths.
Ring The Bell is poised to become just the second dual Silver Collar winner tomorrow at Manukau for Hall of Fame conditioner Ray Adcock, who reports his charge has come through his heat in super condition.
"He was as fit as he has ever been before his heat and he certainly won't be fazed by the quicker turnaround."
Ring The Bell has drawn ideally in trap two.
Tirau trainer Karen Walsh has prepared two previous Silver Collar winners and Dusty Gambler has done everything right to provide her with a third winner. He has won all seven of his races since he crossed the Tasman including his 47.85s heat win.
"He was caught in early traffic and he had to do fair amount of work in his heat which I guess was reflected in his time. I'm rapt he has drawn the eight trap and he has been bouncing around on his lead during the week," advised Walsh.
Cristiane Cyborg adds the intrigue factor to this event for her trainer Hayley Mullane after her traffic impeded heat third to Ring The Bell. "Her draw [one] isn't the best for her as she'll look to get out. I'm stoked with her and I expect a really strong race from her especially on hopefully a dry track," said Mullane.
Canterbury trainers Dave and Jean Fahey commands respect when it comes to group one greyhound racing. They have given their heat runner-up to Ring The Bell, Translator a prefect preparation for tomorrow. Expect their other charge, Pirate's Curse, to be sighted rocketing home late.
Trip To Eden and Argus Filch can be considered as potential players for the thin end of the bonus $5000 injection into the Silver Collar First4 (R10).