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RFS Puppy Derby - Wimbledon 480M - £10,000

KING KID caught the attention of everyone at the track and those watching on RPGTV with a fabulous performance in the last of six first round heats of the RFS Puppy Derby (480m) at Wimbledon on Thursday.

By beating the very talented Droopys Dresden by three and a half lengths, King Kid marked himself as the dog they may all have to beat to land the prestigious Category One competition.

King Kid is a member of the Droopys Scolari – Shaws Dilemma litter which has lit up this year’s competition. No less than five siblings from the December 2014 batch whelped by the 2009 William Hill Oaks winner have made it into the semi-finals of RFS Puppy Derby. Two of them – King Kid and King Diego – won their respective qualifiers.

So, let’s look at how the three semi-finals are likely to pan out.

The First Semi-Final

King Kid will be a warm favourite to land this but I wouldn’t entirely rule out Bridgehouse Boy. He looked useful when winning last Thursday and clearly likes Wimbledon having won two from four starts there. He might lead and Droopys Cairo may also be well placed early on. King Diego is another to consider, whilst Jaytee Samurai looks the type to improve. Ballymac Rian is yet to win from two starts but clearly has some ability. But they might all be running for the minor honours if King Kid can get a run along the far side where he has the type of speed that can settle a race in a matter of strides. The first two only qualify for Tuesday’s final.

The Draw

1 Jaytee Samurai

2 Droopys Cairo

3 Ballymac Rian (m)

4 Bridgehouse Boy (m)

5 King Kid (w)

6 King Diego (w)

 

 

The Second Semi-Final

Droopys Dresden hit the front early on and looked set to confirm odds-on favouritism in the first round on Thursday before being passed by the whirlwind run from King Kid. Whilst the nature of the competition means that any one of the runners could improve quite substantially, the likelihood is that none of them are at this stage of their careers as good as King Kid. Mindful of that, Droopys Dresden should prove far too good. Gable Tango finished two and a half lengths behind Droopys Dresden on Thursday when coming home in third and looks the best of the rest of this field. King Eden, a brother of King Kid, posted a decent 28.57sec over track and trip in September and is the pick for third, particularly from a favourable draw in trap six.

The Draw

1 Queen Charlotte

2 Graces Blueboy

3 Gable Tango (m)

4 Droopys Dresden (m)

5 Be Majestic (w)

6 King Eden (w)

 

The Third Semi-Final

Newinn Shadow has long been considered one of the leading contenders for this competition and he showed why with a smart success at the first round stage. Seamus Cahill’s dog has reached two Category One races in his short career and is poised to make a third from an excellent draw on the outside. He should lead early on and stay comfortably clear to score. Pat Buckley, who has won the last two Puppy Derbies with Lenson Sanchez and Droopys Roddick, has a couple of runners in the shaper of brother and sister Killinan Lee and Killinan Rosie. There doesn’t appear to be much better them but preference is for the former, a near four lengths first round winner, to take second place. Kooga Klammer, the Romford Puppy Cup winner, was knocked around at the first round stage and is better than that form suggests, while respect is due to Queen Julie and To Tone Eileen.

The Draw

1 Killinan Rosie

2 Queen Julie (m)

3 Kooga Klammer (m)

4 Killinan Lee (w)

5 To Tone Eileen (w)

6 Newinn Shadow (w)

 

WHAT CONNECTIONS HAD TO SAY

Paul Hennessy (trainer of Jaytee Samurai): “I was pleased to see him win at the first round stage. He is a big, green dog and is still learning his trade. I think he is nicely drawn in trap one in the semi-finals and should continue to improve. He is a good dog but maybe this is coming a little too soon for him. But he gives John (Turner) a runner in the competition that he has sponsored, so that has to be good.”

 

RFS Puppy Derby – First Round

Heat One

Bridgehouse Boy brought his UK record to two wins – both at Wimbledon - from four starts with an impressive display of early speed. Seamus Cahill’s dog led before the first bend and went on to win by four and a half lengths from Pat Buckley’s Killinan Rosie in 28.56sec (normal). King Eden was best of the rest for third. The winner is a May ’15 son of Droopys Jet.

Heat Two

Newinn Shadow, the ante-post favourite before the first round, provided Cahill with a quick-fire double by virtue of a slick front-running effort which saw him go clear before the first turn and stay on to score by four lengths in 28.59sec (normal). Queen Charlotte moved into second place at the first bend and was comfortably held by the winner, whilst Graces Blueboy gave Pat Buckley another qualifier when third.

Heat Three

Jaytee Samurai, owned by competition sponsor John Turner and trained by Paul Hennessy, became the first Irish-trained winner of the round by just shading Queen Julie into the first bend and then staying on well enough to defeat that rival by a shade over a length in 28.84sec (normal). Northern Puppy Derby finalist Be Majestic secured a place in the draw for Thursday’s semi-finals by taking third.

Heat Four

Killinan Lee gave Pat Buckley his first winner of the round when picking up early leader Droopys Cairo at the third bend to score by a shade under four lengths in 28.73sec (normal). The feature of the pre-race betting had been heavy support for Bentekes Bocko, whom Buckley also trains. The February ’15 Tullymurry Act whelp had been well placed at the first bend when seemingly clipping the hind-quarters of Droopys Cairo and spiralling into a somersault. Thankfully he completed the trip and appears fine. Kooga Klammer, the Romford Puppy Cup winner, was third.

Heat Five

King Diego gave Liz and Rab McNair a well-deserved winner after a series of frustrating efforts from their runners in the earlier heats, which had yielded a couple of seconds and a third place. King Diego picked up Ballymac Rian, the early leader at the third bend, to score by two and a half lengths in 28.85sec (normal). To Tone Eileen, who broke quickly from trap six, stayed on to take second from the tiring Ballymac Rian, who kept on well enough for third.

Heat Six

King Kid gave the McNairs their second winner of the round with sizzling effort that earned him the accolade of RPGTV Performance of the Week. There was so much to like about the way the December ’14 whelp gave a start and a beating to Droopys Dresden. The latter has twice won over track and trip in quick times and prior to the competition posted a very fast 28.28sec trial. All of which makes the success from King Kid seem more valuable. Droopys Dresden was second, three and a half lengths behind the winner, and Gable Tango, a further two and a half lengths back.