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7-2 Barnfield a belter of a bet to better Kieran; PRICEWISE.

Byline: Peter Meldrum

FASCINATING and exciting the early rounds of the Blue Square Derby may have been but I believe for the majority of punters it has also been one heck of an expensive competition.

Losses incurred so far by regular followers of Pricewise could, however, be wiped out in one fell stroke should Tyrur Laurel make it through to next week's final.

Advised at 25-1 ante-post, Paul Hennessey's dog took some time to warm to the task, but his latest two victories have restored his credibility as a contender.

He faces a stiff task in the first of the eliminators and will need to be at his best to survive. But granted a similar start as when winning on Tuesday, he should go round handily placed and his middle pace can see him in front by the third bend.

He can be backed at 100-30 with Hills and Totesport this morning and for those without any ante-post interest, that wouldn't be a bad price to take.

John McCririck caused something of a furore when insinuating all was not well with Barnfield On Air after his defeat on Tuesday. It is the nature of the man that he sometimes engages his mouth before his brain, but Big Mac is entitled to his opinion. At a time when we need all the friends we can muster, he remains one of our sport's staunchest allies.

Personally, I think Big Mac called it wrong! At his best Barnfield On Air, was one of the fastest dogs I ever saw, but he was never one of the bravest or cleverest of trackers. He took the easy way out on Tuesday, when checking back at the third rather than muscling through. He remains what he is, a bang front-runner and, although he may have lost that devastating early zip that made him so special, it would be a brave man that rules him out of contention tonight.

His race depends on clearing Tyrur Kieran, an eventuality I would rate about a 6-4 chance. As he can be backed at 7-2 with a number of firms this morning, he appears outstanding value.

All the Derby action plus the qualifying heats of the Derby Plate and Champion Hurdle, competitions, both also backed by Blue Square, will be shown on Sky Sports News (Channel 405).

Ninja Jamie failed to cope with a trap six draw when eliminated from the Derby, but has pulled out trap one for his Derby Plate qualifier and must be backed for next Saturday's decider. The 2-1 offered by Boylesports went late yesterday but even so the 7-4 that remains available for outright victory with a few firms continues to appeal.

Side Leg failed to inspire during the Derby, but he now has his draw for the first of the Derby Plate heats and looks something to bet on at the 5-1 being offered by Hills and Totesport.

Plough Lane, subject of sustained support in both the outright market and for his heat yesterday, looks a snip in the second qualifier and must be backed at Boylesports quote of 11-8 or the generally available 5-4.

Stevensonsrocket has been all the rage for the Champion Hurdle, Barry O'Sullivan's charge being backed into 8-1 from 12s with the Tote, while VC have slashed his odds into 6-1 after laying plenty of 8-1 yesterday. All of which suggests the 10-1 that remains available this morning will soon be under serious pressure


Barnfield On Air

9.40 1pt 7-2 general

Side Leg

7.40 1pt 5-1 Hills, totesport

Plough Lane

1pt 5-4 general (11-8 Boylesports)

Ninja Jamie

Derby Plate ante-post 1pt 7-4 general
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 24, 2008
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