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Dog Racing: Paddy's backers have 13-2 Me to fear in quarter-final; PRICEWISE.

Byline: Peter Meldrum

HAVING displayed his wares with a quiet extraordinary run on Saturday, Phoenix Paddy was yesterday all the rage with punters to win the Blue Square Derby.

The manner of his stunning 28.33sec win impressed all and sundry, so not surprisingly the Celtic raider was laid at 11-4 by on-course layer Tony Morris.

Betdirect and Totesport also reported plenty of interest in the 5-2 they were offering, both firms trimming the odds being offered into 9-4, which is now the best price available in the high street this morning.

The implied consequence of that activity is that, despite being chalked up as a red-hot 8-15 for the third of tonight's eliminators, Ian Reilly's super-dog will attract support.

There is no doubting Paddy is the fastest dog in the race but this is anything but a straight-forward task. Drawn between fast-starting duo Blakes World and Kanes Blue, the 'jolly' will need to be on his toes or he may find himself squeezed for room in the early stages.

If he is held up, then Fear Me may well be in position to take advantage, and he is the one dog favourite backers would not wish to see turning in front.

'Derby King' Charlie Lister is gradually bringing his Scottish Derby champion to a peak and, at the 13-2 chalked up by Paddy Power, makes each-way appeal.

Lister may also be on the mark in the second of the qualifiers where he fields Farloe Premier and Zigzag Dutchy. The latter has yet to trap at 'the Don' and is available to back at 5-1 with both Betdirect and Coral. It could pay to take a chance that he gets it right at the start tonight.

Slightly disappointing in the first round, and workmanlike in the second, Droopys Robinho was arguably the most improved performer in the competition when winning in a smart 28.61sec on Saturday.

Bred in Ireland, owned by Englishmen Laurence Blunt and Martin Wakefield, he is trained by that canny Scot, Fraser Black, and the United Nations' representative would be a popular winner provided, that is, you are not a bookmaker.

Blunt and Wakefield are renowned for their tilts at the betting ring and they will surely be joining me in lumping on at the 4-5 sponsors Blue Square, Hills and Ladbrokes offer about him winning the first of tonight's heats.

The final qualifier is difficult to call and not one I would care to have a bet on. Westmead Lord is once again set to cut out the running but he is struggling to see out the trip and something is likely to come and pick him off at the finish.

Sky Sports also covers four supporting races, kicking off at 7.40pm with a bitches-only race.

Cleenas Lady (7.40pm) was back to winning ways at Reading last week and looks good to follow up on that success; Glengar Leader (7.55pm) looks the safest option for the marathon; favourite backers should also collect with Meenala Cruiser (8.10pm) in the puppy, while Iceman Brutus (8.30pm) stands out on form in the stayers race.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 26, 2007
Previous Article:Dog Racing: Blue Square Derby. Third round post-race reactions.
Next Article:PICK OF THE DAY; Wimbledon BBC1 & 2, 12pm.

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