Barefoot Zulu Sets Near Record Maiden Mark

BAREFOOT Zulu lived right up to his lofty reputation when he cruised into the final of the Listed Grafton Maiden Classic (450m) on Sunday.

BAREFOOT Zulu lived right up to his lofty reputation when he cruised into the final of the Listed Grafton Maiden Classic (450m) winning his heat on Sunday night in a near track record 25.06.

The son of Sennachie-Kooringa Maisie, now trained by Steve Keep, had gone into the heat after smashing the track record in a stewards' trial with a 24.87 performance the week before. Cash View holds the track record at 25.01.

He was quickly in front in the heat on Sunday and raced away to score by seven and a half-lengths as the $1.60 favourite from Nangar Lady.

Barefoot Zulu then came up with box six for the $20,000-to-the-winner final on Wednesday week.

Keep was "over the moon" with the dog's performance as would be expected.

"John (Thompson) and Simone (Kellermeyer) have been friends of mine for years and it is great they thought of me to take on the dog," said Keepie.

"I got a call this morning to say his run home from that first section mark to the winning post is the only time a dog has broken 16 seconds."

Keep believes the box draw has done his dog a huge favour.

"The seven and the eight (Zipping Kristoff and Breakout Boy) will leave him alone early, and the five, Col Graham's bitch Sweetest Of All has lots of early pace but will carve across to the rail,” he added.

Steve Keep with Barefoot Zulu after his sizzling performance at Grafton on Sunday Picture: Robert Brandolini

"She should give him a good run into the race.

"From the six he should stay out of trouble."

Keepie believes Nangar Lady is the one to beat after Dennis Barnes' bitch drew the rails in the final.

"She's boxed to be there all the way and has got to be the danger," he said.

Keepie celebrated his return to driving on Friday night after a three-month stint on the sidelines.

"I was at one time thinking of going back to my old job as a driving instructor, but training greyhounds is for me," he said.

The Dennis Barnes juggernaut continues at the Grafton July Carnival.

Dennis has finalists Nangar lady and Southport McGraw, and bred Dave Irwin's finalist Dusty McGraw and also the two reserves Major McGraw and Uno Nangar. Grafton

Maiden Classic Final (450m) in box draw: 1 Nangar Lady, 2 Southpaw McGraw, 3 Dusty McGraw, 4 My Monroe, 5 Sweetest Of All, 6 Barefoot Zulu, 7 Zipping Kristoff, 8 Breakout Boy. Res: 9 Major McGraw, 10 Uno Nangar.

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