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Dave Clark's Weekend Preview
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Greyhounds: Dave Clark's weekend preview

The fiercely competitive £10,000 Winter Derby reaches the semi-final stage on Saturday night at Monmore.

Shado to put defending champion in the shade

Original antepost favourite Coolavanny Shado (7/2) has been usurped by first-round conqueror Hopes Paddington in the outright market, but the Patrick Janssens-trained star has fared well in the semi-final draw and is strongly fancied to get back to winning ways.

His trapping has proved his Achilles heel in the past, but this immensely talented tracker dropped a massive hint of his well-being in defeat last weekend.

Another flat-footed start and a bright exit from East Anglian Derby and Blue Riband champion Hopes Paddington was the difference, but the pace he showed in defeat was sensational.

This is a greyhound who has been sent off favourite all 13 times he has raced in the UK and has only ever tasted defeat when leaving the boxes poorly.

Defending Winter Derby champion Burnchurch Mick was a brilliant heat winner in a slick 28.29sec, but will edge inside from trap two opening up the track nicely for Coolavanny Shado, who races from three.

Any sort of start can enable the selection to zip to the corner and assert before clearing away down the back.

At a likely short price in the second of the three semis, he is banker material in Wolverhampton on Saturday night.

Inside line gives in-form Paddington the edge

Two-time Category One winner Hopes Paddington (3/1) followed up last month's Blue Riband success with another impressive front-running display last week, stopping the clock in 28.32sec.

Handled by 13-times champion trainer Mark Wallis, this classy all-rounder can land a fourth straight win on Saturday night in the opening Winter Derby semi-final and justify his position at the head of the outright market.

The inside draw will be crucial in this 480m contest, with main danger Hawkfield Ozark, who is now just 11/2 for the outright honours, housed on his outside in trap two and likely to offer up plenty of racing room.

Two weeks ago, in preparation for this event, Hawkfield Ozark raced from trap two and made all the running in fine style. However, he kept a straight line on the run to the bend and this line will offer up ample room for the selection to operate in.

The early lead is essential for Wallis' star, he has fine all-round speed, but the draw gives him a great chance of holding the blue jacket runner to the turn.

Exciting youngster Droopys Google was a big eye catcher in defeat last week and is expected to run a big race from trap three.

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Underrated Carols Legacy appeals in third semi

Seamus Cahill's Carols Legacy is a huge price at 66/1 to land the £10,000 Winter Derby at Monmore and is worthy of an each-way play heading into the semi-finals on Saturday night.

The East Anglian Derby finalist is very lightly raced with just 14 races under his belt on these shores, but he is a speedy dog who can cut loose out wide at a big price this weekend.

Belinda Green's Hesoneofourown made a remarkable debut last week clocking the fastest time of the night (28.25sec) and is a pup of huge potential.

Now in to 8/1 in the outright market he is open to plenty of improvement, but will need to flash out the boxes due to a tricky draw and is worth opposing at a likely skinny price.

Kennelmate Betsys Bullet moved off from trap three on route to winning her heat last weekend and now races from trap two and is expected to move off again.

Hesoneofourown lines up in trap three and could be set for a rough ride on the run to the corner unless he steps out lively.

With crowding down the middle likely, a chance should be taken on Carols Legacy in trap five after he caught the eye in defeat. He zipped to the corner after a flat-footed start and will be a big price on Saturday night.

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