BLITZED: Now Grafton-based apprentice Eric Cheung pulls away from the field as they hit the finishing post in the Benchmark 65 Hcp earlier this year at the Clarence River Jockey Club.
BLITZED: Now Grafton-based apprentice Eric Cheung pulls away from the field as they hit the finishing post in the Benchmark 65 Hcp earlier this year at the Clarence River Jockey Club. Matthew Elkerton

Grafton's newest jockey has plenty on plate for Jaca Cup

THE latest addition to the Grafton jockey ranks, Eric Cheung will have plenty of opportunity at his home track glory today with five mounts across the day's eight races.

The Hong Kong apprentice came to Grafton with master Gordon Yorke when he moved his Gosford operations to the Clarence Valley in early September.

While he misses out on a ride in the first three maiden races of the meeting Cheung will then be non-stop for the rest of the afternoon's competition.

Cheung's best chance of the day comes in the form of John Shelton-trained Madam Fran in the CRJC Life Member's Cup (1000m) who was a last start unlucky second to Aimalac Millie at Grafton last Tuesday across 1006m journey.

Shrewd runner likely to break through

IT HAS been a tough start to the racing career of Greg Kilner-trained gelding Shrewd N Drac with a few opportunities to break the elusive winning barrier slipping through the hooves at the final straight.

But all that looks about to change with the $8 chance well placed on the rail in the Gillespie Plumbing Jacaranda Maiden Handicap (1700 metres).

Kilner has also done well at the weights coming in at 55kg but will need to show the pace early to ensure he is not boxed in by the two Matthew Dunn speedsters out of the middle of the field (Brooke Express, Barrier 4 and Naughty Corner, Barrier 5).

Apprentice claim could be key to Jaca crowning

STEPHEN Lee-trained Le Couronnement ($4.50 fav) - which translates to The Coronation - has had little luck at the Clarence River Jockey Club with the speedster finishing a narrow second on two recent occasions.

The run of form has the gelding by Oratorio (IRE) from Pourquoi (NZ) enter today's Grafton District Services Club Benchmark 55 Handicap (1200 metres) as the top weight, carrying 60kg.

However Lee has enlisted the services of Gold Coast apprentice Jag Guthmann-Chester whose 2kg claim will have the horse drop back to a more competitive 58kg alongside John Shelton-trained Shannonbrook Miss ($8) who is running hot on the back of a stellar first place finish on a tricky Casino track last week.



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