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British Breeders Stakes - Nottingham 500m - £8,000

LIZ MCNAIR was at the double as the British Breeders Stakes kicked off at Nottingham on Monday, the Kent-based handler sending out both King Kid (pictured above at Towcester during the Derby) and Queen Dawn to make all in their respective qualifiers of the British-bred only event over 500m at the Colwick Park venue.


King Kid was the first to go for the McNairs in heat four, as the December 2014 son of Droopys Scolari and Shaws Dilemma continued his fine run of form as he skipped clear to justify favouritism by four and three-quarter lengths in 30.04sec (+20).


The two-year-old ran-up to Bockos Alfie in the Kent Derby final at Central Park last week, and has also finished runner-up in both the Derby Plate and last year’s Puppy Derby (to litter brother King Eden), as well as reaching the Sussex Cup final. He remains a terrific competitor dog.


The younger Queen Dawn also raced clear early in her heat six and the fellow home-bred daughter of Leamaneigh Turbo and Wee Tiger Tots was never headed as the puppy crossed the line a length and a quarter clear of Salacres David in 30.20sec.


Reflecting on the winners and third-placed King Eden and Queen Paloma, but also the disappointment of seeing highly-touted King Turbo crowded out of the competition in heat, Rab McNair, husband and assistant of trainer Liz, said: 


“We entered five and have four into the semis, but Turbo was disappointing. I’m not sure what happened, he just didn’t seem to produce anything and we’ll have him checked out - but that wasn’t his running.


“King Kid was great, he’s running really well and never lets us down. Eden was all over the place but thankfully he qualified, and can do better, but we were delighted with Queen Dawn. She just kept pulling in front and is a really nice young bitch.


“They all need time, and gradually come themselves and mature,” added McNair, who paid tribute to his staff after a recent break for him and wife Liz. “We took five days off between events, went back up to Scotland, and just had a break. It’s a busy time of the year from now on!


“Overall it hasn’t been a bad event for us. We had Queen Asia in the final last year. She’s a half sister of King Kid and Eden, and Eden The Kid won it for us two years ago. So we’re hopeful going into the semis, but you always need that slice of luck.”


The honour of fastest-of-the-night went to the Elaine Parker-trained Candelight Fire as the prolific winning Sheffield raider, the Harry Holmes Memorial champion, bolted home to stop the clock in 30.03sec from Rampur Gunner and another McNair qualifier in Queen Paloma.


The British Breeders Stakes heats kicked off with another victory for Phillip Simmonds’ Castell Henry, a recent Champion Stakes finalist, who powered through at the fourth turn to score from Romeo Desperado in 30.23sec.


The David Mullins-trained home-bred Rushbrook Rocco shot clear to win heat two in 30.29sec, while Hove trainer Doreen Walsh struck with Windy Santos in heat three in 30.38sec, the pair joining their rivals in Monday’s semi-finals of an event won last year by John Mullins’ Badabing.


The final of the Nottingham British Breeders Stakes takes place live on Sky Sports on Tuesday, October 24, and will be supported by a host of opens - and possible entries there were trialled before racing on Monday night.



These included Charlie Lister’s Yorkshire St Leger first and third, Keplar Nine (30.35sec, 500m) and Swift Hansel (18.06sec, 305m), plus Laurence Tuffin’s Queen Mother Cup winner Pointless Pearl (30.42sec, 500m).