Vicki Keeping to match it with some of the best in Stayers Challenge

Cowra greyhound Vicki Keeping will test herself against some of the best stayers in the country after booking her spot in the Stayers Challenge (715m) at Sandown Park this Sunday.

Trained by Geoff and Mick Curtale, Vicki Keeping will go one on one with Melbourne greyhound Good Luck Mark in a bid to secure a piece of the $24,000 prizemoney on offer and $4000-to-the-winner of each match-race.

Vicki Keeping is coming off victories at Wentworth Park last Wednesday followed by an eight length triumph at Richmond on Friday.

Curtale spoke confidently of Vicki Keeping’s chances in her match-race.

“She’s been racing like a jet the last few wins. She’s getting better and better,” Curtale said.

“She won at Wenty last Wednesday night and backed it up at Richmond on Friday winning by eight lengths.

“They were two good wins.”

Curtale said he’s hoping to snare a third place finish overall, knowing Vicki Keeping is unlikely to compete with Burn One Down and Ebby Ripper – two of the best in the business.

“I’m looking to finish third behind either Burn One Down or Ebby Ripper. There’s three good stayers in the country and Burn One Down and Ebby Ripper are two of them,” Curtale said.

Vicki Keeping’s offered plenty of thrills for Curtale since joining his Cowra-based kennel 11 starts ago.

She began her career in Dubbo under the care of Shayne Stiff. After eight races and one minor placing she was bought by Curtale who has since recorded four wins and a further three second place finishes.

Curtale said the match-race format suits Vicki Keeping, who traditionally starts slow but finishes with speed.

“I think the two dog match-race is made for her. She’s just made for two dog races. She flops out, bludges a bit and flashes home,” he said. “Good Luck Mark is a Melbourne dog, it’ll lead. 

“She [Vicki Keeping] will drop two or three maybe even as far as five or six lengths behind then she’ll wind up and have him by the finish. That’s how we hope it pans out.”

After the Stayers Challenge Curtale said he may give his exciting bitch a stint in New Zealand. Vicki Keeping will launch from box three with Good Luck Mark from number one. 

Curtale and his brother Mick are heading to Sandown Park on Sunday morning.  The Stayers Challenge is set to begin at 8.31pm on Sunday evening.

Box draw:

  1. Mick’s Angel (1) 2. Sir Jay Jay (3) 3. Ebby Ripper (1) 4. Kuta’s Lad (3) 5. Dundee Calypso (1) 6. Burn One Down (3) 7. Good Luck Mark (1) 8. Vicki Keeping (3)

Match races:

  • 1 v 2, 3 v 4, 5 v 6, 7 v 8.

Prizemoney (overall times):

1st $16,000, 2nd $6000, 3rd $2000. Each match-race winner pockets $4000.