Carnival off to a flyer
THE July Carnival was off to a great start with a good 12-race card.
The feature of the day was the running of five heats of the Grafton District Services Club fifth grade, as well as three heats of the Low Pressure Co third and fourth grade.
The Denise Robinson-trained Spring Royal set the time standard for the heats of the Low Pressure Co third and fourth grade when he jumped in front and led all the way to score by seven lengths from Zacpurton in 23.09 seconds, with Joyful Lee a further two lengths away third.
Hazavar Jet, trained by Dave Robertson, resumed from a six-week break to lead all the way to win by 5-1/4 lengths from Major Dundee, with Chaptain Ice two lengths away third in 23.30 seconds.
The win made it five from five for Hazavar Jet at Grafton.
The third heat went to the well-backed Earl Lee, trained by John Buttsworth for Earl Anderson.
Earl Lee was soon in front and held on well to beat the favourite, Satan's Chant, by a length with Tranquil Lyn 3-1/4 lengths back third in 23.34 seconds.
Only three lengths separated the five heat winners in the Grafton District Services Club fifth grade, which should make for a very exciting final on Wednesday.
The fastest heat winner was the Deborah Lowe-trained Goddessa, which had to work hard from box eight to run down the early leader Big River Ted to win by a 1-1/4 lengths in 23.31 seconds.
Not far behind Goddessa was the Ray Fox-trained Hey Ray, which railed well on the circle to beat Turls by four lengths in 23.33 seconds.
The Jeff Droy-trained Pandemic made full use of box one to score by 2-1/4 lengths from Free Adventure in 23.34 seconds.
Brian Honey has been coming to the July Carnival for many years and Justa Command was a good winner for him when he won by 1-1/2 lengths from Katie Allover in 23.36 seconds.
The Darryl Schafer-trained Norma Jean Trick was the other heat winner when she finished too strongly for the early leader Singularly to win by a half-length in 23.51 seconds.
Local trainers more then held their own in the three top grade races.
In the Maddens Office Smart top grade over 407m the Rick Godwin trained-Energy On Fire led all the way to score by a 1-1/4 lengths in the best time of the day, 23.03 seconds.
The Geoff Cowan-trained Street Assassin led all the way in the Lanes Mitre 10 top grade over 480m to win by a 1-1/4 lengths in 27.60 seconds.
In the Skyline Car Care top grade over 610m, the Margaret Springer-trained Dell Ellen was another to take advantage of box one when she finished hard along the fence to score by four lengths in 35.72 seconds.
Another local, John Haaring, opened the account for local trainers when he won the Croppers Automotive maiden with Bridget Lee who was just too good to win by a neck in 23.74 seconds.