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    McNair Hat-Trick Dominates Winter Derby Rivals as Joni Proves Fastest
McNair Hat-Trick Dominates Winter Derby Rivals as Joni Proves Fastest

McNair Hat-Trick Dominates Winter Derby Rivals as Joni Proves Fastest

Liz Mcnair guided a trio of home-bred winners – two of them siblings – to seize the spotlight as the Ladbrokes Winter Derby commenced at Monmore on Saturday.

Victories for Queen Joni, King Capaldi, and King Sydney – the latter two being part of a December 21 litter by Droopys Sydney out of Queen Beyonce – marked a first-round session filled with quality. McNair, the Central Park trainer, secured wins in heats four, five, and six after a delay caused by issues with the traps.

The swiftest performance came from Queen Joni (depicted), also a progeny of Droopys Sydney but out of Queen Jessiej. She led from start to finish in a fiercely competitive heat four, defeating defending champion Coolavanny Shado and Churchfield Syd, with a winning time of 28.36 seconds.

Following suit, kennelmate King Capaldi took an early lead in heat five, securing victory over Droopys Eddie from Maxine Locke in 28.42 seconds. Gold Cup winner Links Maverick secured a spot in the semi-finals by finishing third after a closely contested return to the track.

In heat six, King Sydney sealed the McNair hat-trick, finishing stronger to catch Richie Taberner's long-time leader Aero Secundai in 28.39 seconds.

The Winter Derby kicked off with success for Burj Khalifa as Diane Henry's entry produced a compelling finish to take the lead near the finish line, narrowly beating Mark Wallis's Whyaye Man.

Romeo Cypher had an early lead in this heat, but Queen Georgia, another Liz McNair-trained greyhound and sister to Queen Joni, finished third, securing her spot in Saturday's semi-finals.

Other heat winners included Tom Heilbron's Bogger Rambo, who impressively raced to victory in heat two with a time of 28.58 seconds. Trackmate Skywalker Pele made it a double for Newcastle on the day as Ted Soppitt's dog displayed all-round pace to win in 28.61 seconds.

The trap draw for Saturday's Ladbrokes Winter Derby semi-finals at Monmore over 480 meters is as follows:

First semi-final: 1 Links Maverick, 2 Kila Detail, 3 Drive On Lad, 4 Coolavanny Shado, 5 Bluejig Baron (m), 6 Churchfield Syd (w).

Second semi-final: 1 King Sydney, 2 Betsys Bullet, 3 Queen Georgia, 4 Bogger Rambo, 5 Droopys Eddie (m), 6 Skywalker Pele (w).

Third semi-final: 1 Queen Joni, 2 King Capaldi, 3 Whyaye Man, 4 Aero Sacundai, 5 Getup Me Boy (m), 6 Burj Khalifa (w).

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