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Rocky could KO the favourite.

Byline: Jonathan Kay

THE three most important things when assessing greyhound racing are the draw, the draw and the draw so it is nigh on impossible to recommend antepost favourite Eye Onthe Storm from trap five in heat 10 at 10.14 as the Greyhound Derby gets under way at Wimbledon tonight.

Of course he can win, he is a brilliant greyhound and used to overcoming adversity, but punting at odds-on in such circumstances is not to be recommended and Barnfield Rocky looks a very viable proposition against him given his draw in one and the superb form of the Carly Philpott team.

Philpott could also be on the mark earlier courtesy of Shams Star, who is capable of making light of an alien draw in one to land the sixth heat at 9.09 in front-running style, while Derby king Charlie Lister can secure a brace of his own through victories for Bandicoot Tipoki (9.25) and Yahoo Jamie (9.42).

The action starts with what could boil down to a match between Eye Eye Pickle and Lenson Bolt in the opening heat at 7.46 with the last-named marginally preferred.

A one-time brief track record holder over the old 460m trip here, Tony Collett's dog has perhaps not gone on to hit the heights expected of him and came off distinctly second best when meeting his big rival in the Stan James Blue Riband heats at Hall Green, but there is every chance of him getting first run here.

Speculative choices at decent prices are Bead The Biscuit (8.02), Stans Printer (8.18) and Blue Apples Boy (8.34), but the bet of the night looks to come in the finale at 10.30 where Seamus Cahill's Fear The Blue (pictured) makes maximum appeal.

He is brilliantly drawn outside pedestrian Aero Blackjack whereas favourite Westmead Carl has an awful berth in three to overcome.

Droopys Joe is likely to have to do things the hard way in heat nine at 9.58, but Ted Soppitt's dog is used to that and he should bob and weave his way through to prove strongest when it matters.

It would be no surprise to see him well supported today so the morning 11-8 is definitely for consideration.

Whatever the later fate of their leading Derby contender Eye Onthe Storm, trainer Mark Wallis and owner John Keefe should be on the mark in heat five at 8.51 where Eye On the Flash can capitalize on a cracking inside draw.

He had been in cracking form prior to a couple of recent setbacks, but can regain the winning thread if starting well.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 29, 2010
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