Outsider takes time honours
ULMARRA greyhound Priority Demand was the fastest heat winner of the Coutts Crossing Cup at Grafton on Saturday.
Jumping from box two, the Ken and Bridget Neave-trained greyhound raced to the front at the first turn and was far too strong in the run home for the odds-on favourite Orara Flash, trained by Gary Smith.
Priority Demand ($7) won the Anne Hunter heat by 4-3/4 lengths in 23.25 seconds, the best time of the day.
Three of the other four heat winners were within a half-length of one another.
The Gary Clarke-trained Diamonds Amore won the Coutts Crossing General Store heat at the start when he began on terms with the field and raced to the front at the first turn.
Odds-on favourite Orara Boss, also trained by Smith, was a clear last leaving the boxes and had to work his way through the field. This effort told in the run home and Diamonds Amore won by a 1-1/2 lengths in 23.34.
The win of One Shy (Reg Gardoll) was never in doubt in the Coutts Crossing Fishing Club heat. Although not the best to begin, One Shy raced along the rails from box one to lead at the first turn and beat Orara Ron (Smith) by 2-1/4 lengths in 23.37.
Pretty Quick's (John Free) victory in the Brian Thompson heat was full of merit. Pretty Quick had to work his way through the field from box five to be outside the leaders on the circle before going on to beat Hallucinator (Jan McLean) by 2-1/2 lengths in 23.35.
A recent addition to the Robbie Andrews kennel, Busy Dizzy won the Jack Demmery Bus Service heat by a half-head in 23.80 from Jaydo's Neglect in what could best be described as a busy finish.
The box draw for this final will have a big bearing on the outcome of the race. The field, not in box draw order is: Diamonds Amore, Busy Dizzy, One Shy, Pretty Quick, Priority Demand, Orara Boss, Orara Ron, Hallucinator,1st res Orara Flash, 2nd res Jaydo's Neglect.
The win by the Mark Wilcox-trained Fine Thought in the Fuller Bus Service top grade was top notch.
Fine Thought was second-last to leave the boxes and had to overcome a couple of checks in running before winning by a 1-1/2 lengths in 23.43.
Oh Mate (Kerry and Bob Merillo), having his second start after a five-month break, showed the benefit of last week's run when he won the Clarence Valley sheds fourth and fifth grade by three lengths in 23.27.
Former Grafton resident John Dart had a quinella in the Shiralee Produce third and fourth grade when Oh Regn beat Pedro Lilly by a 1-1/2 lengths in 27.79.
All Black Cloud (Gavin Lowe) made it two wins in a row at Grafton when he led most of the way in the Singh's Bus service fifth grade (480m). All Black Cloud won by a half-head in 27.89.
The Coutts Tavern /Tom's Timbers maiden went to the Jan McLean-trained Heza Bond, which won by a length in 23.43.
The Rod Houghton/Ray Donavan maiden (480m) was won by the Rod Sheather-trained Dinjerra Beauty, which won by 4-1/4 lengths in 28.62.