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Greyhounds: Pricewise: 6-1 Nina can knock her rivals for six at Oxford.

Byline: Peter Meldrum

HAVING enjoyed a successful sojourn north to Glasgow on Saturday for the Scottish Derby final, the Sky Sports team returns south to Oxford tonight to cover the final of William Hill Pall Mall.

While the competition has undoubtedly lost much of its lustre following the withdrawal yesterday of ante-post favourite Fire Height Dan, the final itself now makes more appeal as a betting medium.

With the red-hot `jolly' out, P aramount Silver and Lisnafulla Flash now vie for favouritism, the former being marginally preferred by offcourse bookmakers, who make him a best-priced 15-8 for the pounds 8,000 decider.

The market leaders are, however, similarly paced to the corner and there is every chance that the pair could come together at the bend. If they do then expect sole wide seed Shelbourne Nina to be on hand to take advantage and she is worth a bet at 6-1 with sponsors Hills.

The first of the eight races live on Sky Sports 2 tonight is also over 450m and looks at the mercy of Nick Colton's local hope Woodbrook Becks.

The sole railer in the race, Woodbrook Becks has the added benefit of having exwide seed Oyster Flight in trap two and appears assured of a solo. Strong from half-way he makes plenty of appeal at the 9-4 being offered by both Coral and VCbet.

Wimbledon handler Ray Peacock went to the trouble of giving Baran Mercury a trial around the Sandy Lane track last week and that diligence can be rewarded by his charge taking the 595m contest at 8.00pm.

Impressive when winning a fair contest at Sittingbourne last month, Baran Mercury has the pace to lead up. If, as ex-pected, the red-vested runner leads them round the opening turn, Coral and VCbet will regret offering 2-1 this morning.

We backed Little Honcho off the boards when he last appeared in front of the Sky cameras at Walthamstow on Arc finals night, only to see him run well below-par.

Having subsequently won the Bedfordshire Cesarewitch in style, beating the useful Centour Para, he is without doubt better than his Stow form suggests and even at a shortish 4-5 must be backed for the stayers race at 8.35pm.

Next up is a marathon over 845m, but this is a race which sensible punters will give a wide berth to. Quite how one is to assess the chances of Irish raider Shelbourne Kay is beyond me and, rather than guess, I will take the easy option of passing.

One Point Seven is in good form at present and it would be no surprise to see him crack out and make all in the 9.10pm. I wouldn't put anyone off backing Seamus Cahill's charge, but personally I'm tempted to take a chance with the well-drawn Kings Road. Alan Final's dog won a topgrade event at Coventry last week, posting a quicker time than useful open-race winners Anville Dasher and Ballyhoe Patriot. Drawn for a solo inside middle-running Monifieth Flyer, Kings Road is worth support at the 8-1 offered by most firms.

Shelbourne Lyn has not raced since January and, under normal circumstances, would normally be sidestepped. However, she showed no signs of race-rustiness when scorching to a quick 26.63sec in a trial, a repeat of which should see her home tonight. Although short at 11-8, she does merit a small wager.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 5, 2005
Previous Article:Greyhounds: Light to shine bright at Don.
Next Article:Greyhounds: SITTINGBOURNE SUNDAY.

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