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IT WAS third time lucky for giant schnauzer Philippe who tonight scooped the Best in Show award at Crufts 2008.
The 'best in show' category is of course the centrepiece of the night, the moment when the lights dim, the Royal Marines sound their trumpets, and the makeshift floorboards suddenly vibrate as the crowd stampede back from the bar The six finalists, ranging from Phil the Giant Schnauzer to Astro the shoe-sized Chihauhau, were jauntily trotted out by their proud owners.
The other group winners included a beagle called Harry, a smooth coat Chihuahua called Astro, Marnie a Japanese Shiba Inu, Rosco an English Setter, Phil the giant Schnauzer and India, a Belgian Shepherd dog.
The hairy Giant Schnauzer hound named Rabbie, after the Scots bard, set off smoke alarms at his owner's despatch firm by sitting too close to an electric heater.
But it was Emma and her giant schnauzer Blue who took home the Career Start title for newcomers and the coveted People's Choice award, which is voted for by the public.
Despite the controversy, the four-day show is back, culminating on Sunday with the Best In Show competition, won last year by giant Schnauzer Philip.
The first of his breed to be recruited by a police force in this country, the sight of the Russian Terrier puppy - a cross between a Rottweiler and a Giant Schnauzer - will be enough to strike fear into the hearts of criminals.