GREYHOUNDS: Jacaranda fever has well and truly hit town and it is no different at the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club with more than 100 motorhomes set to make Grafton their home for a week during the Clarence Valley Ramblers Jacaranda festivities.
The racing is just as action-packed this evening with feature events aplenty including the George's Tree Services Jacaranda Maiden final, Ladbrokes Red Dog series final and the Clarence Valley Ramblers Trophy.
Some smart youngsters took part in the George's Tree Services Jacaranda Maiden heats last week and, while time honours may have been taken out by the Stephen Keep trained Our Wild Jacko, the box draw looks to be favouring the next fastest qualifiers in Canalai and Black County which were just fractionally slower.
The wide draws of box 7 for the Roger O'Neill trained Canalai and box 8 for the Amanda Rayner prepared Black County look to be ideal and they have to be the greyhounds to beat.
Canalai was ultra impressive showing very good speed in clocking a fast first section of 8.38 seconds and, while she did weaken slightly in the run home, she can be expected to be improved by the run.
Black County ran a nice 8.49 and 23.17 from box 2, however the switch to the wide draw shouldn't pose any real problems for the local chaser.
Our Wild Jacko has drawn the squeeze box in box 5 and, with plenty of speed drawn on his outside, he looks like he will need luck in running at the right stage if he is to take this one out.
The box draw for the Ladbrokes Red Dog series has tipped the scales heavily in favour of the Andrew Monaghan trained Gil Marchi after that runner came up with the coveted one box.
Gil Marchi used a wide draw to take his heat in fair time.
However, tonight off box 1 with the wide running Stark Warning drawn on his outside in box 2, there can be no excuses for the son of Vee Man Vane and Miss Tickles.
Stark Warning looks to be the obvious danger as the fastest heat winner.
However, he does like to get wide in the early stages and he just may need that shade of luck early as he goes searching for clear running.
The Clarence Valley Ramblers Trophy almost looks to be a match in two between the Sonia Kempshall trained Slick Jappa and the Evelyn Harris prepared Vincent following the early scratching of Goodbye Hug, which would have had plenty of admirers.
On the basis of his reliable early speed, Slick Jappa narrowly gets the nod. Vincent should be challenging strongly late.
For those punters looking for a best bet on the night, it does look to be the previously mentioned Gil Marchi which will get the perfect run in its race, has good acceleration and does look as though it will get every chance to salute in what is race 7 on the program.