She's Gifted clocked second fastest heat time and the quickest "run home'' time but trainer Debbie Coleman concedes her greyhound will need to "nail'' the start if she is to win tonight's Group 2 Woy Woy Poultry Gold Cup final at Gosford.
In last week's heats the Jodie Lagogiane-trained Beast Unleashed covered the 515m in an unprecedented 28.90s and recorded a blistering first "split'' of 4.25s, while She's Gifted stopped the clock at 29.01s and posted an initial sectional time of 4.35s.
"She's Gifted's run home was better than Beast Unleashed's figures but the draw has not done her any favours,'' Coleman said.
"I would not swap She's Gifted for any other greyhound in the world, let alone in this race, but box positions can always play a big role in major finals.
"If She's Gifted comes out fast, which she is capable of doing, and she is in front of Beast Unleashed at the first turn, she will be hard to beat.''
A Victorian syndicate bought She's Gifted for a mind-boggling $55,000 last year after she had won a few small NSW races, but if she takes out tonight's $40,000 to the winner Gosford event she will lift her earnings to over $195,000 - a profit for the brave new owners of $140,000.
Even Jodie Lagogiane, who trains fastest qualifier Beast Unleashed, admits her dog will need to be ahead of She's Gifted at the first corner.
"My dog is very quick but he must be in front of She's Gifted in the early stages because I don't think there is any way in the world he would be able to run her down,'' Lagogiane said.
The prized rails draw has gone to Who's Got Class, trained in Victoria by Graeme Jose.
"He turned four in August so is the veteran of the field,'' Jose said.
"The only box he could win from is box one because he won't leave the rails, he is a mad fencer.
"I would be happy if he can run a place because realistically he is not up to some of these dogs, but if he can be within a length of the lead at the first corner and there is scrimmaging he might just pinch the race.
"Who's Got Class had never seen Gosford before the heats and he surprised me when he finished a great second, from box six, to Cosmic Bonus, which put him into the final.''
Jose trained the 2008 National Distance Championship winner Mantra Lad and it was during one of that dog's big race campaigns in Western Australia that he met the owner of Who's Got Class.
"Who's Got Class began his career in WA but after winning 14 races there he was beaten in two dozen starts in Perth so the owner asked me to take him,'' Jose said.
"The dog was getting a bit old but because he had broken 30s in three of his wins over 520m at Perth's Cannington track I decided to give him a go and here he is in a Group 2 final!''
Cosmic Bonus, the 2018 Woy Woy Poultry Gold Cup winner, has drawn superbly in his quest to become the first to win back-to-back Gosford finals.
"Box seven is great, only box eight would be better,'' Cosmic Bonus' trainer Evelyn Harris said.
"Cosmic Bonus won last year's Cup in 29.48s and this time around clocked 29.16s in his heat win from box two, but he has drawn more suitably in the final because he loves being boxed out wide.
"I won a Grafton Cup final and a Bull & Barley Cup at Wentworth Park with his grandmother All Display but Cosmic Bonus is even better than her.''
Cosmic Bonus (pictured winning the Masters Meteor) turned four last month and only Who's Got Class is older among the Cup finalists, although Cosmic Bonus has by far the better strike rate.
He has won 41 of his 85 races while his Victorian rival has won 18 from 90 appearances.