Gabby’s win just the trick
THIS evening's Grafton Greyhound race meeting will be highlighted by two heats of the Taragreyhounds.com.au stakes over 480m while distance racing appears once again with a good field of greyhounds engaged to do battle in the Disintegrate @ Stud stake over 610m.
While each of the above-mentioned races are quality events it is hard to imagine a victory that would equal that witnessed on Thursday afternoon when Gabrielle Trick scored an upset win in the George's Tree Services Jacaranda Maiden Final.
Gabrielle Trick is owned by Sue and Darryl Schafer, and the Schafers are no strangers to success at the Grafton circuit with Darryl the leading trainer here for a number of years.
However, it is worth noting that, for all Darryl's success here as a trainer, he is yet to salute in a maiden final - a statistic that has stumped the likeable mentor for some time.
It is not that he hasn't had the greyhounds capable of doing so, or indeed the ability as a trainer; it is purely that luck at the right time in running has continued to elude his his dogs, despite regularly training the fastest qualifier.
It is no secret that Darryl, unfortunately, has not been experiencing the best of health of late and as such has had to considerably downsize his hands-on involvement with the sport he loves, moving his greyhounds to other trainers for the time being.
His good friend, Jan Finneran, trains Gabrielle Trick and she announced some time back that this was the race she was going to target with the daughter of Dragon Fire and Itza Girl Trick. She was intent on taking it out for the Schafers.
Gabrielle Trick performed well during two performance trials here before making her race debut in the heat when scoring in a solid 23.27sec. Sudoku Rebel quite rightly held all of the focus in the final following his near-record effort; however, he was slowly away and never figured from that point on.
In contrast, Gabrielle Trick began nicely, contesting the lead in the early stages and, in a deceptive finish, doing well to hold off the solid finish of Kenworth Cloud, which, ironically, is trained by Darryl Schafer's brother-in-law Gavin Lowe.
At the presentation the emotion in the air was palpable with club president John Corrigan, who has forged a strong friendship with the Schafers, and trainer Jan Finneran each struggling to concentrate on the job with fluent speeches hard to find.
A clearly elated Schafer rang the track shortly after the race, declaring he has now finally learnt how to win one of these finals and that is to have another trainer prepare his dogs - although it was put a little more colourfully than that.
In tonight's race meeting, punters would do well to follow the Peter Simpson-trained runners.
His runners are racing in great heart at present, winning three races on Thursday afternoon, and this evening he is tipped by many to continue his run of winning form.
Elvee Express and Wild Roses were two runners to salute last week and they each have solid prospects of repeating the dose in the Cetnaj Electrical 5th grade and Carters Canine Capers 4/5th grade respectively.