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RPGTV Henlow Derby Semi Finals report- Henlow 460m - £10,000


KING ELVIS, already a winner this year of the Produce Stakes (Swindon) and Trafalgar Cup (Monmore), roared into the final of the RPGTV Henlow Derby with a fastest-of-the-night 27.11sec - less than a length off the 460m clock - in winning the third semi-final of the £10,000-to-the-winner event at the Bedfordshire track on Sunday.


Trained by Liz McNair for owners - and breeders - the KSS Syndicate, the British-bred son of Tullymurry Act and the McNairs’ former top-class sprinter Skate On broke well and paced up (4.66sec split) to lead the charge from Seamus Cahill’s duo of Droopys Gold and Crossfield Giles, and kept up the pace throughout to score by three and three-quarter lengths.


Droopys Gold, the Kent Derby (Central Park) and Puppy Classic (Nottingham) third, denied his kennelmate a place in Sunday’s final by sticking on the stronger to chase home the winner, whose time was six spots off the track record of 27.05sec set by the Richard Devenish-trained Mays King in June 2014.


Forest Chunk (27.24sec) led home Ballyregan Jimmy for a one-two for Kevin Hutton in the first semi-final to complete a fantastic weekend for the Towcester trainer, who was at Shelbourne Park on Saturday to see the bitch he owns, Forest Natalee, grab Classic gold in the Sporting Press Irish Oaks Final for trainer Martin Lanney.


Hutton was at the Dublin venue to collect the trophy and enjoyed being “the other side of the fence” as an owner. He said: “Martin did a fantastic job and it was nice to watch from the other side as an owner - Martin handled all the pressure well! Then to make the trip back via Holyhead and see the dogs on RPGTV do the business at Henlow, well that was special too.


“I’m thrilled with Chunk. I’ve always rated him highly and thought he was capable of a Cat One win - he ran well at Monmore in the Gold Cup - but he’s struggled for consistency at the traps. I’m hoping that’s behind now though and he’s in terrific order today. In truth, we’d have liked to have been drawn inside Savana Donie in the final, but it is what it is.


“He still has a big chance if breaking, and to have two runners in the major final is fantastic. I’m delighted for Jimmy - he's done very well to make the final of such a big race. It’s hard to see him winning I suppose, but great to be involved with him. We had an issue with a wrist after the heats, but sorted that with treatment and he’s also in good form today.”


The second semi saw local success as the Jason Bloomfield-trained Savana Donie repeated his brilliant first-round win as he again trapped smartly and paced up (4.68sec split) to score readily from trackmate Idle Talker (Carol Grasso) by four lengths in 27.27sec, to give Henlow two chances in the Category One decider next weekend.


Sunday’s final: 1 Savana Donie, 2 Forest Chunk, 3 Droopys Gold, 4 King Elvis (m), 5 Ballyregan Jimmy (m), 6 Idle Talker (m).