Five competitive 520m heats, held last Friday, determined the final field who will contest tomorrow evening's $46,000 NZ Breeders' Stakes (Race 10) at Group 1 level.
Four of those heats were won by greyhounds trained from the powerful Palmerston North-based Lisa Cole kennels, and she'll be represented by five finalists, plus she also provides the first reserve.
Bigtime Rocco really stepped up to the mark when he clocked the quickest heat time last Friday, stopping the clock in 30.27s.
He has always displayed potential and drawing trap two has certainly enhanced his stake claims.
"Rocco is maturing into a really nice dog and his draw says he's going be right in this [finish]," advised Brendon Cole.
Bigtime Brody controlled the pace throughout when he won his heat in 30.57s.
He delivered that win from trap four and he'll jump from the same trap tomorrow evening.
"He can break (jump) quickly and if he does he can hold out the outside drawn dogs," suggested Cole.
All About Space will represent the Cole kennel from the one trap.
Completely overlook her "sedate" 30.81s winning heat time, which was a reflection of the jostling that occurred in her heat after she exited from trap eight.
"Getting the ace really works in her favour. She is likely to sit on the rail and she won't flinch over the later stages," Cole said.
Bigtime Rod is a proven chaser at the elite level.
He was bold when he out-finished his rivals to secure his 30.52s heat win.
"He can do it at both ends of his races owing to his pace and strength," stated Cole.
Trojan Hoarse is the current NZ Derby title holder, who set the pace prior to being run down by a neck by Idol Dude in his heat.
His early pace is a definite asset in a competitive field like this one.
"He has the pace to lead out which is what he must do. All five of our runners pulled up real good from their heats," said Cole.
The regular Group 1 finalist Idol Dude finished solidly to claim his heat win in 30.53s, for his conditioner Marcie Flipp.
"His draw [six] isn't the best and his prospect is likely to be dictated by what others do in the run to the first turn," said Flipp.
Trainer Karen Walsh completes the drawn field with her pair of heat second place-getters Thrilling Talk (trap five) and Thrilling Vice (eight).
She is rather rueful about their draws.
"Both of them are ready to go in the final, although the boys will be racing for luck from those draws," advised Walsh.
There's a cracking open class 305m sprint (Race 5) which features the clash between the Cole-prepared pair of the Friday Hatrick 305m specialist Sir Duggie and the current Manawatu 410m track record holder Bigtime Pete.