Rain won't stop Grafton races

LOCAL trainer Cathy Chapman won’t be singing the blues if consistent Cool Joe can make it back to back wins at Grafton today.

The four-year-old gelding, with Jasen Watkins aboard, saddles up in the Pillar Valley Sawmilling/P Lloyd Earthmoving Benchmark 50 Handicap (1406m).

On a day when entertaining blues bands will be to the fore at the matinee fixture beginning at 10.30am, Cool Joe is one of three runners Chapman has engaged.

And with rain predicted, Chapman is hopeful Cool Joe can reproduce his stout-finishing win in a similar grade event at Grafton on January 31.

“He’s trained on good. It was a good effort to win last start,” Chapman admitted.

“He doesn’t like hard ground but gets through most types of ground and the track should suit him.

“I think there will be pace on and while it’s a harder race, the horse has done well.”

Cool Joe lives up to his name Chapman suggested.

“He just takes everything in his stride. He’s certainly a good doer,” she added.

“His problem has been the Benchmark system.

“Because of his rating (48) he keeps getting balloted out of races.”

The Benchmark system also worked against the Chapman-trained Rocket King, who again tackles last-start vanquisher Follow Orders in the Clarence Valley Tyres/Old Kent Road Apartments Benchmark 50 Handicap (1406m).

Jasen Watkins partners the four-year-old gelding.

Last start over 1200m at Grafton on January 31, Follow Orders beat Rocket King a long neck.

“Rocket King had won one race, Follow Orders nine races,” Chapman lamented.

“Yet Follow Orders only carried one and a half kilos more. My horse did a great job to run second, especially after drawing wide.

“Whether he can reproduce that again, we’ll have to wait and see.”

Rocket King (55.5kg) meets the Jack Gallagher-trained Follow Orders on one kilogram better weight terms.

Little Jessie, who contests the Pullens Produce/Naeco Blue Maiden (1200m), was bred by Jim Snow of Mother’s Gift fame, winner of the 2000 Ramornie.

By Big Jessie out of Mother’s Image, a sister to Mother’s Gift, the three-year-old filly contests her second race.

“She’s a big raw-boned filly who will benefit from the experience,” Chapman said. “It would be nice for her to do something for Jim who hasn’t had much luck lately.

“He recently lost a foal out of Quiet Gift, a daughter of Mother’s Gift.”

“I think there will be pace on and while it’s a harder race, the horse has done well.”

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