Ladbrokes Winter Derby 2021 – Monmore Green 480m – £10,000
MONMORE racing manager Tony Williamson described Liz McNair’s feat in winning all three semi-finals of the £10,000 Ladbrokes Winter Derby at the Wolverhampton venue on Saturday as “unprecedented and a fantastic achievement”.
After victories for Queen Lily, Queen Jessiej and King Louis in the trio of semis of the 480m feature, Tony Williamson said: “It’s certainly never been done in a Winter Derby, of course, but I’ve never seen that here in three semi-finals of a competition.
“It was an amazing performance from the McNair kennel – on what was a tough night for the dogs with very blustery winds. However we still had some great performances on the evening – notably from Liz and Rab’s team, of course.
“But I think we’ve ended up with two classy and competitive finals for both the Ladbrokes Winter Derby and Ladbrokes Puppy Derby – and the finals of the other events we’ll be staging on a gala evening on Saturday night.”
Queen Lily kicked off the McNair treble in the Winter Derby with success in the first semi.
Well away from the six-box, the May 2018 daughter of Leamaneigh Turbo and Skate On was never headed as she crossed the line two lengths clear of Amazing Wink (Richard Rees), clocking 28.64sec (-30) for the 480m.
Litter sister and Oaks runner-up Queen Jessiej landed the McNair double in a red-hot second semi as this dual winner at the recent GBGB Awards broke smartly from the inside and always held the advantage over her market rivals.
Leading at the bend, Queen Jessiej kept up a relentless gallop and crossed the line five lengths clear of Coolavanny Kyser (Mark Wallis) in 28.22sec (-30). The latter recovered well from fourth-bend crowding, to qualify ahead of ante-post favourite Tenpin (David Mullins) and fastest first-round winner Magical Arrow (Kevin Hutton).
King Louis made it a clean sweep for the McNairs on the night with another superb show of early pace as the January 2018 son of Leamaneigh Turbo and Queen Asia made all to score by two lengths from Signet Ace (Kevin Hutton) in 28.39sec (-30).
Rab McNair said: “It was the end of a good week for us. Jessiej getting two awards last week for the British Bred Greyhound of the Year award and Bitch of the Year was pretty special – as was Skate On being Best Dam again.
“The boys and girls are all doing great for us – and everyone knows it’s special when you’ve bred them yourself. But Brendan (Keogh, KSS Syndicate) takes the credit for putting the building blocks in place for us to do what we can.
“Jessiej runs Monmore as well as anywhere else. This is the this major final she’s been involved in at Monmore after last year’s Puppy Derby and then the Gold Cup there. I suppose we’d have taken the red jacket in the final, but she handles three okay too.
“She’s got to break again to give herself a chance with pace inside and out. I’m happy with Lilly being inside Louis, as opposed to the other way round – it’s just great to have three chances in a top final. But we know there’s hard work to come – and luck always plays a part.”
Draw for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Winter Derby Final: 1 Coolavanny Kyser, 2 Amazing Wink, 3 Queen Jessiej, 4 Signet Ace, 5 Queen Lilly (w), 6 King Louis (w).