Trainer Sally Taylor can't get the smile off her face as she dons one of her owners caps after her horse Rednav won the Grafton Cup.
Trainer Sally Taylor can't get the smile off her face as she dons one of her owners caps after her horse Rednav won the Grafton Cup. Adam Hourigan

2016 SPORT: Fairytale finish the toast of July

Taylor's fairytale finish in the Cup

RACING: The $160,000 McKimms Real Estate Grafton Cup (2350m) turned out to be fairytale result for 23-year-old fledgling trainer Sally Taylor who was left in raptures.

Taylor's $26 outsider Rednav was ridden to perfection by stalwart Peter Graham who manged to break his Grafton Cup duck.

Rednav became only the second horse, after Catapult (Kim Moore) in 1998 to win the Cup after earning his spot in the race through the Cup Prelude.

Hong Kong killer steals Ramornie spotlight

RACING: From Sha Tin to Grafton, John Sargent-trained Smart Volatility has had a long journey back to its first listed race victory in Australia.

A champion in Hong Kong who won millions in prizemoney, it was ready to be retired before owner Carissa Or and husband Patrick Fu decided to give him another lease on life in Sargeant's Sydney stable.

After champion Sydney jockey Tye Angland snuck it across the line only a nose ahead of a charging top weight Big Money (Robert Thompson), you could not wipe the smile from Fu's face.

Barnes' ranger takes out maiden final at the track

Kane able to take field for Reds

RUGBY UNION: Yamba lock Kane Douglas was set to take the football field for the first time since the Rugby World Cup final last October.

The Wallaby representative made his long-awaited return on the pine for the Queensland Reds against the ACT Brumbies in July.

Reds coach Nick Stiles issued a strong rebuttal to any suggestions Douglas was rushed back on to the bench to face the Brumbies.

Douglas told ARM in June he wanted to return for two Super Rugby games after the international break, for what will be his long-awaited Queensland debut.

Young heads overseas to represent Australia

HOCKEY: The honour of representing his country is something up and coming Grafton hockey star Sam Young does not take lightly.

The 16-year-old jetted off in June to South Africa with the Australian All-Schools Under 16 side to play in a three-match test series scheduled for the next two weeks.

And while the nerves might have hit fever pitch for Young, he was trying his hardest not to let them overwhelm him.

Mini X Cup pulls on the throttle at Glenugie

MOTOCROSS: Despite a threatening grey sky overhead, nothing could dampen the spirits of the hundreds of motocross riders, families and fans trackside for the Greef Clothing Mini X Cup.

The high-octane action on track kicked off in July with more than 50 riders competing across the 10 different classes on offer.

Greef Clothing co-owner Troy Cochrane, who put the Mini X Cup together with brother Ryan and the support of local businesses, said the event had exceeded expectations for the day.

It's all over rover as government introduces dogs ban

GREYHOUNDS: Greyhound racing's Grafton July Carnival was in chaos following the stunning announcement by the NSW Government that it will ban the sport from July 1, 2017.

Greyhound Racing NSW responded by cancelling all racing for seven days, meaning Grafton meetings scheduled for the carnival in July were left in limbo including Wednesday's feature finals.

Grafton Greyhound Racing Club secretary Brad Ellis said the club aimed to transfer Wednesday's feature finals to next Friday, which should fall outside the seven-day racing ban.

BMX State carnival a major boost for local economy

BMX: The influx of visitors for the BMX NSW State Series round was set to add to a significant financial boost for the Clarence Valley during the July school holidays.

A cluster of events kicked off at Clarence Valley BMX Club's track in South Grafton on Wednesday night, culminating with the state round on the weekend.

Larrikin lads clinch State title on home turf

HOCKEY: A group of larrikin teenagers has achieved the best result for Grafton Hockey Association in recent memory, taking out the Division 1 title during the Under 13s Boys State championships.

The Under 13s Grafton 1 side mentored by Sailors' Darryl Clark put on a dominant display all weekend to defend their home turf at the Clarence Valley Regional Hockey Complex.

The side only conceded five goals across the weekend with three of those coming during the finals series which wrapped up on Brent Livermore Field in Sunday's final.

Grafton defeated long term arch rivals Tamworth in the final clash clinching the trophy with a 5-2 victory.

Ghosts earn one back in Battle for the River

RUGBY LEAGUE: In front of the biggest home crowd the side has seen since the 2014 grand final, the Grafton Ghosts put in a spirited performance to defeat cross river rivals the Rebels.

It was a match the Rebels had control of until the final minutes, when a solo effort from Ghosts' magic man Jayden Connors gave the home side a four-point lead with only minutes left.

As the siren blasted the emotion of the contest overwhelmed the players, with the Rebels resigned to their haunches, the effort of the clash sapping their last reserves.

With tears welling in his eyes, Ben McLennan lifted the Viv Hodge Memorial Trophy to the cheers of the home crowd.

Barnes gets his hands no elusive trophy

GREYHOUNDS: After coming to the Grafton July Carnival for a quarter of a century, Cudal trainer Dennis Barnes finally got his hands on the Taylor and Family Maiden Classic trophy with an impressive win by kennel champion Nangar Range.

For Barnes, who over the many years of visiting Grafton for the Carnival has had 10 runners in the premiere final, it was an unbelievable moment.

"It was unbelievable; you know we have won a lot of feature races over our time coming to the Carnival," Barnes said. "But this is the one that had eluded us."

Short priced favourite Matthew Reid-trained Norm The Storm held off an early challenge from Echo Gal to win the Westlawn Finance Stayers Cup while Major Jackpot, trained by Robert Cooke, just pipped local speedster Gudera Polikapov in the Village Green Sprinters Cup Final.

Shanahan finishes whirlwind fortnight in the waves

SURFING: Wooli grommet Carly Shanahan has the world at her feet.

The 12-year-old princess of the waves had a non-stop whirlwind in June first clinching a Surfing NSW MR Shield before finishing runner up in the NSW State Grommet Titles.

During the MR Shield, a schools-based competition where junior surfers represent their school, Shanahan surfed alongside 14-year old Jessie Van Niekerk.

The two surfed well beyond their years taking on more experienced competitors in the Under 19s division and put on a great display of teamwork surfing.

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