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Coral Champion Stakes - Romford 575m - £10,000


STARRING STORM, also a finalist in the recent Sussex Cup at Hove, raced to the fastest semi-final win in Friday’s Coral Champion Stakes at Romford and now has the opportunity to go one better in the event in Wednesday’s live-on-Sky Sports final, having been edged out by Ascot Woodie last year.


Trained by Seamus Cahill, for a team of owners known as the Honest But Poor Syndicate - Tim Lawrence, Lee Hicks, Martin Poet, Dave Lock, Tom Holly and John Shannon - the three-year-old trapped smartly in the third semi on Friday and made every post a winner to clock a standard-setting 35.07sec (+20) for the 575m trip and has drawn trap one in the decider.


“He’s the only railer in the field so that must be to his advantage,” said winning trainer Cahill. “You’d perhaps say he’s best from two or three but this draw must help him.”


Cahill continued; “There’s no question Ro9mford brings out the best in him. He lost in a photo last year in this competition and I’d say he’s even better this time around.”


“He’s a strong dog, but a fast one; you only have to look at his times and hopefully he runs well for the kennel and also his owners. I’d like to mention one of them especially; Tom Holly. He hasn’t been well but has had major surgery and is progressing well. He’ll not be at Romford on Wednesday but knowing Tom he’ll be watching.”


The first semi was won by the Paul Young-trained Bubbly Torpedo who trapped well, racing to a 13.62sec split before stopping the clock in 35.20sec, to raise the prospect of a big Romford double having won last year’s Essex Vase over the same C&D when edging out Roswell Romanov.


That rival gained his revenge over Bubbly Torpedo in this year’s Coronation Cup Final, but the local runner has also finished second in the Summer Cup over Romford’s 575m, as well as reaching the final of Harlow’s Gold Cup earlier this year behind Rubys Razzle.


Murrys Act finished runner-up to Bubbly Torpedo in their qualifier to reach another major final himself, having finished fourth in the English Derby at Towcester and won the Juvenile at Central Park. Trained by Kevin Boon, his kennel is also in form given Shaneboy Freddie’s Sussex Cup triumph earlier this month.


Castell Henry (35.11sec) again impressed in the second semi-final as the Philip Simmonds-trained runner made all to lead home another local hope in Dave Mullins’s Stand Alone by three-and-a-half lengths to maintain his unbeaten record over the trip having won a maiden 575m event last month.


Stand Alone’s second here means that the Mullins camp have two representatives in the Champion Stakes final given Piemans Jet qualified behind Starring Storm in the third semi, having let to the third bend before being passed by the eventual winner.


Wednesday’s live-on-Sky Sports final: 1 Starring Storm, 2 Bubbly Torpedo (m), 3 Stand Alone (m), 4 Piemans Jet (m), 5 Castell Henry (m), 6 Murrys Act (w).