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

KING EDEN became the biggest priced winner of the RFS Puppy Derby since the turn of Millennium when scoring at 20-1 in the 480-metre Wimbledon showpiece on Tuesday evening.

Only Bringinthemoney, who won for the late Pat Thompson in 2001, started at bigger odds in recent times and before than we must go back to Purdys Pursuit, who won at 20-1 for Phil Rees Jnr. in 1978, to match King Eden’s odds.

But there was nothing lucky about the success of the dog trained by Rab and Liz McNair for the KSS Syndicate as he made all to defeat his highly-rated litter brother King Kid, the 4-6 favourite, in 28.46sec (normal).

Both are from a highly-promising December 2014 batch by Droopys Scolari – Shaws Dilemma, that seem to have an affinity with Wimbledon, judged on the way they have performed there thus far.

That is not such a big surprise given that Shaws Dilemma won 10 from 21 open races at Plough Lane, a haul that included the 2009 Oaks.

King Eden started his career at Wimbledon with Bernie Doyle and made something of an inauspicious racing debut when he was beaten a distance in a top-grade race over four-bends back in June.

He has been something of a slow burner since but Tuesday’s success came on the back of a similar front-running and three lengths semi-final victory and it might be that the dog named after the McNair’s brilliant Eden The Kid is finally finding his true form.

He left nothing to chance in the final with a slick start (04.78sec sectional) that moved him ahead of the pack before the first bend, and a burst of back straight speed that put the £10,000 first prize beyond the reach of his opponents.

At the line, King Eden (trap five) had four lengths to spare over King Kid (trap six). Kooga Klammer (trap three), the Romford Puppy Cup winner, who was a further length back in third.

King Kid’s chance evaporated firstly at the traps, and then on the run-up. He trapped moderately – slower than he has during a hitherto unbeaten run through the competition – and cut across to the rails on the dash to the turn. In fact, he bounced off the rails at the first bend and lost crucial ground.

Kooga Klammer, who was crowded by King Kid crossing to the inside early, ran a big race in third – whilst the others Bridgehouse Boy (trap one), Droopys Dresden (trap two) and Killinan Lee (trap four) were unable to get in a blow after first bend trouble.

Killinan Lee is trained by Pat Buckley who was attempting to emulate Paddy Milligan and Jack Harvey, both of whom won the Puppy Derby on three consecutive years. The County Tipperary-based Buckley won with Droopys Sanchez (2014) and Droopys Roddick (2015).


Liz McNair (trainer of King Eden): “I’m really surprised at his price (20-1). He has been consistent and did everything right on the night.”

Rab McNair (assistant trainer to wife Liz): “I know everybody was expecting the six dog (to win) but this wee dog can run a bit. It is fantastic to get first and second in the race. I’m so pleased for Shaws Dilemma (mother of the winner and runner-up). She was a great bitch and she is now becoming a great dam. It’s the last Puppy Derby at Wimbledon and we’ve got it! He’ll next go to Towcester for the British Bred Derby.”

Brendan Keogh (of KSS Syndicate, owners of the winner): “I’ve always liked King Eden and thought he had a chance. He has more early than King Kid. He hadn’t come out of the boxes in the first two round but tonight he showed just what he can do. You had to fancy King Kid if he got the run – but that didn’t happen for him this evening. It’s brilliant that we got the first and second in the final. We are breeding them ourselves and putting a lot of money into that. It’s nice when it pays off, and it saves us buying them.”