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RPGTV 72nd East Anglian Derby - Yarmouth 462m - £15,000

 

KING ELVIS (pictured above winning last year's British Bred Derby at Towcester) kicked off the 72nd East Anglian Greyhound Derby in the best possible style at Yarmouth on Monday - the Greyhound of the Year posting the night’s fastest clock as he recorded 27.49sec (+20) for the 462m trip in heat one of the Category One annual at the seaside venue.

 

Trained by Liz McNair for the KSS Syndicate, the October 2015 son of Tullymurry Act and Skate On paced up to lead before at the bend before Dorotas Del Mar took up the running, only a strong back-straight surge took for King Elvis back to the head of affairs.

 

“It was another great run from Elvis, and he’s brilliant this morning - albeit the kennelhand is a rather tired one!” said trainer’s husband Rab. “The long run to the bend suits him at Yarmouth, and he’ll run the track better am sure next time.”

 

A finalist, along with kennelmate King Turbo, in both the recent William Hill Classic (Sunderland) and Ladbrokes Gold Cup (Monmore), King Elvis is looking for his first major success of 2018 after mopping up events last year on his way to winning the sport’s top honour.

 

“He’s got close and it’d be nice to win one,” added McNair. “I just felt that with both Turbo and Elvis going for the same events, we were perhaps wasting an opportunity. Things didn't go to plan for either at Sunderland, but Turbo won for us at Monmore.

 

“This time we’ve headed to the seaside with Elvis, and I’ve given Turbo a short rest and we’re preparing him for the Kent Derby (Central Park). He’s in good form, the kennel’s in good form, and we just hope for some luck moving forward. We all need that!”

 

Training honours of the night went to Patrick Janssens doubling up with Kilmore Lemon (27.69sec +10) and Seaglass Phantom (27.78sec +10), and the Central Park handler was delighted with the pair - starting with the recent Guys & Dolls winner and Yarmouth sprint track record holder.

 

He said: “Kilmore Lemon’s desire to win is phenomenal. Things didn’t go his way, especially given he didn't hit the front until the second bend, but his middle pace was breathtaking and he stayed the trip okay enough. Since his injury, he’s had eight starts, seven wins and a track record.

 

“I rate Seaglass Phantom very highly,” added Janssens. “His original target was Towcester’s Puppy Derby, but after it closed we decided to give him a go at Yarmouth. He’s only had four races in his life - winning two of them now - and he has the same desire as Kilmore Lemon.

 

“Phantom’s more of a 480m dog and can improve a lot. His middle pace is top drawer, as you could see last night. He still makes mistakes, you saw that at the third bend, but he came back for more to win. That’s what great dogs do.”

 

Like Kilmore Lemon, another champion sprinter stepping up in trip began his campaign at Yarmouth well - Affane Party overcoming a missed break to land the spoils for John Lambe. Leading just before halfway, the winner’s time of 27.94sec (+10) would have been quicker but for easing up close home.

 

The other heats were won by David Pruhs’ Dog Mac Arthure (27.51sec +20), last year’s Yarmouth Derby fourth Bubbly Bluebird (27.70sec +10) for the Paul Young camp, Monmore Gold Cup runner-up Holdem Zidane (27.89sec +10) for Carol Weatherall and Paul Burr’s local hope Jazz Prince (27.77sec +10).

 

Trap draw for Monday’s second round:-

 

First: 1 Bubbly Bluebird, 2 Droopys Steel, 3 Security, 4 Kilmore Lemon (m), 5 Holdem Zidane (m), 6 Exiles Gift (w).

 

Second:  1 Seaglass Phantom, 2 Tea For Tess, 3 Bubbly Turbo (m), 4 Lost One Dare (m), 5 Collswood Hawk (m), 6 Cookie Crossan (w).

 

Third: 1 Affane Party, 2 Dorotas Del Mar, 3 Whiteys Rocket (m), 4 Reset (m), 5 La Soldado (m), 6 Oh Nonono (w).

 

Fourth: 1 Dog Mac Arthure, 2 Wildfire Legend, 3 Headford Maurice (m), 4 King Elvis (m), 5 Going Forward (m), 6 Jazz Prince (m).