Bumper fields foreshadows July Carnival success
AN ABUNDANCE of nominations for this afternoon's race meeting at Grafton Greyhound Racing Club has foreshadowed a bumper July racing carnival for 2015.
The club had expected to run its usual 10-race program. However, with almost 200 nominations for the race meeting the club was forced to request the maximum number of races at a TAB track of 12 to keep faith with owners and trainers wishing to take part in this lead-in to the popular carnival of racing.
Distance racing is a rarity at Grafton. However due to the high degree of interest there has been two events programmed over the 610 metres, being the Highland Petfoods stakes and the Village Green Hotel stakes, each for greyhounds with up to three wins.
The first of these is the Highland Petfoods stakes where the Maxine Gleeson-trained Black Audit will be looking to maintain her purple of patch of form. Going into this race Black Audit has strung together three good wins over the 520 metres at Lismore, followed by two wins over the 480-metre journey here at Grafton.
Her most impressive was without question her last start 27.27 second romp in which the daughter of Collision and Sassy Sprite gave her rivals a galloping lesson winning by an ever-widening 9.75 lengths. That run gave every indication that she would be capable of handling the step up in journey to 610 metres and she certainly looks as though she will be the leader.
The Graeme Bowles-trained Echo Gal will have her admirers as she too does look suited to 610 metre racing while Scarlett Grace and Fury Rose Hi will also get their chance.
The Village Green Hotel stakes looks to be a match in two between the Malcolm Russell-trained Im Zarr Wolf and Jock's Gift for Reg Gardoll.
Im Zarr Wolf will be having his first look at the staying trip. However he is a greyhound which runs on nicely over the 500 metre distances and off box two in this event he should be able to secure a nice run into the race early.
Im Zarr Wolf is a winner at the track over 480 metres and although finishing sixth at his most recent run at Lismore he wasn't far from the winner in a good class field.
Jock's Gift has had a run over 620 metres where she did just struggle to get the distance first up. However she returns to her home track this afternoon and could not be drawn any better than she has in her box 7 draw. Jock's Gift should race on the pace and she will get her chance if she is good enough.
Another greyhound which is nicely drawn Rana Toro which has come up with his preferred box 8 in the Clarence Valley Sheds stakes over 305 metres.
The Matthew Bourne-trained chaser likes to track wide in his races and does possess good early speed after leaving the boxes so he should be able to stay out of trouble in the early stages of the corner start race.
If left alone Rana Toro is capable of clocking around the 17.50 second mark and that should be quick enough to take out this event.
Racing will kick off at 1.10pm this afternoon with the final race of twelve set for decision at 4.54pm.