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Dog Racing: A bit of Totti at 12-1 should not be missed.

Byline: Peter Meldrum Pricewise

WITH pounds 20,000 on offer to the winner, the Reading Masters that gets under way at the Berkshire track tonight is one of greyhound racing's most coveted prizes.

The Category One annual, which can be viewed via a webcast on internet site 24dogs.com, sees 72 greyhounds line up for tonight's 12 first-round heats over the 465-metre course, and that would appear a daunting puzzle to work out for ante-post backers.

In reality, however, only a handful of the line-up have genuine aspirations of winning and it is quite surprising bookmakers are offering as much as 6-1 the field.

Blonde Dino heads the market, and given his relatively straightforward task in heat six John Mullins' charge rates a very worthy favourite.

The classy Fear Haribo will also have his supporters at the 7-1 being offered by Bet365, but the outstanding value at this stage has to be the 12-1 the same firm, plus Blue Square, Paddy Power and VCbet, offer about Vipar Totti.

Beaten favourite in the Arc final at Walthamstow earlier in the season, Alison Ingram's dog has suffered his fair share of problems and as a consequence has been very lightly raced. Recent efforts, however, namely a 28.45sec win at the Stow and a smart 28.08sec victory in a Masters Trial Stakes, indicate that he is now very much back to his best. Blessed with a useful turn of early pace, he should soon be dictating matters in the second of tonight's qualifiers and the anticipated all-the-way success will see his long-odds contract considerably.

But for a horrendous draw in the last of the heats I would have no hesitation in backing Bob Gilling's Brickfield Class at the 25-1 offered by Totepsort.

The value of home form should never be underestimated, and Gilling's dog has won no fewer than 20 of his 33 open-races over the 465m course.

However, never before has he been asked to race from as wide a berth as he is tonight, and with the early paced Mulcair Jo on his immediate outer he will need a slice of luck to survive.

Those looking to bet one of the outsiders could do worse than get to the track for the prices of on-course layer Steve Harris, who is 200-1 or more about 24 of tonight's runners.

BETTING

(Steve Harris): 4 Blonde Dino 5 Cleenas Lady, Fear Haribo 8 Vipar Totti 14 Brickfield Class 16 Barnfield Joe 2 0 Blonde Jeannie 2 5 Coyote Justine, Milldean Flash 33 Bower Turbo, Cagey Luke, Calzaghe Joe, Dark Hondo, Moaning Zizou, Quivers Punch 50 Droopys Captain, Hes On Fire, Kil-graney Agassi, Milldean Buster, Moaning Pacey, Mulcair Jo, Pagoda Tarbert, Rooster Nosey, Rough Gerrard, Too Risky, Who Needs Wings 66 bar

CAPTION(S):

Vipar Totti look top value to take the Masters title
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 16, 2007
Words:471
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