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Greyhounds - Pat Cooney Previews bet365 Empress Stakes Final

There’s a new favourite in town ahead of the £10,000 final of the bet365 Empress Stakes this Sunday at Towcester. Makeit For Waz’s competition form has led to her leapfrogging the out of sorts Fabulous Azurra as the bookies’ choice for the 15:48 race.

Whatbet365 Empress Stakes Final
WhereTowcester Racecourse
When15:48, Sunday 25th September
OddsMakeit For Waz 1/1, Fabulous Azurra 9/4, Droopys Optimal 6/1

(Odds are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change)

The draw for the traps has given us an interesting race as there are a few potential winners lining up in favourable positions, and we’ll run through them in order.

Trap 1 - Forest Roanna

Forest Roanna lines up in trap one, an outsider for the tournament who hasn’t finished above third place on her way to the final. It’s a little bit of a surprise that she has made it this far considering she’s yet to break 30 seconds in a race over the course of the competition, and she doesn’t have much in terms of early pace leading up to the bend.

She is trained by Derby-winning trainer Kevin Hutton which indicates there is quality there, highlighted by her ability to finish strongly, but there’s not too much I can say about her chances of winning this one. Although, at 14/1 with bet365, she may be one that you choose for a forecast or tricast.

Trap 2 - Makeit For Waz

Trap two is a very different story, it’s where 1/1 favourite MakeitForWaz will be lining up for the event. She’s been absolutely paw perfect up to now and, in my opinion, has been rightly installed as the bookies’ choice for this one. Every race has seen her in trap two, which has been followed up by a win in every single one of those, including an incredible 29.14 in the semi-final last Sunday. A very worthy favourite in Derby form ahead of the final.

Trap 3 - Fabulous Azurra

Ante-post favourite, Fabulous Azurra will start from trap three with a point to prove, she was the tournament favourite even ahead of the semi-finals despite looking out of sorts. Her pre-tournament form was electric and she backed that up in her first race, romping home to the joy of her kennel. Convincing defeats in the quarter and semi-finals however have removed the aura that surrounded her and she comes into this one at 9/4. It is worth noting that her two defeats have come from traps four and five, so she may be more suited to running form closer to the rail, but she will need to step up her game and take an early lead to win this final.

Trap 4 - Makeit Bombay

Starting from trap four is 10/1 Makeit Bombay, this one did well to be beaten by a short head after lining up in trap five last time out, in what was a very difficult field. Her sole win this tournament came after starting from trap one which suggests she prefers being closer to the rails, so it will be a difficult task for her to jump Makeit For Waz and Fabulous Azurra. In my opinion, I don’t really see her doing it as they are the two main players so far but good luck to her. It’s not a great draw, I prefer others.

Trap 5 - Droopys Optimal

Droopys Optimal is one that’s caught the eye of many a judge throughout this competition, the 6/1 selection won her opening race by seven lengths, leading to everyone, including myself, sitting up and taking notice. Trap five is the perfect draw for the only middle seed in this final and she was second to Makeit For Waz in that electric run last week, running incredibly well in defeat despite being almost last at the first bend finishing very strongly. She was only two-and-a-half lengths behind the favourite during the semi-final, with a clearer run this time I’d back her to be even less than that distance away come the end of this race, she’s definitely one to consider.

Trap 6 - Makeit Beauty

Moving on to trap six, Makeit Beauty has to be considered as she is the only wide runner in this race. She’s done well to make it to the final with a win under her belt and will be lining up at 14/1 to cause an upset. Looking at her race times thus far, she does have a bit to do if she wishes to be in contention though.

In closing, you have to say MakeIt For Waz is a very worthy favourite, if it was guaranteed that Fabulous Azurra would return to her pre-competition form then she would be considered as even more of a major player in this, but that comes with a big if. I think Droopys Optimal may just be the one that the public latches onto though; a lot of people in the grandstands last week thought she might just be the one to cause the winner some trouble and she did show signs of it. An exciting final in the £10,000 race at Towcester lies ahead. I, for one, can't wait to be there to witness it.

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