Spanner in works
By TONY WHITE
An association that began three years ago has proven fruitful for former Grafton jockey Greg Farrer.
Rosehill trainer Tony Karakatsanis first met Farrer through a mutual friend, Gold Coast-based owner Chris Wood, who races several horses with the Karakatsanis stable.
At the time Karakatsanis convinced Farrer to come to Grafton during July and ride his team of horses work.
Last year they combined to win a race with Love And Theft and on Thursday at Grafton combined for a winning double with the same horse and Seyxas.
Tomorrow the Karakatsanis-Farrer combination will be chasing feature race success with Come On Spanner in the $40,000 South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's South Grafton Cup (1600m).
They will also saddle up together with Black Piranha (race four), Bella Senora (race six) and Bold Youth (race eight).
Farrer, born in Bowral on the NSW south coast, eventually finished school in Nambor, Queensland, then took up an apprenticeship with Canberra trainer John Morrissey.
He moved to Grafton in 2001 at the bequest of trainer David Kelly and rode freelance in the area before moving back to Caloundra, in Queensland, in 2004.
But come carnival time and Farrer returns to his old stamping ground to help guide Karakatsanis's fortunes.
"It's been a great start, let's hope it can keep going," Farrer said."Tony and I have had a good association. He's a good trainer who knows how to place his horses."
Karakatsanis said Farrer, unlike some higher profile riders, was able to follow instructions to the letter.
"He'll actually sit down and listen to what you want, not go out there and think he knows better," Karakatsanis said.
"He rides my horses work and I try and reward him with the bulk of rides when I up here."
Come On Spanner, a five-year-old, was a last start fourth to Chasin' Tail on a dead track at the Sunshine Coast on July 1.
Karakatsanis said Come On Spanner would appreciate a dry track tomorrow.
"Like several of my horses up here for the carnival he just needs a dry track," he said.
"The horse is very fit and jumping out of his skin. He's nicely weighted and I think he'll run good."
The Phil McLeod-trained Mr Aristos, a two-time winner in Sydney recently, will start favourite.
Mr Aristos arrived back in Grafton on Monday and McLeod has swum the tough six-year-old to keep him ticking over.
"For a horse that's won twice in Sydney and should have won last start there too, yes, he's nicely weighted (56.5kg)," McLeod said.
"The 1600 metres is good for him. He's an old war horse. He just loves it (racing). If he's good enough he'll be winning."
Mr Aristos will be ridden by Scott Seamer. McLeod's stable rider Allan Robinson will partner the Neil Godbolt-trained Windon.
Robinson is good friends with Windon's owner-breeder, former TAB chairman Ross Cribb, and stuck by his promise some time back to ride the gelding in the South Grafton Cup.