Echo lad scorches to victory

WOOLI based greyhound trainer Graeme Bowles made his trek to the races on Wednesday afternoon full of hope that his speedy youngster Echo Lad could take out the Kleenheat Armidale to Grafton final after a solid second in the fastest heat time at Armidale the week prior behind Neil's Treasure.

At box rise, Echo Lad showed his customary early dash to set up camp out in front of the field with the Bob Cooke trained Skid Machine hot on his hammer. Skid Machine looked to have his measure on a couple of occasions throughout the event but Echo Lad pulled out all stops to withstand his challengers' efforts to valiantly record a narrow half head win. Echo Lad possessed solid Grafton form going into the event with the youngster yet to be unplaced here from five outings and those that supported him were rewarded with the nice dividend of $3.60.

Echo Lad recorded the time of 23.52 seconds in defeating Skid Machine with Neil's Treasure running on nicely when clear for a good third placing a further 3 lengths away.

Well travelled trainer Dean Turley racks up more miles than most each year in search of a winner and his efforts have been soundly rewarded in recent times with a winning double here at Grafton hot on the heels of a winning double at Lismore on Tuesday night and success at Albion Park in Brisbane on Sunday.

On Wednesday afternoon Dean was successful with Witchen Hour who led all the way in the Bailey & Gough Stake over 407m while Rum Train did a good job to run down race favourite Stone Arch in the Village Green Hotel 480m heat.

Witchen Hour was having her first look at the Grafton circuit and she recorded the time of 23.26 seconds in making it win number eight from twenty two starts paying the attractive dividend of $5.30 while those which supported Rum Train secured themselves a healthy $24.60 on the NSW TAB. The winning time for Rum Train was good at 27.72 seconds.

One of the better bets of the day appeared to be the Vicki Wisener trained Petie Pie which was ideally drawn out in box 8 in the 480m heat. Petie Pie made full use of his good draw and early speed to race clear in the early stages and was never in any doubt of being beaten. Petie Pie started the $2.10 favourite and she defeated Lyndan Bear by 2.25 lengths with Red Hot Prince in third in the time of 27.65 seconds.

Other heat winners were Gordon Ghekko which recorded the best time of the four heats when he impressively took out the Clarence Valley Sheds heat in a smart 27.47 seconds over Who's Fault while Sartorial Cloud secured the Grafton Truck & Trailers Repairs heat when finishing powerfully for Gavin Lowe in 27.62 seconds.

Time honours for the 407 metre journey went to a greyhound having it's first start on the Grafton track. The runner in question was the John Watts trained Caribbean Kid which led from start to finish in the Gillespie Plumbing Stakes. Caribbean Kid relished the drop back in grade from Free For All class to a 5th graded event and he is steadily building a solid career rrecord which now stands at six wins and four placings from just eleven starts and one could safely assume with further experience on the track he could well improve considerably on the 23.18 seconds he recorded on this occasion.

Junction Hill trainer Sandy Robertson has the knack of producing some very speedy greyhounds and his sole runer on the program Tranquil Lily showed exactly that trait when beginning beautifully from box 4 to lead all the way in the Grafton District Services Club stake over 407m. The win made it her first on the Grafton circuit but any greyhound with her box manners won't take long before they are successful once again. Tranquil Lily ran 23.37 seconds in defeating Schapelle Trick and Reverend Lyndan. 

The remaining winners on the program were Caramel Trick which took out the Iluka Bowls Club maiden at the juicy odds of $46.60 for trainer Darryl Schafer and Barrons Best which won the Hessions Auto Parts Maiden for Reg Gardoll.

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