DUBBO Greyhound Racing Club president Shayne Stiff might have a new favourite cousin after his bitch Renee Keeping made a dazzling start to her racing career with a victory at Dawson Park yesterday.
Trained and part-owned by Stiff's partner Charmaine Roberts, Renee Keeping ($4.60) took out the Volunteers Appreciation Maiden (400m) by more than 12 lengths and in the process broke the 23-second barrier.
The litter from which Renee Keeping came from were all named after Stiff's cousins and he admitted after the race the bitch had always shown a bit of potential.
After jumping well from box five, the Bit Chili x Sweet Keeping bitch was able to scorch away from her rivals, with the margin widening the further the race went.
On the line Renee Keeping had 12-and-three-quarter lengths to spare from Supreme Wren ($4.60) with Irrelevant ($6.00) a further two lengths away in third place.
The win was a reward for connections, who had travelled the dog to Victoria but had to wait until returning home to get a start.
"We took her down to Melbourne and nominated her for a couple of races but she got balloted out both times because of the performance trial rules," Stiff said.
"Charmaine has always liked her and we thought we might get a quid out of her because she had broken 23 here a couple of times in trials.
"Anyway, she didn't get a start so we thought we would hold her back until Boxing Day when there would be a crowd and we'd be on Sky 1.
"We were pretty confident today and she did everything right, which is the most pleasing thing.
"The track is racing well but she's run a good time and done everything to suggest she will win a few more races. A couple of the other dogs from the litter have been sold and we have a couple of others left."
Earlier, Gazmick Diva helped pay off some of the Christmas bill for part-owner Michael O'Shannessy after scoring in the Boxing Day Maiden (516m).
The Bombastic Shiraz x Lady Gazmick bitch, trained at Parkes by Garry Abernethy, started a $7.00 chance and wore down Mighty Adhara ($4.40) with $3.10 favourite Octane Braydon finishing third.
The win was the first of Gazmick Diva's career at her 16th race start.
"We had a bit of luck with the bast litter out of this bitch but this one hasn't quite worked out as well," O'Shannessy said.
"She deserved that win today. She'd run some placings down around Sydney before coming back out here and I knew if she was close at the catching pen the first time then she would be hard to beat because she is a strong dog.
"When she was second at that point I knew it was our day and to get a win with her is good because it helps keep the family line winning when we breed again."