ARGENTINA landed trainer Kevin Hutton back-to-back wins in the event when making all in the Gain Nutrition English Puppy Derby Final at Henlow on Sunday.

Following on from Magical Bale’s success in the same competition at Towcester last year, Argentina capped his puppy career when leading from the boxes and holding a real challenge early from Newinn Banger (Pat Rosney) to win by two and a half lengths in 27.50sec.

Owned by George and Mike Burton, the January 2017 son of Tyrur Big Mike and Headford Maura had finished second to Liz McNair’s King Sheeran in Monmore’s Trafalgar Cup Final in September, and faced three members from the same litter again on Sunday.

King Lennon was best of them, finishing third, just edging out litter-brother King Nelson – but it was joy for the Hutton kennel as they took the £7,500 prize.

Owners George and Mike Burton receive the trophy from William Rigney, Shaun Traynor and Stephen Rayner, all from sponsors Gain Nutrition; at front are Kevin Hutton’s kennelhand Steve Millard and travelling head man Marc Studer

Part-owner George Burton said: “Kev (Hutton) called in the summer about a good prospect that had won at Galway and, trusting his good judgement which has served us well over the years, we decided to buy him.

“Since he came over, he’s never ceased to impress us and has consistently performed well in top company. He improved throughout the competition and this win tops off a fantastic year for Mike and me as owners – and for the kennel.

“Huge credit goes to Kev and his team for their hard work and an excellent training performance. Henlow hosted a fantastic Puppy Derby, we had a great time and Mike (Burton) was singing all the way home!”

Winning trainer Hutton added: “Thanks to Henlow and the sponsors. They took the Puppy Derby on and it’s been a great competition. We’ve enjoyed supporting Henlow and they continue to host major competitions, which is what drives us.

“It was fantastic to have two runners in the final again. Everyone knows what Magical Bale went on to achieve with his second in the Irish Derby, but Headford Kev was our other finalist. He’s done great for us, and his win on the undercard was appropriate!

“But the icing on the cake was Argentina’s win. He’s a bubbly sort of dog who deserved this. He’d run well at Monmore when probably lacking experience, but then ran up a sequence at Romford before getting no luck in the semis of the Puppy Cup there.

“Once he came out running I knew he’d have a major chance. He was caught in the semis, but conditions were quite sticky then, and the speed of him and Newinn Banger took them clear. Ours had to be strong off the second bend when Pat’s dog challenged.

“It was a great race, we’re delighted to have won and we’ll give him a short rest now and have a look for something in the new year. He’ll be all-aged by then, but is a dog with lots of speed. Perhaps the Golden Sprint back at Romford will be a long-term target.”