Photographer Joel Hargans captures the start of the last race at Grafton yesterday, the XXXX Gold Open Hcp, 1500m.
Photographer Joel Hargans captures the start of the last race at Grafton yesterday, the XXXX Gold Open Hcp, 1500m.

A good luck charm


THROUGH superstition, believing it's bad luck or other reasons many trainers are loathe to have pre-race stories written, particularly about first starters.

"Wait until after the race," is often a common catch phrase.

Publicity can be a worthy tool in a trainer's kit bag, but owners too come into the equation.

The Daily Examiner contacted Grafton trainer Sucha Singh on Thursday attempting to do a story and obtain a photo of two-year-old filly Bombay Duck, who was scheduled to make her debut in the Grafton Carnival July 7-17 Maiden Plate (1000m).

The affable Singh, normally forthcoming in the 'talk stakes,' preferred to pass up the opportunity.

It wasn't due to trying to keep a planned betting coup on the 'quiet,' simply he hadn't been able to contact owner, Yamba-based Greg Ingham.

Instead we looked to former jockey Alan Abrahams.

Yesterday at Grafton, both trainers were delighted winners.

Bombay Duck, ridden by Craig Franklin made an auspicious debut when she beat Merlean's Magic and Our Royal Star.

And Abrahams, under the Black Magic racing banner, scored a career high winning double with Rapid Hela in the Ramornie Day July 13 Maiden (1600m) and Hi Gerry in the Grafton Cup Day July 14 Maiden (1200m).

Both horses were ridden by Abrahams partner, Leanne Frankland.

Bombay Duck, by Octagonal, is out of the Grand Lodge dam, Chapatti and was bred by Ingham.

"I trained Chapatti for Greg and she won at Grafton on debut then finished unplaced at the Gold Coast," Singh said.

"She kept going sore and it was recommended that she be retired to stud to breed from.

"She's from a very good family.

"Bombay Duck is her first foal but a half-brother by Commands was passed in recently for $29,000."

Singh has high hopes for the fleet filly.

"She's a beautiful filly and she showed enough today to suggest she can win more races," he said.

"In 12 months time hopefully she will be more than handy.

"The Octagonals are better three-year-olds and seem to get better the older they get."

Incidentally Singh was able to contact Ingham early yesterday and straight after the race the happy owner was passing on his congratulations via mobile phone.

Abrahams walked on air yesterday.

"This is a huge thrill, I'm really happy," he said after Hi Gerry's win.

"I thought he was my best chance and he should improve even further.

"I'll probably bring him back for a 1400 metres race at Grafton in three weeks.

"The owners should have some fun with him."

Hi Gerry's win sparked a huge cheer from several part-owners connected with the Good Intent Hotel.

Mid-way through last year Abrahams was in great pain and heavily medicated as he overcame severe injuries sustained in a race fall at Newcastle in April.

"This (training a double) is certainly much better than lying in bed in pain throwing tablets down my throat," he said. "I can't believe it."

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