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RPGTV Derby - Henlow 460m - £10,000


KING ELVIS landed his third major title of 2017 when making all the running for an impressive RPGTV Derby Final victory at Henlow - on a memorable night for the husband and wife team of Rab and trainer Liz McNair.


Having seen King Elvis’s litter sister Queen Anna (16.23sec) set a new track record in a supporting sprint contest - three spots inside another McNair flyer Droopys Bocelli’s previous best - the October 15 son of Tullymurry Act and Skate On completed a fantastic family double.


Just out of puppy status, a period in which he won Swindon’s Produce Stakes and Monmore’s Trafalgar Cup, British-bred King Elvis trapped smartly, was soon in front and, cutting the bend across the pacing-up Savana Donie, who was crowded, was away and out of sight.


Incredibly, after crossing the line four lengths clear of local handler Carol Grasso’s Idle Talker, King Elvis stopped the clock in 27.11sec (+10), the same time as he clocked when setting the event’s standard in the semi-finals the previous week, six spots off Mays King’s previous best.


Savana Donie, trained by another Henlow handler in Jason Bloomfield for track boss Kevin Boothby, finished third - and Rab McNair paid tribute to the work being done at the Bedfordshire track as Boothby himself presented the trophy and cheque for £10,000 to the McNairs.


“Kevin has done a fantastic job here,” said McNair. “It’s a great track which treats people well. Us trainers love coming here - it might be one of the smaller tracks but it could teach other so-called bigger tracks a lesson. The steak is the best around!


“Kevin had a real chance to win the competition with Donie. He’s a dog I’ve a lot of time for, as I have for all the finalists - it was a top final, probably the best they've had at Henlow. Elvis had to be at his best to beat them, but just as in the semi-finals he’s shown again he's a proper dog.


“His one drawback is a tendency to get fresh in the boxes. That generally comes after a break, and can see him miss the start, be if he comes away level he’s got so much speed and to make it 14 wins from just 20 starts is a measure of the dog.”


The Servoca Nursing British Bred Derby at Towcester will be King Elvis’s next target and the Kent-based team will use the competition, and trial before the event, to see how the two-year-old handles the Northamptonshire venue - and the 500m distance.


“We’ve always felt 500m would test his stamina,” said McNair of the KSS Syndicate-owned runner, “but his form here has been good, and he’s stayed on well over this 460m. He’s pulled away from some strong dogs, so we’ve got to be hopeful. What we do know is this litter has lots of talent.”


Bred by Brendan Keogh, who heads up the owning KSS Syndicate, King Elvis and his littermates were reared by the McNairs at their Ashford base and their brood bitches Skate On and Wee Tiger Tots have replicated their success on the track in the breeding paddocks.


“They’ve done great, and this has been a good night for Skate On’s litter with Elvis and Anna. Thanks to Keith Allsop and Tullymurry Act, who’s proved a great sire. Elvis was the only dog in the litter - and he’s leading the way, although the girls aren't doing too bad either!”