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Servoca Nursing & Care British Bred Derby - Towcester 500m - £7,500

LIZ McNAIR was at the double as the Servoca Nursing & Care British Bred Derby reached the semi-final stage at Towcester on Tuesday - with the Kent-based handler weighing in with King Turbo and King Elvis to give her a strong hand in the £7,500-to-the-winner final which forms part of a fantastic live-on-Sky Sports card at the Northamptonshire venue next week.


King Turbo, like King Elvis a home-bred at the trainer’s Ashford base, set the ball rolling for Liz and husband Rab after producing a stunning burst of pace off the second bend to collar recent British Breeders Stakes winner Candlelight Fire (Elaine Parker) and go on to score by two and a half lengths from that rival in 29.44sec. A great effort from the Brendan Keogh-bred winner, the runner-up by qualifying raises the prospect of a famous double after his Nottingham win last month.


King Elvis (pictured above on his way to winning the Henlow Derby) clocked the fastest time of the three semi-final winners when scoring in 29.36sec after again leading the charge and stayed on more strongly than in the heats to win from Jim Hayton’s Lowgate Belatrix. The latter kept on well to edge McNair’s King Eden for second and now gives Hayton and Janneke De Baat a chance of back-to-back British Bred Derby wins after Russanda Rubin’s win 12 months ago.


Barry Denby’s Alfies Prince finished fast for the spoils in the third semi-final as both he and Thameside Bound (Richard Devenish) caught longtime leader Makos Boy. The eventual winner joined issue at the fourth bend and was always holding his rivals in front when stopping the clock in 29.56sec for a three-quarters of a length victory over Thameside Bound. Both now line-up in Wednesday’s decider.


As well as the British Bred Derby semis, Towcester’s card included heats of the Ballymac Eske@Stud Stakes over 686m, which were won by Hazel Kemp’s Queen Lucy (42.14sec) and Mark Wallis’s Saffrons Bonnie (42.01sec). That £1,000 final takes place on Tuesday, with the British Bred Derby Final, the Star Sports Shootout and the Colossus Bets TV Trophy Final being staged on what is a gala card at the GBGB’s newest venue on Wednesday.


Mick Livesey, Towcester’s greyhound racing operations manager, said: “What a night we have in store! The TV Trophy is such a prestigious race and we’re proud to stage it again, and to have the British Bred Derby on the same night is tremendous - our thanks to sponsors Servoca Nursing & Care, first-time backers of the British Bred Derby, and Colossus Bets, who we’re delighted to welcome back for the TV Trophy.


“Add to that the Star Sports Shootout - an Eclipse re-run with Bubbly Bluebird, Dorotas Wildcat and Bruisers Bullet - and we’ve a meeting to savour. It kicks off what will be a great and busy month here with plenty of Xmas parties and, on Friday 15th and 22th, Christmas Jumper special meetings! We’ve got it all covered leading up to our hugely popular Boxing Day meeting.”


Draw for Wednesday’s Servoca Nursing & Care British Bred Derby final, live on Sky Sports:-


1 Alfies Prince: Owned and bred by Barry Denby, Notts.


2 King Turbo: Owned by KSS Syndicate; bred by Brendan Keogh, Kent.


3 King Elvis: Owned by KSS Syndicate; bred by Brendan Keogh, Kent.


4 Lowgate Belatrix: Owned by Janneke De Baat & Jim Hayton; bred by Jim Hayton, Yorkshire.


5 Candlelight Fire (m): Owned by Mark Crosthwaite & Elaine Parker; bred by Elaine Parker, North Humberside.


6 Thameside Bound (m): Owned by Andrew Pearson and Michael Pearson; bred by Dilys Steels and Richard Devenish, Peterborough.