Lawson puts year ban to rest with home track win
RACING: The smile has returned to the face of Grafton trainer Wayne "Henry” Lawson after he returned to the winner's circle at his home track on Sunday for the first time since a 12-month suspension.
Lawson was rocked last year after he was found guilty of presenting a horse with excessive cobalt in March 2018.
But the thoughts of his conviction were far from the track as Grafton jockey Matt McGuren steered four-year -old gelding Dominant Crown to a win in the Valley Signs & Printing Benchmark 60 Hcp (1006m).
Clarence River Jockey Club chairman Graeme Green, who has a part share in the gelding and stood by the trainer throughout his trials last year, said it was a proud day for everybody involved in Grafton racing.
"It is just great to see Henry back at the track and doing what he loves,” Green said.
"He was devastated when it all went down last year.
"He was very unfortunate and we all lost 12 months with a few of the horses in the syndicate.
"But we are back in action now and it is all going forward from here.”
The Lawson stable has five horses including an unraced four-year-old Quisical Times, but the best chance rests with the exciting Dominant Crown.
"This was his second win on the trot and he ran a close second the other start first up here at Grafton,” Green said.
"Matty said he was really wanting to go before he got into the straight, but he is a good strong jockey and just managed to hold him up to go at the right time.”
It was the gelding's third win to go along with three placings from 11 starts in what has been a thrilling start to his career.
"We will be looking at something much bigger for him in the near future,” Green said.
"There is a nice $400,000 Championships heat coming up in February that could really be within his reach. It's exciting times.”