HIGH HOPES: Graeme Wilkes works out one of his trotters, Iflytoo, on his track at Southgate in preparation for the Grafton Show. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN
HIGH HOPES: Graeme Wilkes works out one of his trotters, Iflytoo, on his track at Southgate in preparation for the Grafton Show. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

Hot to trot at the Grafton Show

HARNESS racing driver Graeme Wilkes hopes his mare Iflytoo has what it takes to win the trots at the Grafton Show.

Despite racing for more than 45 years, the Southgate beef cattle farmer is yet to find the star horse to bring a win.

Mr Wilkes bought his first racehorse when he was 21, and recently jumped back into the harness after a long break from the sport.

The 66-year-old said his interest stemmed from his father's love of harness racing.

"You have to blame my father - he had an interest in them before I did and I just followed on," he said.

"Hoping that you're going to get a good horse one day that's what keeps you in it."

Since taking back the reins, he has raced Iflytoo at Wauchope, and will race at Macksville this weekend before heading to the Maclean and Grafton shows.

Mr Wilkes said he was hoping for a win at the Grafton Show.

"(At Wauchope) we had four starts in two days, and the last run was best one - she ran a couple of seconds," he said.

"A win anywhere would be pretty good."

Grafton Show harness racing chief steward Eddie Smith said everything was shaping up well for the event, and the trots would run on both days of the show.

This will be the fourth year harness racing has been run at the show since being cancelled for about eight years.

"When we lost it took a bit of building up again," Mr Smith said.

Before it was cancelled we used to have pretty good trotting numbers - one year we had about 90 horses.

"This year we hope to have at least 15 horses."

GRAFTON AGRICULTURAL SHOW

  • The show is at the Grafton Showgrounds on May 9-10.
  • Daily entry to the show costs $15 for adults and $5 for children at the gate, with family tickets for $35.
  • Show membership is $20 and entitles unlimited access for the duration of the show with pass-outs.
  • Membership tickets are available from Grafton Show office on Wednesday and Friday, 9am-3pm.
  • For more information phone the Grafton Show Society on 6642 2240.


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