Wimbledon Sky greyhound preview
Tuesday night sees the williamhill.com Puppy Derby from Wimbledon, Ian Magor previews the big race along with all the others from the live Sky card.
7.40 - williamhill.com Betting (for pups)
Jolly Rumble has got off to a promising start since coming over to Nick Colton from Ireland, with a top-grade Oxford win followed up by a narrow defeat in a decent Puppy open there on Thursday. Early pace has appeared to be his forte so far and Wimbledon's 480m may well find him out here. That will not be the case for Droopys Master. He has mixed it with the best of his generation prior to tonight, and a drop in class allied to what I think will be a far more suitable draw near the fence, make him one of the more confident selections on tonight's card.
8.00 - williamhill.com Poker Sprint
As a general principle in life I do believe it pays to look beyond the obvious. However, Jimmy Lollie made it seven wins in a row at Hove last week - amazingly managing to look as if he is still improving in the process - and during that time I have often tried to make a case for something else in the race. That is not going to happen tonight, even though I think Droopys Pique has huge potential and Jolly Poacher has shown massive pace on several occasions and will appreciate wearing the red vest here.
Jimmy will be a short price tonight but Seamus Cahill's Sprinting Superstar - that's got to become a terrace chant - has ran 58 times over the last year and won on 40 occasions. He's the Greyhound of the Year for me and actually represents outstanding value tonight.
8.15 - mobile.williamhill.com new mobile app Hurdles
It has been a terrible year for the hurdling division so far. Since the sad demise of Platinum Lancelot, we have also seen the loss of Glenwood Dream and Toomaline Jack. Men Of Hope was another dog who carried high hopes, before suffering an injury in the Champion Hurdle and he is on the comeback trail tonight. He will probably need the run and on the evidence of last week at Hove, a greater level of race-sharpness will be necessary to defeat Paul Donovan's Junior Mac. The ground was conducive to fast times on the south coast last week but Junior broke a respectable long-standing record with ease and the slightly shorter trip here is even more in his favour. He is the third favourite on tonight's card who represents very good value.
8.35 - williamhill.com Bingo Stayers
It's really good to see Lorrys Options back on the track after he broke down horribly at Crayford in February when attempting to defend his Golden Jacket title. He has trialled very well in preparation for this but could have fared better in the draw than outside fast-starting Corrig Vieri. A decent case could be made for any of the six runners and I could have changed my mind three times by the time anyone reads this, but right now I am just favouring He Went Whoosh as a fairly drawn, in-form dog.
8.50 - mobile.williamhill.com bet on the move
Nobody likes Swindon.
Sorry, that sentence should have read "Nobody likes Swindon as much as Westmead Osprey"! He has won his last two races there and has been beaten only once in ten visits, and that was in the final of the Arc. His Plough Lane record does not make for such good reading with no wins in six visits and three reverses as a favourite.
As probable favourite here, I definitely want to oppose him but am not certain what to put up as the selection. Adageo has been finding the six-bend trip a fraction too far during the last few weeks at Romford but he had the best month of his short career around here in May when reaching the final of the Derby. The striped jacket is perfect and he receives a narrow vote.
9.10 - williamhill.com Roulette (for bitches)
Special Liberty is another dog who often reserves her best performances for Wimbledon and she has been an Oaks semi-finalist here for the last two years. She will be difficult to beat if she can hold her pitch on the fence but both Pine Isle and Droopys Start gave good accounts of themselves in a Hove final last week, with the latter staying on best for the prize, and they will be exerting maximum pressure throughout. It won't be an easy test for her but she is just my preference to come through it.
9.25 - williamhill.com Vegas Games Marathon
I would never sign up with the statistical fools who make up the "never bet odds-on brigade" and think the best value bets on the card are Jimmy Lollie in the sprint and Taylors Riviera here. Ted Soppitt's fantastic bitch has only ever been beaten by Midway Skipper over eight bends, she has a 100% record in her six visits for Wimbledon marathons, and with her arch-rival not making the trip tonight she represents a much shorter price than she will trade here.
Those looking to field against her will argue that the draw presents her with problems but she dealt with a draw in four with no difficulties whatsoever when she was last here. If she hadn't had Midway Skipper chopping her off throughout last week's Hove race, she would have beaten tonight's rivals Bubbly Eagle and Droopys Song much further than she did and I would expect more of a threat to come from Greedy Bridie who has a great draw and comes here on the back of running an absolute blinder to almost collar Droopys Arshavin on the line at Sheffield last week.
9.45 - williamhill.com Puppy Derby Final
The semi-final last week in which Blonde Snapper and Rayvin Giovanni qualified and put out hot ante-post favourite, Droopys Oscar in the process, was definitely one of the best puppy events of the season so far. Make no mistake though, despite the high standard of that race, this is far from a match and I can see Taylors Riviera presenting a very potent threat on the night, and in time I would not be surprised at all to see Blonde Ross right up there with them.
Blonde Snapper made one of his best exits yet on Friday, whereas Giovanni got himself into all sorts of trouble at the start and going into the turn and he did well to go into the second handy. Mark Wallis' likeable pup looked in no danger from that point, utilising his massive pace from the second to fourth bends to secure an easy victory. If Giovanni breaks better tonight I would expect him to lead up the three dogs inside him and it could then be a different outcome. However, all these pups are improving extremely quickly and I am more confident of enjoying the race as a spectacle than of making money from it.