Memphis sizzles from the jump

\"\"Caption: Jay Jacobsen (handler – kneeling) and Shayne Williams (far right) with connections of Rippin’ Memphis

WA Roundup with JAMES BROADHURST

Early speed is a huge advantage in greyhound racing as Rippin’ Memphis proved in the recent final of the Keith Harding Canning Trophy (520m) at Cannington.

Just as she did in her heat the previous week, the Shayne Williams-trained chaser burst out of the traps and swept across the field to snare the early lead.

On this occasion she was joined by fellow ‘lid-pinger’ Canya Cruise as the pair vied for the ascendancy.

Rippin’ Memphis maintained a cracking pace through the mid-stages and dropped off Canya Cruise in the back straight as she put distance between herself and the rest of the pack.

When the challengers came, they came too late.

Rippin’ Memphis was too far out in front and she held on to score by a length and half over Rambo’s Boy, with Stout Monelli in third.

Her overall time was 29.77 on the back of her first section of 5.37.

Fan favourite Tommy Shelby the best in the west

Star chaser Tommy Shelby was a popular winner of the 2020 WA Greyhound of the Year title at the annual awards ceremony in mid-March.

Known as ‘The People’s Dog’, Tommy Shelby’s deeds on and off the track have cemented him as a fan favourite.

Apart from racking up 14 wins on home soil in 2020, including the Group Three Perth Consolation, Tommy Shelby went on the road to compete in the top races around the country.

He placed in the finals of the Vic Peters, Million Dollar Chase and Melbourne Cup before capping his year with a dominant victory in the Group One Hobart Thousand in December.

Tommy Shelby’s ownership group, which includes trainer Steve Withers and his wife Kira, have generously shared their success with the community, donating 10 per cent of the greyhound’s earnings to various charities.

“He’s just amazing. It’s been the ride of a lifetime,” Withers said.

“And here we are tonight, the show keeps carrying on!”

With a combined 328 wins across the Cannington and Mandurah racetracks last year Nambeelup-based trainer David Hobby was the runaway winner of the Leading Trainer Award.

Hobby was well represented by a superb team of chasers including standouts like Flake Monelli and Mermaid Monelli.

Christine and Dave Robartson were worthy recipients of the   Gerry O’Keefe Lifetime Achievement Award.

The long-time participants have trained a slew of quality greyhounds over the years like the fondly remembered Wit’s End and were also instrumental in the establishment of the Mandurah racetrack in the late 1970s.

After moving to Queensland in the 1990s the Robartsons had their most fruitful period in greyhound racing.

During their stint in the Sunshine State they produced superstar racedogs El Galo and dual Perth Cup winner High Earner.

The Robertsons returned to WA midway through the last decade and remain active in the sport.

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