USE YOUR MIND: Strapper Megan Hodder with her mother Julie Hodder’s horse Just Imagine running in the Class 2 Handicap today.
USE YOUR MIND: Strapper Megan Hodder with her mother Julie Hodder’s horse Just Imagine running in the Class 2 Handicap today. Adam Hourigan

Just Imagine another win for confident mare at Grafton races

CLASS 3 HCP: WHEN Just Imagine hits the Grafton race track today, it will be a slightly special moment for local trainer Julie Hodder.

The four-year-old bay mare is not only stepping up for her first Class 2 Hcp race off the back of a Maiden Plate win, but she will be ridden by Julie’s daughter Belinda.

The victory at the Clarence River Jockey Club last week was a little bittersweet, Hodder said, because her daughter missed out on riding her for that event.

But it was good for the owners, most of whom are from the Clarence Valley, who have never had a racehorse before.

“When a horse does well people always say what a great trainer but you can’t make a slow horse run fast,” she said.

The Grafton trainer said she was hopeful that with a good gate Just Imagine would be able to repeat her great run despite being up against favourite Don Caballo.

The horse had also been accepted to run in the Blues Brews and BBQs Maiden Plate.

“It’s a big ask going from maiden to class two but I think she’s taking a bit more confidence out of that last win,” she said.

“They know when they win; you’ll hear stories for plenty of trainers, especially with mares. They find form and hold form. Just like a person they work out where the line is and what needs to be done.”

Out of 18 starts in three seasons, the Grafton trained horse has recorded one win and nine places.

Hodder said she believed poor gate draws had held her back from her full potential.

“She’s a tough little button but she just had to draw the right barriers,” she said.

“Luckily I think she’s got a good barrier again which is what’s held her back back from winning other races.

“She’s had terrible luck with gates until now.”

Today, only time will tell.

“Belinda knows the horse for sure, and also when daughter in for you it makes it a little bit special,” she said.

“Obviously it feels a lot harder this time and we’ll know how she goes (today).”



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