Sky’s The Limit For Memphis Keeping

SHAYNE Stiff has declared Memphis Keeping potentially the best greyhound he's produced ahead of Saturday's Lesley Ann Leonard Memorial Final.

Adam Dobbin

29 October 2020

SHAYNE Stiff has declared unbeaten youngster Memphis Keeping potentially the best greyhound he and partner Charmaine Roberts have produced ahead of Saturday night’s Lesley Ann Leonard Memorial Final (400m) at Dubbo.

The 20-month old son of American sire Flying Fired Up and Shelley Keeping has been exceptional in winning his first two starts for Roberts and Stiff, including last Friday’s gritty 23.18 heat success.

DUBBO FIELDS AND FORM

A week earlier, at his racetrack debut, the prodigious talent was the subject of a massive betting move, scoring in breathtaking fashion by 8 ¾ lengths in a best of program 22.69.

“The truth is Charmaine and I have no idea how good he could be,” Stiff said.

“But he just gives you the feeling he’s something right out of the box.

“He’s almost 37 kilos so 400 metres at Dubbo off the bend start isn’t his go at all… I thought the way he handled himself to win last week was better than his first win.

“Some of his trials have been sensational. We’ve got electric timing up our straight at home now and he easily holds the record … dogs that have won 20 races can’t get near what he’s run.

“At 18 months at Wenty he broke the 14 and 18 sections in a box-to-box and I took him to Temora one trial day and he went 26.11. We trialled dogs that day that have won 10-15 races and the best they went was 26.50.”

Memphis Keeping and his well performed littermates are the first pups to race in Australia by successful American chaser turned stud dog Flying Fired Up.

“I was in America a few years ago and was talking to Vince Berland who is their equivalent to Paul Wheeler,” Stiff said.

“He told me he had some litters by Flying Fired Up which were rockets so I came home keen to give him a go.

“Charmaine’s line had a lot of success with Chariot Supreme and Flying Fired Up traces back to him.

“I can see the breeding industry backing into a corner with so much Barcia Bale and Fernando Bale, a bit like it was back with Brother Fox and Brett Lee. So if you can land on that successful outcross you can be sitting on a goldmine.

“I’ve had a few good offers for this dog but I’ll be holding onto him.”

Showing all the hallmarks of being well above average, Memphis Keeping is expected to continue on his winning way in Saturday night’s $6,000-to-the-winner finale after drawing box one.

“It’s a very good race; it always is and usually fits in perfectly on the back of the Coonamble carnival,” Stiff said.

“Charmaine’s won the race a few times, including with Give Us Peace in 2017. She was very close to Lesley Ann; it’s a race she always aims to win.”

And while Roberts and Stiff look to play a strong hand at Dubbo this Saturday, the team will also be well represented at Wentworth Park where Rapid Rival (7) and Ray Keeping (5) take on unbackable favourite Flying Ricciardo (6) in the Ladbrokes Gold Muzzle Auction Final (520m).

“To run second and third behind Flying Ricciardo would be a massive result,” Stiff said.

“Flying Ricciardo coming out of the Auction is the best thing that could happen for the industry – a great advertisement of what can happen.

“He’s over the line in the final. To go 5.37 early on that track Saturday night was exceptional.

“I actually had breakfast with Sam (Sultana) last week and told him the $40,000 first prize was as good as his.

“But would you believe he still didn’t pay for breakfast! I had to pick up the tab – as usual!