Ben Looker wins the 2019 Grafton Cup aboard Sacred Day. Photo: Sam Flanagan
Ben Looker wins the 2019 Grafton Cup aboard Sacred Day. Photo: Sam Flanagan

Sport Year in Review: July

Local jockey’s Grafton Cup dream realised

RACING :Grafton trained jockey Ben Looker’s Grafton Cup dream comes true.

The 28-year-old jockey partnered Kiwi raider Sacred Day to victory in the $160,000 G McMullan Contracting Grafton Cup (2350m) courtesy of a brilliant ride by the young jockey.

Looker moved from Glen Innes as a 12-year-old to work for Grafton trainer John Shelton, who had also moved from Glen Innes years before.

He had his first ride at 14 when apprenticed to Shelton, and told The Daily Examiner he owed it all to his former master.

Havasay makes it two Ramornies on the trot

Matt McGillivray shows off for his second win in a row on Havasay in the Ramornie Handicap.
Matt McGillivray shows off for his second win in a row on Havasay in the Ramornie Handicap.

RACING : Matt McGillivray, the winning jockey of this year’s $160,000 Grafton District Services Club Ramornie Handicap (1200m) was a happy and grateful young man.

The 28-year-old jockey urged and surged Havasay, last year’s Ramornie winner, to a nose win over Brett Cavanough’s Star Boy.

The Scone-trained Star Boy had looked the winner when he hit the front in the final 100m but then McGillivray and Havasay, in unison on the track and in their names, lunged late.

South Grafton Cup win for Bodega Negra

RACING :Bodega Negra could chase a second Coffs Harbour Cup after the Gold Coast gelding raced away with yesterday’s $50,000 Grafton Toyota South Grafton Quality Cup.

The Bruce Hill-trained eight-year-old gelding led and raced away from his opposition to beat fellow Gold Coaster American Diva with Port Macquarie-trained Cogliere third.

A son of Hidden Dragon, Bodega Negra has now won 10 of his 91 starts, including the 2016 Coffs Cup, with six wins on soft or heavy tracks.

Trio of local athletes race against Pacific’s best

TOP RUN: Mitch Christiansen with his bronxe medal at the 2019 Oceania Athletics Championships.
TOP RUN: Mitch Christiansen with his bronxe medal at the 2019 Oceania Athletics Championships.

ATHLETICS :A trio of Clarence Valley athletes have been on the podium with some of the best in the Pacific.

After being selected in the Regional Australian Athletics team, Mitch Christiansen, Natasha Rudder and Annika Swift were up against athletes from the national squads of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea at the 2019 Oceania Athletics Championships.

Mitch Christiansen took home a bronze medal in the 100m Para final, coming in behind

Olympic compatriots with windy conditions making the meet a tough one for running personal bests.

Grafton United juniors invited to train with West Ham

Grafton's Keanu Staader dribbles past Majos' PatSabba in the Men's Division 2 North grand final between Grafton United Sirens and Majos FC White at Yamba on Saturday.
Grafton's Keanu Staader dribbles past Majos' PatSabba in the Men's Division 2 North grand final between Grafton United Sirens and Majos FC White at Yamba on Saturday.

FOOTBALL :It’s not every day you get invited to London to train with West Ham United but 15-year old Grafton United juniors Keanu Staader and Bailey Bathgate were offered the golden opportunity last week after impressing selectors at a training clinic.

Four Grafton juniors were chosen for an Australia/Oceania training camp on the Gold Coast in September but Staader and Bathgate were fast-tracked straight to the UK and Staader couldn’t be happier.

Grafton Ghosts grab bragging rights over Rebels

RUGBY LEAGUE :The Grafton derby is one of the most eagerly anticipated bush footy fixtures of the year and on the final day of the regular season it delivered. The Rebels put in a good fight at Frank McGuren Field yesterday but the Grafton Ghosts turned it on for a huge second half try haul to win 50-12.

Ghosts centre Dylan Collett was man of the match, scoring four tries.

Our gal Powell does it again with new award

FOOTBALL :Westlawn Tigers stalwart Jo Powell continues her mission to grow the best sport in the world after being announced as the Northern NSW Football Community Female Player of the Year last week as part of rebel Female Football week.

As most of us know, Jo has been playing for almost four decades and, throughout those years, has continuously displayed her dedication, mentoring and exemplary behaviour on and off the field.

Something that is widely appreciated.

Earlier in the year, Jo won FFA Community Female Player of the Year at the FFA’s Female Football Awards.

JULY SPORTSPERSON OF THE MONTH

THE July Sports Award winners impressed the judges to earn their spot among the elite.

The elder statesman of the Clarence Valley BMX Club, GLEN SWAIN’s resurgence earned him the Grafton Shoppingworld Senior Sportsperson of the Month for July.

Glen Swain (right) battles on the inside at the NSW BMX racing NSW State Titles in Maitland over the October long weekend.
Glen Swain (right) battles on the inside at the NSW BMX racing NSW State Titles in Maitland over the October long weekend.

Swain, who earlier this year won a national cruiser title in the 30-34 years age group, was on his way back from the UCI BMX World Championships in Belgium, where he made quarter-finals in his favourite cruiser event.

Clarence Valley club president.

Wooloweyah junior Joel Emery shapes across the face of a wave during the 2019 Pippie Beach Classic on Australia Day.
Wooloweyah junior Joel Emery shapes across the face of a wave during the 2019 Pippie Beach Classic on Australia Day.

Timing is everything in sport as young Wooloweyah surfer JOEL EMERY was learning as he made his way up the nation’s junior sporting ranks.

A pair of fourths in the 12 and under age group at the Billabong Oz Grom and the Skullcandy Oz Grom in July earned Emery the Junior Sportsperson of the Month Award.



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