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Ladbrokes Gold Cup - Monmore 480m - £10,000

LIZ MCNAIR was at the double in the heats of the Ladbrokes Gold Cup at Monmore on Thursday as six heats of the Category One annual supported the final of the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic.


King Turbo (28.02sec) (pictured winning at Doncaster last year) and King Elvis (27.94sec) won their respective heats two and four in runaway style - although it was the Michael Hurst-trained Bonito Amigo who set the standard in the £10,000 competition when winning heat three in 27.84sec.


In winning by 11 lengths from Swabys Hope, the Derby second-round elimination made it three wins on the spin at the Wolverhampton venue since his return to the track and impressed Tony Williamson, Monmore racing manager, who said: 


“It was a fantastic run, and he’s running the track brilliantly, but I also thought Liz and Rab’s pair were impressive, and Bubbly Bluebird coming through a great match-up with Brinkleys Poet and Dorotas Hooligan was great to watch.”


Paul Young’s Bubbly Bluebird, last year’s Eclipse hero, paced up well to win a tough heat five from Select Stakes champion Brinkleys Poet, while the other heats were won by Sandra Ralph’s local Droopys Rob (28.28sec) and Carol Weatherall’s Holdem Zidane (28.54sec).


Of their brace of Gold Cup heat winners, Rab McNair, husband of winning trainer Liz, said: “I’m delighted with them, and very pleased how they’ve come out of it. They were a touch fresh but run Monmore well and conditions were good. The track ran well I thought.”


McNair made a point of praising the track’s management after accommodating trials the previous week after racing. “They had to rearrange things but did it brilliantly, and it was appreciated - and meant we could enter the Gold Cup with trials under their belt,” he said.


Towcester Gold Cup winner King Turbo and Greyhound of the Year King Elvis are two of a host of top-class home-breds at the McNair’s Kent base, which the husband and wife team rear and train for breeder and kennel owner Brendan Keogh of the KSS Syndicate.


The latest batch of runners include a Feb 17 batch by their former kennel star Eden The Kid out of Skate On, thus making them half-brothers and half-sisters of King Elvis. Three of them were scheduled to make their debut at Central Park on Friday.


“Their trials have blown us away, although saying that right from the start they’ve looked great,” added McNair. “I’d thought about Nottingham and the Puppy Classic for a couple of them but we couldn't get trials into them - but hopefully we’ve got plenty of time moving forward.”


Trap draw for Thursday’s semi-finals:-


First semi: 1 Kilcree Diamond, 2 King Turbo, 3 Swabys Hope, 4 Brinkleys Poet (m), 5 Lostrigg Charlie (m), 6 Itsue Mate (w).


Second semi: 1 Bubbly Bluebird, 2 Dorotas Hooligan, 3 Piemans Bullet, 4 King Elvis (m), 5 Headway Turbo (m), 6 Bonito Amigo (m).


Third semi: 1 Droopys Rob, 2 Faughan Flash, 3 Noelles Phelpso, 4 Plan Ahead (m), 5 Holdem Zidane (m), Bubbly Turbo (m).



Monmore results: