OFF AND RACING: The field explodes from the boxes at the Grafton Greyhound race track. The venue will host a 12-race program tonight.
OFF AND RACING: The field explodes from the boxes at the Grafton Greyhound race track. The venue will host a 12-race program tonight. Adam Hourigan

Money helps lift greyhound numbers for Jacaranda Maiden

IT is time for the puppies to take centre stage at the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club with six heats of the time-honoured George's Tree Services Jacaranda Maiden highlighting a bumper 12-event race card this evening.

The Grafton Greyhound Club and race sponsor George Tilman were elated with the response to the series with nominations up a remarkable 50% on last year.

The good prize money on offer means the series has attracted some top-class pups.

The heats of the Maiden series will be the first six events staged on tonight's program.

Meanwhile, Pillar Valley trainer Reg Gardoll will be hoping handy sprinter Cool Leaf can continue his current good form when he steps out in the Hessions Auto Parts 3/4th grade (407m).

Cool Leaf returned to the winner's circle two runs back at Wauchope.

He franked that form when he overcame an ordinary box 5 draw to upset race favourite Class Of Magic at Grafton on Thursday.

Cool Leaf has drawn box 2 tonight and in a race that is expected to feature minimal early speed, he should be able to position himself in a favourable spot before the field hits the first turn.

The Grafton Truck and Trailer Stakes (480m) has attracted an impressive field including Casino dog Top Ninja.

Top Ninja has had just one start over the distance at the Grafton layout, clocking 27.68 seconds to finish 1.75 lengths third to Glenreagh Girl in August.

The two will face off again tonight but Glenreagh Girl's form since they last met appears to have slipped.

Suited from a wide draw, punters can expect a solid performance from Top Ninja on an each-way basis.

The impressive Pierino will make a return to racing after nearly four months off the scene when he lines up in the Phil McLennan Earthmoving Stakes.

If Pierino is fully fit and race ready he should be much too good for his opposition.

The Glenda Dart-trained runner has tasted success on seven occasions from just 23 starts with fast times at Tweed Heads and Albion Park to his credit and while only placed here in two previous runs, Pierino looks to be too classy and is likely to send favourite backers home happy in the final race on tonight's card.



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