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

KING ELVIS (pictured winning last year's British Bred Derby at Towcester) produced one of the great runs at Yarmouth on Monday as the Greyhound of the Year equalled the track record for the 462m trip at the east coast venue in his second-round heat of the RPGTV 72nd East Anglian Greyhound Derby.

Trained by Liz McNair, the impressive first-round winner stepped up on that effort as suggested by connections, running the first two bends more smoothly before making all to stop the clock in 27.17sec (+10), winning by six lengths from Jazz Prince (Paul Burr).

His time matched the 2010 best of Fear Zafonic, a former East Anglian Derby winner, and underlines of the quality of this year’s Yarmouth Derby believes Marcus Westgate, racing manager at the Franklin family-owned track.

“It was fantastic run and the sort of performance where you run out of superlatives for him, said Westgate. “He’s had a great career already but remains at the top of his game. He knows how to run Yarmouth — and run it well!”

Kilmore Lemon, recently winner of the Guys & Dolls at Crayford, continued his tremendous run with a fluent all-the-way success in the opening heat. Patrick Janssens’ dog broke well and was soon clear to lead home Holdem Zidane by three lengths in 27.40sec (+10).

The other second-round qualifiers went to another pillar-to-post winner in Kevin Hutton’s Lost One Dare (27.34sec, +10) and Affane Party (27.54sec +10), with the latter again not particularly well away but showing tremendous middle speed to lead at halfway.

His trainer John Lambe continues to be delighted with his star sprinter, who has stepped back up in distance, having won last year’s Fengate Collar over Peterborough’s 435m, in cracking style and is one of a clutch of star names in Saturday’s semi-finals.

Lambe said: “I’m well pleased with his runs at Yarmouth - but I have to praise the lads at the kennels for their work over the weekend. We were in Ireland over the weekend at a wedding, and they certainly had a busy time at home.

“Affane Party ran great, but I also thought Queen Adele was slightly unlucky at the third bend in the Notts final - she didn’t get the best of runs - but what a great race to watch the Lowther Stakes was! Hopefully we’ll have better luck at Yarmouth.

“Party isn’t trapping like he can there, but trap one there doesn’t help I believe. He’s got trap two in the semis and that might help him come away. Hopefully he stays sound and makes the final. It’s shaping up as a cracking event.”

Summing up the quarter-finals, Yarmouth RM Westgate is looking forward to the semi-finals at the weekend and the start of the Eastern Racing Festival there next week, which sees top-class horse and greyhound racing in the seaside town.

Of the East Anglian Derby, he said: “Pretty much all the favourites went through on Monday, with the exception of Dorotas Del Mar in the third heat, and means the two semi-finals are high-class affairs - in fact early-paced extravaganzas!

“Not only did Kilmore Lemon break this time, he was just four spots off the split ‘clock’ held by Fifis Rocket; Lost One Dare imposed himself with another blisteringly quick split, while Affane Party’s pace to the bend was massive and he took off down the back.

“He’s not trapping that well, but it doesn't seem to matter to him. His middle pace is serving him well and, watching him through to the trip, he didn’t let up. He will play his part in two semi-finals which are going to be a real thrill for all of us.

“They contain some of the best dogs in the country, and the times these dogs have laid down so far are amazing,” he said, adding: “It’s great also to have local interest and Paul Burr’s Jazz Prince produced he run of his career behind Elvis.

“We’ve no wide runners left, but Kilmore Lemon should handle trap six in the first semi. He has the ability from the outside to clear the bend and the same can be said with Lost One Dare in the second semi - his clash with Elvis and Affane Party is mouthwatering.

“Hold on to your hats for these two semi-finals, they could be very, very fast. And with The Derby Purse and Greene King IPA Sprint also starting on Saturday evening, we’re just glad that viewers can watch these amazing greyhounds running at their very best on RPGTV.”

*Yarmouth reminds trainers that supporting opens for the RPGTV 72nd East Anglian Greyhound Derby Final night on Thursday, September 20, close on Monday. The racing office can be contacted on 01493 378168.

Draw for Saturday’s Yarmouth Derby semi-finals: