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Stadium Bookmakers National Sprint - Nottingham 305m - £3,000

 

 

QUEEN ANNA (above) produced a sensational performance to lead home a British-bred one-two in the Stadium Bookmakers National Sprint Final at Nottingham on Monday - in doing so throwing her hat in the ring for the Sprinter of the Year category at next month’s GBGB Awards.

 

Trained by Liz McNair for owner and breeder Brendan Keogh and his KSS Syndicate, the October 2015 daughter of Tullymurry Act and Skate On trapped last but produced a powerful surge approaching the first bend and ran the crown of the turn magnificently to get into contention.

 

A litter sister of multiple big-race winner King Elvis, Queen Anna caught defending champion Trapstyle Jet on the run for home to claim a one and a half length victory in 17.83sec (normal) and maintain her unbeaten record in the 305m annual, worth £3,000 to the winner.

 

Favourite Hiya Butt (Hayley Keightley), winner of the Peterborough Derby and a finalist in Astute Missile’s Derby final, finished third after not quite timing the start before moving into contention at the turn. He crossed the line just behind the gallant Trapstyle Jet (Jean Liles).

 

For Rab McNair, Queen Anna’s success could right a wrong given the star sprinter’s dam Skate On missed out on a Sprinter of the Year nomination during her time on the track. “Let’s hope the greyhound writers don’t forget us this time,” he joked.

 

McNair paid tribute to breeder and kennel owner Keogh. “Brendan puts the money in and lets us get on with it. He’s a fantastic boss and myself and Liz know how lucky we are. But we work hard - and that graft has paid off again this year. 

 

“With the Olympic and the National Sprint we’ve kept things ticking over longer than usual before a break, but the dogs are running well. Fingers crossed for our runners in the Olympic semis, but for Anna to win at Nottingham is tremendous.

 

“That was an awesome run. To give those classy greyhounds a start and a beating was exceptional. The pace she showed was fantastic and the way she runs the bend at Nottingham is probably the best I’ve seen. 

 

“She took a while to come to herself compared to the rest of the litter but to be truthful we never rush them. This wee girl is improving and, like King Elvis, is an exciting sort to take into 2018. We’re so proud of all the litters we breed here, but this Skate On batch have been great.

 

“She’s a strong running sprinter so that gives us options. We’ll see how she winters, but races such as the Northern Sprint at Sheffield and maybe even the Golden Sprint at Romford could be options for her - but first I’d just like to thank Nottingham and the sponsors for a cracking night for us.”

 

Queen Anna’s success was also a major boost for British breeding and timely given the recent launch of a new website - bgbf.co.uk - and spokesman Mark Pierrepont, the forum’s secretary, said the Nottingham success is helping round off a great year.

 

“This year has been one of the best in recent memory for British-bred greyhounds. Not only have our greyhounds shown that they can compete with the best that Ireland has to offer, but they have shown on numerous occasions they are more than capable of beating them.

 

“Undoubtedly the star litter of the year, certainly from a British-bred perspective, has been the October 2015 Tullymurry Act-Skate On litter bred by Brendan and Liz and Rab. The litter oozes quality and their terrific year has been enhanced further!

 

“Queen Anna did something special by running unbeaten through the National Sprint and the sole dog in the litter, King Elvis, must surely be a leading fancy for Greyhound Of The Year having won the Produce Stakes, the Trafalgar Cup and the British Bred Derby Final - plus of course won the Henlow Derby. 

 

“I’m confident 2018 will be another great year for British-bred greyhounds, and the British Greyhound Breeders Forum,” added Pierrepont.