Sheffield Tigers: Stead backs Danny King for Riders' Championship
Sheffield Tigers boss Simon Stead reckons this year’s Riders’ Championship line-up is probably the strongest ever – but is still backing Tigers’ No.1 Danny King to be in the mix.
The showpiece event heads back to Owlerton Stadium on Sunday (5pm) and a bumper crowd is expected to turn out for the star-studded fixture.
Stead, who was crowned Champion of the event twice earlier this decade, reckons King has got what it takes to at least make the Final, but insists he’ll have to be at his very best.
“This year’s field is as strong and as tough as I’ve ever seen it,” Stead said.
“There are some riders who can ride Sheffield really well but some of those boys seem to have one or two bad rides – and that’s something you can’t afford to have in a meeting and in a line-up like this.
“Danny is the home favourite and a consistently good performer at Sheffield.
“Even though there have been one or two performances he’s been disappointed with, despite reaching double figures, Danny has been a fantastically, reliable No.1 for us this season – especially at Owlerton.
“He can be a really tough cookie to beat and if he can get out in front and get some fresh air then he’s going to be very hard to reel in.
“He’d love to win it for the home supporters and naturally I don’t expect him to be too far away.
“For me Sam Masters has to start the evening as one of, if not the favourite for the competition.
“Just a few weeks ago, Sam delivered one of the most impressive visiting displays of the season, if not of all time here at Owlerton for Edinburgh.
“He really was unbelievable that day and that should give him plenty of belief coming into this one.
“I’ve got some fantastic memories of racing against Sam, especially in that unforgettable final Premier League Riders’ Championship I did, and for me he’s the one to beat.”