Saxophone (middle) got the nod in a tight photo finish ahead of Dream Master and Tawfiq Boy (3) in race six on Grafton Cup Day.
Saxophone (middle) got the nod in a tight photo finish ahead of Dream Master and Tawfiq Boy (3) in race six on Grafton Cup Day. Sam Flanagan

Saxophone plays to a tune in Class 6 Showcase

ASCN PLT CLASS 6 SW: There are close calls and then there is the Association Plate Class 6 Showcase (1200m).

In a race that was called the closest finish of the July Carnival, Grafton trainer John Shelton' Saxophone won race six of Grafton Cup Day by the tightest of margins.

The five-year old gelding started strong and sat in behind leader and favourite Dream Master all the way around the bend.

Biding his time, jockey Matthew Paget kept his place into the stretch and let Dream Master and Tawfiq Boy make a run before a late charge put him in between the two and in front on the line.

Shelton has been Grafton's strongest trainer for some time but a win on the biggest race day in the Clarence Valley meant a lot to him.

"It's great to win a race any day but to win on Grafton Cup Day you could say I'm pretty happy about it,” Shelton said.

The winner took some time to be decided as Shelton nervously waited with his heart in his throat.

"It was head up heads down, I wasn't very sure, I wasn't confident but when my number came up that was a great feeling,” he said.

Shelton has had Saxophone since 2016 but believes he is coming into some of his best form.

"That was his best effort since we've had him, he's been around the mark but he really knuckled down today and had a go,” he said.



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