While still in shock from earlier revelations regarding Towcester going into administration, Rab McNair enjoyed four tonics at Monmore on Thursday night.
The second leg came with an impressive narrow defeat for King Turbo who was beaten a neck by Brinkleys Poet, but secured qualification for next Thursday’s Ladbrokes Gold Cup Final.
The third tonic came with an impressive flawless victory for King Elvis in the fastest time of the night in the second semi final.
Tonic four, came with the trap draw for the £10,000 decider which could hardly have worked better for King Turbo. The only railer with five middle seeds, the kennel chances appeared even greater when Elvis was drawn on the inside of the big danger, Brinkleys Poet.
Latest Betting (best odds): 2-1 King Elvis (Betfred), 9-4 King Turbo (Ladbrokes), 7-2 Brinkleys Poet (various), 7-1 Bonito Amigo (various), 16-1 Plan Ahead (varoius), 25-1 Holdem Zidane (various)
But it was the first boost of the evening, a pre-race trial for Feb ’17 pup King Nelson who clocked 27.97 for the 480m, that really stunned the assistant trainer. As mentioned last week Nelson was the youngster marked ‘awkward’ when failing to go past the leader in his first race at Central Park.
Rab said: “I couldn’t believe that trial, it actually made my legs go a bit wobbly. On his first look at the track, he did a slower sectional than Turbo, but a faster time. How is that even possible? He never took his eyes off the bunny. I was absolutely delighted and would like to thank the racing office for giving us the trial.
“As far as the Gold Cup was concerned, I couldn’t have placed the dogs any better myself. Although Turbo was beaten, he ran a sensational race after being crowded at the start and with one not giving him a clear run around the bend. That is some greyhound of Matt’s, and Turbo had gone past him a yard after the line.
“As for Elvis, he was just Elvis. He never puts a foot wrong. I said all year that Elvis’ year starts after the Derby with a lot of events that suit him better. I thought he could win at Sunderland but I was wrong. But after Monmore, there are places like Henlow and Yarmouth that really suit him better. I am glad he is drawn on the inside of Brinkleys in the final.”
The exiled Scotsman was left stunned after the news broke of Towcester going into administration earlier in the day.
He said: “I am sick for the industry. Towcester had just got people back believing in racing and the Derby again. It is a much bigger loss than Wimbledon in my opinion. I just hope that something can be done to bring racing back there. Apart from the Derby and the Oaks, I really had eyes on the Puppy Derby. Where do we go from here?”