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Ladbrokes Kent Derby - Central Park 480m - £7,500

 

KING TURBO landed a third Category One success of the year when winning the 2018 Ladbrokes Kent Derby Final at Central Park on Sunday - the showpiece £7,500 decider the main event on a gala evening at the Kent venue.

 

Trained by Liz McNair, victory in the 480m contest helped the now Central Park-based handler to her first Kent Derby win on a night when her and husband Rab, plus breeder and kennels owner Brendan Keogh, dominated proceedings.

 

King Nelson had earlier won the Eden The Kid At Stud Young Guns, a brand new event sponsored by Keogh and the KSS Syndicate, which suitably was landed by a son of the former Wimbledon track record holder whom the race is named after.

 

“What a fantastic night, but it’s all down to this man,” said Rab McNair, pointing to Keogh. “We do the work, but he’s the man behind the whole operation and it’s great to be enjoying great success with the home-breds which Brendan bred and we reared.”

 

King Turbo was forced to work hard to catch the Patrick Janssens-trained Headford Johnny after the latter started well down the middle and set the tempo, with him and King Turbo left clear after crowding involving the rest of the field at the first bend.

 

Market rival Trade Fudge (Dan Brabon) was knocked over here, but was soon up, as it was left to King Turbo to challenge and then pass Headford Johnny round the third and fourth turns before going on to score by a length and a quarter in 28.96sec (-20).

 

“That was brilliant, because he had to do it the hard way after not coming away,” said Brendan Keogh of owners the KSS Syndicate. “He’s been doing this for a year and a half now, is a proper, genuine dog and Liz is doing a great job!”

 

The plan had been the British Breeders Stakes at Nottingham, but Rab McNair reports King Turbo to have suffered a slight tear in a shoulder muscle and a spell on the sidelines is on the cards for the dog, who turns three next month.

 

“He’ll be off a month I think,” he said. “But hopefully he’ll be back, and we’ll think about a fourth Cat One for him! He must be a Greyhound of the Year contender now - which will be interesting for the writers (GWA) after he was disqualified last year.

 

“He’s certainly put himself in their thinking. He’s a brilliant dog, a real champion, who’s matured and always gives his best. Of course, it’s even more satisfying given we’ve had him at home right from the start,” he added of the November 2015 British-bred son of Leamaneigh Turbo and Wee Tiger Tots.

 

King Nelson is a Feb 17 son of Eden The Kid and Skate On, also bred and reared at the McNairs’ Ashford kennels, and he enhanced the reputation of this particular litter still further with victory in the Eden The Kid At Stud Young Guns Final.

 

Up against litter brother King Sheeran, recent winner of the Trafalgar Cup at Monmore, it was King Nelson who broke first from the midfield and made all the running to score in 28.82sec from his brother by two and a quarter lengths.

 

The Puppy Derby at Henlow is an option for the winner and runner-up who, along with their littermates, continues to excite the McNairs. “These pups are from Eden The Kid’s first litter and we couldn't be happier,” he said.

 

“Every time they run we see improvement. They came to the track with just one handslip and one schooling session from the traps, so they've been green, but you’re seeing them come forward with their trapping and trackcraft. We’re delighted.”