Reigning Premier League Riders’ Champion Simon Stead is backing Sheffield colleague Jason Garrity to challenge for the title at Owlerton tomorrow (5pm).
Garrity replaces Stead as the home rider in the field with Stead sitting out the rest of the season thanks to serious injuries sustained in April.
And he says Garrity will be ‘up there’ if he keeps himself together and stays calm under pressure.
“Jason rides Sheffield well, and obviously I’ve got to know him a lot more since he started riding for the club,” said Stead.
“You can’t help but like his self-belief and the way he rides - he’s very aggressive, maybe not technically the best rider around Sheffield, but his determination and self-belief makes up for what he might lack in being technically great.
“That’s not a dig at him, riding here is going to help him after being a Rye House rider for however long, and I think the way he’s taken to Sheffield in such a short space of time is credit to the talent that he is - and I really hope Sheffield can retain his services next year, he’s a fantastic prospect and he’s capable of being up there at the end of the meeting.
“Jason will be fighting for a Final place, he will want to win this meeting at all costs, and sometimes that can be his downfall.
“Sometimes you need to hang back where two points are better than none, but if he can keep his head and rides as well as he has been doing here, he’ll get into the semi-final and anything can happen from there.
“We saw him have a fantastic British Final that he can be very proud of, we know the big meetings don’t faze him, but we’ve also seen he can be a little hot-headed so he’s just got to keep it together, and if he does then he’ll be up there.”
Stead believes Brady Kurtz, a regular guest for Sheffield this season, is the man to catch.
Tomorrow’s meeting features the No.1 star from every Premier League club and is set to attract a bumper crowd.
Gates open at 3.30pm and there will be face painting for the children and a collection will be staged for the Speedway Riders’ Benevolent Fund.
Sheffield are also holding a prize draw on Sunday in aid of stricken Aussie star Darcy Ward with £300 as first prize. All money raised will go towards Ward’s care.
Admission is £20 adults, £15 concessions, £5 juniors with Under 11s free. A souvenir programme will be available for £4.
1 Ulrich Ostergaard (Peterborough), 2 Richard Lawson (Glasgow), 3 Nick Morris (Glasgow), 4 Rohan Tungate (Ipswich), 5 Steve Worrall (Newcastle), 6 Craig Cook (Edinburgh), 7 Ricky Wells (Workington), 8 Sam Masters (Edinburgh), 9 Matej Kus (Redcar), 10 Thomas Jorgensen (Berwick), 11 Brady Kurtz (Somerset), 12 Jason Garrity (Sheffield), 13 Josh Grajczonek (Somerset), 14 Alex Davies (Scunthorpe), 15 Kyle Newman (Plymouth), 16 Edward Kennett (Rye House).