Sallis's Titan is ready for another final battle
Farloe Titan: Seen here after winning the 2010 Arc at SwindonPICTURE: STEVE NASH
THE remarkable Farloe Titan has surged into another Category One final following a fairytale all-the-way 28.78sec success in the third semi-final of the Ladbrokes Blue Riband at Hall Green yesterday lunchtime writes Dave Johnston.
Paul Sallis's August 07 veteran, winner of the 2010 Betfair Arc at Swindon, showed good early pace from an awkward draw out in five and drove the bend better than Kinda True who was heading the inside runners at the time. He then kicked on down the far side and was always comfortably holding Dave Acott's Drumcrow Dav who battled well for his place in next Wednesday's £5,000 decider which will be shown live on Sky Sports.
Sallis said "He proved today what a true champion he is. His owner, 80 year-old Ted Stevens who absolutely loves the dog, once told me if he ever gets drawn in five or six pull him out. But I thought he had a chance today and he proved me right".
Sallis admitted he's been thinking of retiring the dog - He said "I think about it every week. I heard he had done a 29.39sec trial prior to this competition and I phoned the office to pull him out and retire him only to be told it was 28.39! "We're happy with the draw in the final and if he gets across to the fence in front - you never know".
The opening heat had been a personal triumph for Champion Trainer Chris Allsopp (won this competition last term with Express Shuttle) who recorded a 1-2 when Bandicoot Fionn (7-2) beat his youthful kennelmate Sharp Bullet in a driving finish.
The winner didn't break very well but paced up nicely and was able to take advantage of crowding inside to slingshot around the outer and surge clear off the second bend.
Sharp Bullet, a June 10 pup by Ninja Jamie, game chase from halfway and only failed by the narrowest of margins to peg back the winner who clocked 28.77sec.
The second semi-final was without doubt the heat of death with four leading ante-post fancies all crossing swords and, with just two to qualify from the three races, there was no margin for error.
The much-fancied Jaytee Pedro missed his break and, following first bend crowding could never get into the argument.
The chaos at the initial corner left Markeys Dragon in front but he was soon pressed by Diane Henry's Ten Large Down who took up the running at the halfway stage.
Paul Young's Young Sid, who had almost made the corner in front but was, like most, crowded out, was soon back on an even keel and set about hunting down the tearaway leader.
It looked an unlikely outcome until the final few strides when the Killahan Panther whelp showed great determination to get up close home and cover the 480-metre course in 28.89sec.
DRAW for Wednesday's final: 1 Ten Large Down, 2 Drumcrow Dav, 3 Farloe Titan, 4 Sharp Bullet, 5 Young Sid, 6 Bandicoot Fionn (w).