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K.S.S. Reflect on Awards Clean Up

 

KING ELVIS (pictured above winning the British bred Derby at Towcester) will be aimed at the Star Sports English Derby at Towcester after landing the sport’s top honour at the annual GBGB Greyhound of the Year awards in London on Sunday night.

 

That was the message from Rab McNair, assistant to his trainer wife Liz, after the multiple big-race winner swept the board at the Park Plaza with four triumphs - Best Newcomer, Best British-Bred,  Standard Distance Performer of the Year and overall GBGB Greyhound of the Year, as voted for by the Greyhound Writers’ Association.

 

With the KSS Syndicate, led by Brendan Keogh, also walking away with the Owners of the Year title, it was a memorable night for all at the McNairs' training and breeding establishment just outside Ashford in Kent - and the team, including Simon Senyk and Baz Knight, celebrated long into the night at the Westminster hotel.

 

“We’re a very proud team this evening,” said Brendan Keogh, breeder of such notables as King Elvis, his litter sister Queen Anna, King Kid and King Eden, among others, all of which played their part in landing the team the overall owners’ award. “A lot of hard work goes into it - Liz does most of it! - so we’ve her to thank.”

 

“It means more to achieve these big races with dogs and bitches you’ve bred. There’s certainly more satisfaction, and Elvis has helped showcase what we do. He was brilliant last year and we hope they can all continue to win races in 2018 - that’s the plan anyway. But it’s great to enjoy this evening amongst people we admire in the game.”

 

Rab McNair, ironically left disappointed when leading dam Skate On, mother of King Elvis and Queen Anna, missed out on a Sprinter of the Year nomination herself a few years back, was more than happy to make several trips to the presentation stage this time! “Skate On deserved her award, but Elvis has been a real star,” he said.

 

“It’s great for him - and us - to be on a roll of honour with so many famous greyhounds on it. Have a look at the names there - and the great memories come flooding back. To be a part of that story is great for us - but we must set our sights on winning the Derby now. Seamus (Cahill) showed the way for us last year - we’re looking forward to taking them on this year!”

 

Cahill, trainer of the Derby champion Astute Missile, is, of course, one of the six trainers due to line up in the Gain/GTA Trainers’Championship meeting at Towcester on March 24. Cahill will be joined by three-time winner Kevin Hutton, champion trainer Mark Wallis, Paul Young, Patrick Janssens and now Liz McNair, who replaces Charlie Lister, who withdrew last week.

 

McNair added: “It’s great for us to compete in the Trainers’ Championship and we’ll be getting our team ready for that. Elvis and King Turbo ran well there in the British-Bred Derby, and we’ll be looking for Queen Anna, plus King Eden and King Kid to be involved. It’s also the perfect way to give our dogs prep runs for the Derby at the same time.”

 

King Elvis succeeds last year’s winner Droopys Buick as Greyhound of the Year after four major wins in 2017, the British-bred winning the Produce Stakes at Swindon, the Gentleman George Trafalgar Cup at Monmore, the RPGTV Henlow Derby and the Service Nursing & Care British Bred Derby at Towcester. He also finished runner-up to Roxholme Nidge in the Romford Puppy Cup.

 

“Thanks to all at the GBGB for organising the night, and to the members of the GWA - who chose right this time! We’ll enjoy this for a few days, but in this game you cannot rest. It’s a busy time for all owners and trainers. I hope nights like this make it worthwhile. Not everyone can win, and we’ve sat there before - and not been called up. It was our turn tonight, and we’re enjoying it!”