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Greyhounds: Willie and Flight to star in Casey at Shelbourne.

LITTLE separates Smiling Man, Lickfinn Willie, Valentia Citrate and Satellite Flight at the head of the outright market in the John J Casey Open 575 and tonight the quartet will bid to claim a place in the EUR10,000 to-thewinner competition.

Lickfinn Willie and Smiling Man go head-to-head in the opening semi-final and it promises to be a competitive affair, both on the track and in the betting ring.

The pair met last week with Smiling Man coming out on top, but this time around the draw is more in favour of Lickfinn Willie.

For this reason, the latter is likely to start favourite and, if he happens to start as he did last week, may take some catching.

Smiling Man is the obvious threat, but others including A wesome Impact and Tomsheaboy must also be considered.

Lickfinn Willie gets the vote however. The Stephen Bourke-trained powerhouse is running extremely well at present and can lead from the turn to hold Smiling Man and Awesome Impact.

Satellite Flight will startfavourite to win the second eliminator after returning to winning ways in emphatic fashion last time, but he may not have things all his own way.

Of his rivals, Valentia Citrate and Plum Picker are most likely to cause him concern.

Valentia Citrate, a hugely talented half brother to Late Late Show, was the fastest opening round heat winner, but he failed to shine last time. His latest run can be ignored however and if returning to his best, could give Satellite Flight plenty to think about.

Plum Picker and Clydal Sandy seem likely to fight it out for the early lead, while Currency Risk is another that could figure to the turn. That said, Plum Picker has an ideal inside line and looks most likely to turn in control.

In the opening round the Marie Gilbert-trained tracker was caught late by Valentia Citrate, while seven days ago Satellite Flight came from a seemingly impossible position to collar him on the run home.

If those runs are anything to go by, Plum Picker is likely to be found wanting in the latter stages once again.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 22, 2005
Words:354
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