McNairs take it on the chin

Rab McNair admits that defeat for his 11/10 Derby favourite King Memphis in Saturday’s final was one of the lowest points of his training career.

The joint track record holder fell out of the traps and recorded his slowest sectional in 13 attempts over course and distance. (4.21 following five runs between 4.03-4.09). He started last and trailed the field for the first time in his career.

Rab said: “I can’t understand it, I really can’t. Brendan (Keogh) said he thought he trapped better than that when he went into traps for the first time on the schooling track.

“It was heartbreaking, but what can you do? You take it on the chin. Nobody died, it was just a dog race at the end of the day.

“As far as the night was concerned though, it was a brilliant atmosphere, the best Derby crowd since they’ve held it there.”

Memphis will now take a well earned rest as the KSS team reassess their plans for the year.

Rab said: “He needs a break and so does (Queen) Joni. They will have a few weeks on their beds and wait to see how they come out of it. At this stage, we are probably looking at the Kent Derby when Memphis returns.

“As for the others, I wasn’t happy with (King) Capaldi, before we gave him a break, but he now looks back to himself. We are probably looking at the Pall Mall followed by the Yarmouth Derby. We’ll probably have runners in the Sussex Cup too. We’ll see how things go for (Queen) Georgia as far as the Regency is concerned.

“From what I saw at Towcester, she probably barely gets the trip but would look perfect for the 630 at Monmore (Stayers Classic) and later in the year in the 650 at Oxford (Bet365 Stayers).

* Tomorrow we will publish an extended audio feature with Derby winning trainer and breeder Liam Dowling

Open race wins 2024

14 wins: Queen Joni

13 wins: Coonough Crow – Different Speed – Druids Say Go

12 wins: Acomb Felix – Ballymac Taylor – Romeo To Victory

10 wins: Bettys Jack – Dashing Dude  – Garfiney Blaze  –  Rioja Maxi

9 wins: Asbo Lenny – Clairekeith Remy – Coppice Fox – Crafty Shivoo – King Memphis – Quagos Jack  –  Quarteira – Queen Georgia – Whisky Copper


Thursday: NewcastleSwindon
Friday: Romford
Saturday: Central ParkHove