The July Racing Carnival at Grafton is almost done and dusted for another year, with a fantastic night of racing on Wednesday featuring an action packed card of finals.
President John Corrigan said that the night went well, with locals and visitors alike enjoying the night of quality racing
“We were very happy with the night. We had a good crowd, I don’t think it was quite as big as last year but we did have He Knows Uno here last year. We also had good TAB turnover on course and good turnover at the bar and canteen”, Corrigan expressed.
The main event, the Taylor Family Maiden Classic went to the Frank Hancock trained Lady Jasmin. The race was tipped to be a match race between the two fastest qualifiers, with Lady Jasmin going into the event as the second favourite ($2.80) behind She’s Scandalous ($2.40). When the lids flew open, the daughter of Collision found herself in second position behind Tony Brett’s Chant but soon turned the race into a one act affair, kicking clear in the home straight to win by one and three quarter lengths over Chant in a nippy 23.02 seconds.
Lady Jasmin won her heat the week prior in a speedy 23.06 seconds (B.O.N) and was the second qualifier in the $12,000 event for Hancock, with litter sister Lady Hannalore running third. The talented bitches are out of the handy race bitch Dulcinea who was trained by Edith Hancock and had seventeen starts on the track for seven wins and six minors before being retired to the breeding barn. The breed is known for producing some talented greyhounds with Dulcinea out of Hannalore who was also the mother of Chachi (11 wins including the 2010 Lismore Cup), El Toreador (18 wins), Golden Earing (9 wins), Piccolo Bacio (10 wins) and Pretty Malaika (45 wins).
With two eye catching wins to her name, it will be interesting to see what Lady Jasmin can go on to do throughout her career.
Another memorable race from the night was the Village Green Hotel Sprinters Cup final which was taken out the ultra-consistent Scissor Queen. Trained by Dave Irwin, Scissor Queen was lining up for her final race start after what can only be described as a stellar career and went out in fine fashion winning by five lengths in 23.01 seconds. In claiming the final, Scissor Queen became just the second sprinter alongside November Prince to claim two consecutive Grafton Cups.
Scissor Queen is a daughter of Knocka Norris out of prolific producer Surf Queen (mother of Golden Easter Egg winner Don’t Knocka Him). The red fawn bitch has been a terrific racer for Irwin and her owners, winning 20 races with 5 seconds from 31 starts. In addition to last year’s Cup Scissor Queen also took out the Maitland Gold Collar in March whilst she also boasts fast winning times at Maitland (22.25 seconds- 400 metres, 25.31 seconds-450 metres ), Grafton (22.70 seconds- 407 metres, 27.15 seconds- 480 metres) and Albion Park (23.02 seconds- 395 metres).
Quietly confident going into the event, Irwin was elated with the performance of Scissor Queen who jumped from box one but was pressured throughout the race.
“It was possibly the best run of her career and it really showed her tenacity. They put pressure on her but she just pushed through and I think it was the best she has ever hit the line”, Irwin said.
Irwin has done a remarkable job with the 25 kilogram lightweight, who has struggled throughout her entire career with a stomach muscle injury. Irwin attributes the resilience of Scissor Queen to her determination, saying that the bitch possesses an enormous will to win.
“She has suffered with the stomach muscle throughout her career. Last time she won at Maitland (May) she ruptured the stomach muscle which is why she had the time off prior to the series. Her first start back at Grafton she ran second but she needed that run”.
“Coming out and winning it after the injuries she has had just shows her tenacity and her will to win. Most dogs wouldn’t come back from an injury like that but she just wants to race”.
It was also a nervous few days leading up to the event, with Scissor Queen showing signs of coming on season. Luckily nature held off long enough for the queen of Grafton to bid farewell once more in winning style, with the valuable breeding proposition now embarking on a new career; motherhood.
“She looks like she may be on season in the next day or two”, Irwin said, “The owners have picked Magic Sprite”.
With a new chapter in her life now beginning, Scissor Queen will leave a lasting legacy at Grafton, one which her pups may emulate in years to come.
Another huge training feat on Wednesday night went to Preston Rowles who trained half of the winners on the ten race card.
“To do that at any time at any track is big but to do it on the main night of a racing carnival is just fantastic”, Corrigan said.
Rowles got off to a flying start with She’s Super Sexy saluting in the first. Beginning well from box six the black bitch went straight to the front, racing away to break her maiden at start one in 27.57 seconds.
Rowles didn’t have to wait long for a training double with Rock Up Richer scoring in race two. Beginning mid field, the son of High Earner was kept out wide for most of the trip before finding the lead down the back, stretching out to win the 610 metre race by one length in a respectable 35.46 seconds.
Rowles also claimed two of the feature events on Wednesday night. In race five, the Westlawn Finance Stayers Cup, Proven Stellar was too strong for raging favourite Starliner, leading all the way in a fast 35.09 seconds.
The fourth winner for Rowles got up in race eight, the AB Casey Memorial. Starting from box six, Zambora Gun showed a tremendous turn off foot to accelerate away from his opposition, crossing the line three and a half lengths ahead of Dollar Note in second place. Astoundingly the time was a red hot 22.92 seconds, faster than both the Sprinters Cup and Maiden Classic Finals.
Last but not least, Voltage Peak notched up his 12th career victory in race nine for Rowles, coming from last to score by two lengths in 27.46 seconds.
In all it was a fantastic meeting at Grafton, with the main night on Wednesday the pinnacle of a fantastic racing carnival. Huge congratulations go to all the winners throughout the July Carnival and of course the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club for putting together such a successful racing experience for participants. It is great to see the small clubs going strong, with the Grafton Club definitely an integral member of the industry.