Williams with Rippin’ chances in WA Derby and Oaks

\"\"Caption: Catch The Thief won last year’s WA Derby for Jason Thompson

By Isaac Murphy

The Group Two Western Australian Derby and Oaks are the type of races every trainer wants to win, especially the locals.

Perth-based Shayne Williams is set to get the chance to join the exclusive club with brother and sister Rippin’ Purton and Rippin’ Memphis set to give their rivals everything they can handle come late May.

The Derby is run with heats on the 15th of May and the Final on the 22nd, while the Oaks has heats on the 22nd and the final on the 29th at Cannington.

Both races have produced historically significant chasers, Catch The Thief winning the Derby for Jason Thompson last year while WA champion Miss Slick has her name on the honour roll in 2008.

Williams has had the age restricted races in mind for a long time and is looking forward to racing greyhounds on an aged-based status as his dynamic duo drop back from Group One company.

“The Oaks and Derby have always been the race we’ve targeted with them. Their form has just been so good we thought we’d have a throw at stumps on the way through in the Perth Cup,” Williams said.

“We wound up with a great result, Memphis Making the final and Purton first reserve. Unfortunately we had to err on the side of caution and scratch Memphis from the final with a slight niggle, but Purton was able to take her place and run third in a Group One and his sister will be back on deck in a couple of weeks.”

Williams is confident the dog is heading in the right direction almost ready to break through at Group level in what’s sure to be a hotly contested Derby.

“The Derby is always a hot race. We had Catch the Thief for Jason Thompson come over and win it last year and he’s gone back and turned into an absolute machine,” he said.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see a few interstate trainers make the trip over with the dogs and we’ve got a lot of talented young ones going around at home as well at the moment.

“I’m really looking forward to the Derby for Rippin’ Purton. He hadn’t made as big an impact as his sister until the Perth Cup run, but he’s run a lot of good races and is trending to be just as good as her.”

At just twenty-five months Zippin’ Memphis is at the top of the pile as far as Western Australian Sprinters go and despite her minor setback looks in the box seat for The Oaks.

“Over the last couple of months Rippin’ Memphis has established herself as probably the best Free for All bitch racing here at the moment,” Williams said.

“Her early speed is unmatched. She’s proven she can put herself in a race from anywhere, but it wasn’t until she won the Listed Keith Harding against some pretty serious opposition that I realised how good she was at a young age.

“Dropping back from open company into restricted grade for The Oaks will do her the world of good.

“If anything comes from interstate they’re going to have to do something special to beat her at Cannington.”

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