Ladies win the day at dogs
IT WAS ladies day at the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club today with lady trainers taking out seven of the 10 races with three trainers securing winning doubles. This feat is even more meritorious considering there were only six lady trainers with runners engaged on the day.
The Tracey Lindsay star continues to rise courtesy of her two starters Valdiron and Okeechobee with each saluting impressively today. Valdiron and Okeechobee are half-brothers with each being sons of Tracey’s great race/brood bitch Kovu.
The first of these to score was Valdiron who made great use of his favourable inside box draw in the Iluka Bowls Club Fifth Grade over 407 metres. The veteran of just three career race starts to date gave nothing else a chance in a comfortable five-and-one-quarter length length win over Mad Again with Barcarol third. It is not an easy task for youngsters to come straight out of maiden class to win against fifth graders but Valdiron handled the class rise with ease in recording the smart time of 23.23 seconds and now boasts the career record of three starts for two wins and a placing.
Okeechobee lined up as an odds-on favourite in the Third/ Fourth grade over 480 metres and eventually scored by four-and-a-half lengths over Rock Muncher with a further one-and-a-quarter lengths back to Crikey Cloud who ran his usual honest race for third. Okeechobee has been racing very well both here and at Lismore however it appears likely that Tracey shall send this son of Where’s Pedro back down to Melbourne to campaign for the bigger prizemoney.
Marilyn Johnson started the ball rolling for ladies by taking the first two races, the Village Green Maiden and the Clarence Valley Sheds Maiden each over 407 metres, with litter brothers Bentley Black and Dateline each saluting comfortably.
Bentley Black showed good early box speed to take up the early running and he was never seriously challenged in defeating Ikon, trained by Wendy Arthurson, by three-and-a-quarter lengths with Desert Rat finishing third in the time of 23.47 seconds. Dateline wasn’t going to let his brother have all the glory and soon pushed through to take up the running before the first turn and eventually ran out a two-and-three-quarter length victor over the interestingly named Hot Frog with Impatient Cloud rounding out the placings.
The third lady trainer to secure her winning double was Maxine Gleeson who was successful in the Westlawn Finance Maiden 407 metres with Holly Uno and the Highland Petfoods Fifth Grade 407 metres with Chasing Slater who are each owned in Townsville by her son Peter Gleeson. Holly Uno was quite impressive in his victory when he went to the front from box rise before holding off the determined challenge of Tennison Valley to score by two lengths in the handy time of 23.40 seconds. On this effort Holly Uno will be in the winners circle sooner rather than later.
Wild Addissun ran a creditable third for lady trainer Julie Gauld. Chasing Slater showed marked improvement from his recent Grafton starts when recording a nippy 23.25 seconds in scoring by five-and-a-half lengths over Fire Dancer with John Preston in third. Chasing Slater’s previous best time at the track was 23.52 seconds.
Maxine and connections of the winners joked that they may do well to consider sending her partner George Ward south more often as he was missing in action in Kempsey for the day.
Queensland trainer Tricia Fuller rounded the honour roll for the ladies with her smart youngster Jump In who continues to build on his impressive career record after taking out the Fuller Bus Services Fifth Grade over 407 metres. Jump In was only moderately away from box 8 but when he found his feet quickly sped to the lead and recorded a slick time of 23.23 seconds. This was Jump In’s fourth win from only five career starts to date. Ebony Renegade ran a good race for second with Northern Echo running on strongly for third after finding plenty of early bother.
Time honours for the 407 metre journey for the day went to the ever-consistent Sammilicious who led from go to whoa in recording her personal best time of 23.04 seconds for Reg Gardoll and owner Troy Carter. Sammilicious possesses very good acceleration and this was to the fore once again today. Litter brothe Sunshine Bill finished second while Fleet Commander was third for lady trainer Marlene Ellis.
Two heats of the Grafton to Lismore 480 metre series were taken out by the Gavin Lowe-trained Tranquil Cloud and the Jim Madigan-trained Shalana Magic for the ‘best bet of the day’ tag.