Ian Fortune

The betting for tonight’s Shelbourne Champion 550 decider suggests that either Bens Teddy or Sober Glory will emerge triumphant in the €7,500 to the winner showpiece.

Both were so impressive in their semi-final outings and have been handed a favourable draw close to the fence.

Bens Teddy is on the rail and is again certain to finish with a real flourish. The draw should allow him turn close enough to make his presence felt in the second half of the contest. Sober Glory is improving at a rate of knots and is a very obvious danger.

Just one hundredth of a second separated the pair on the clock last week with Bens Teddy going fractionally faster as he posted 29.63. The Pat Buckley trained star has been mixing in top company throughout his career and seems ready to take a big prize but nothing will be handed to him.

Sober Glory is far less experienced and he seems to be learning with each additional outing. Tonight’s contest will be his tenth career start and, with further improvement possible, it would be very unwise to ignore his claims. 

The Karol Ramsbottom trained son of Droopys Sydney flew into the third turn last week and stayed on strongly to score. If he were to get first run on Bens Teddy, he could take some catching.

Outside of the big two, the likes of Storys Law, Run Faster and Belindas Finn will bid to turn in front before making their bid for glory. None of the three can afford any mistakes given their draw. Storys Law is perhaps the most likely pace-setter but he is struggling to see out the 550yd trip.

Belindas Finn failed to contain Sober Glory last week and needs to get loose. Clearing Run Faster and Storys Law is no easy task and only a flying start will suffice for Belindas Finn. The same can be said for Run Faster.

That leaves just Ballyhimikin Rex. He has been installed the rank outsider of the field but has shown plenty of pace in recent outings. Despite his age and experience, he still seems to be improving and it would be no surprise if he were to make the frame.

The vote simply must go to one of the big two, however. Sober Glory is a really exciting prospect and seems certain to make a bold bid but Bens Teddy is running with real purpose at present and gets the nod to come through in the second half of the contest. Best of luck to all involved.