After a thrilling two weeks of heats and semi-finals, the six-dog showpiece takes place at the track tonight and appears almost impossible to call.
Burnchurch Mick, trained by Hove’s Richard Rees, could spectacularly clinch the prestigious trophy for the second year running – but will have to emerge from a superb field to achieve that feat.
Hesoneofourown and Betsys Bullet (both Belinda Green), Hopes Paddington (Mark Wallis), and Hawkfield Ozark and Coolavanny Shado (both Patrick Janssens) are the other finalists, and they all have a realistic chance of emerging victorious.
Monmore racing manager Tony Williamson said: “It’s all set up to be a brilliant final after some fantastic racing to get to this point.
“The semi-finals were pretty much run to form.
“The battle of Hopes Paddington and Hawkfield Ozark last weekend was a brilliant head-to head between two super-fast greyhounds who both wanted to win.
“No quarter was asked or given in that race, but then again you would have to say Coolavanny Shado edging out Burnchurch Mick in their semi was also a stormer.
“The winning times were identical for the first and second semis, and then just one spot slower was Hesoneofourown in what was a great third semi for Belinda Green, sending out kennelmates to finish first and second.
“It’s fair to say we have six top-class runners going for gold tonight.”
Tonight’s card at Monmore will also see the £20,000 Premier Greyhound Racing Puppy Derby get under way with six heats taking place.
Category Three competition, the Ladbrokes Dual Distance Stayers will also feature on a full meeting of Opens.
Stadium manager Paul Mason added: “It’s a night we’ve all been looking forward to.
“The final of the Ladbrokes Winter Derby should be a brilliant race and lots more top-quality racing will be on show as the Puppy Derby begins.
“It’s a great time in the calendar for greyhound racing enthusiasts and we’d also encourage anybody who hasn’t been to the track before, or perhaps for a while, to come along and see what it’s all about.”