Liz McNair played a strong hand of four kings and a queen in the Astute Electronics Gold Cup first round and came away with three wins, a second and a third.

Fastest on the night was Kevin Hutton’s Shoot-Out winner Dorotas Wildcat (28.19) with a length and a bit victory over King Eden – meaning the runner-up and heat winning brother King Kid clocked identical times. Equally impressive was the middle pace of King Turbo and the stunning early of King Elvis.

Assistant trainer Rab McNair said: “We were delighted with all of them. It was a fantastic first four bend race for Elvis since November and I was a bit concerned that he would be tired the next morning. But they have all come off the bed in great form.”

There was some suggestion among RPGTV viewers that Greyhound of the Year Elvis was incorrectly seeded as a railer, a thought that had McNair bristling.

He said: “Do these people think I don’t know what I am doing? Yes the dog did move off at the second bend, a lot of railers do at Towcester because the track is so wide that the hare can sometimes end up alongside the dogs at it goes around the bend. Look at the number of railers – 30 out of 36 in the competition are seeded rails, that can’t be coincidence can it?

“Personally, I would like to see them take the inside rail out by a metre and bring the outside fence in by two metres. I realise that it was produced to be like the Australian tracks for eight-dog racing but they run to an inside hare so they don’t tend to go so wide.”

McNair also urges punters to be cautious on the going allowances for the night.

He said: “They were all given as -40 except the last heat (-50). I think there would have been a bit more variation than that on the night. It was getting wetter and wetter and the track was definitely slowing down throughout the heats in my opinion.

“I am delighted with the draw for the semis. I would have preferred Elvis and Turbo weren’t drawn against each other, but that’s dog racing.”

*Skate On – dam of King Elvis – is due to be covered by former kennelmate Leamaneigh Turbo this week. Turbo stands at stud with Ron Grey in Cleveland.

KING KID wins heat 1 Photo: © Steve Nash

2017 Derby Champ ASTUTE MISSILE (t2) shows plenty of early dash on his long awaited return to racing, leading up in heat 2 from Swift Cobra (t5) and the hidden winner Dorotas Wildcat (t1). Photo: © Steve Nash

KING ELVIS wins heat 3. Photo: © Steve Nash

KING TURBO (t5) shows great early pace on the outside on his way to winning heat 4 28.32 (-40). Photo: © Steve Nash

NINJA FORTUNE wins heat 5 28.53 (-40) Photo: © Steve Nash

PLAN AHEAD (t6) on his way to a 25-1 shock victory in the final heat. Photo: © Steve Nash

DOROTAS WILDCAT fastest of the round 28.19 in heats of the Astute Electronics Gold Cup. Photo: Steve Nash