The son of Vapour Whirl and Ding’s Rocket demontrsated his trademark style of rounding up his rivals on the home turn to sprint away in a best of the night 29.81.
Making a name for himself as a stayer during the middle months of last year, his greatest achievement over the 720m was a third placing in the $25,000 Sydney Cup at Wentworth Park behind brilliant stayer Lucy Wires.
Thirlmere trainer Mark Gatt decided to drop his chaser back to the 500m distances and is reaping the rewards with only two unplacings in his last thirteen starts.
Oaks Road Lodge newest recruit and Gradence’s owner Joseph Scerri, was delighted with Tuesday’s victory, which saw him collect $7,000 for his efforts.
“I was screaming behind the boxes, my heart was pounding. Once he shot clear to second I thought he had a really good chance of winning and I just cheered him all the way.”
It was a successful trip for the team on Tuesday, with Ritza Ryder coming from last in the consolation, to snare third spot for owner-trainer Mark Gatt.
“Daniel (Mark’s brother) handled Ritza Ryder and I handled Gradence, and he ran a super race to come from last and finish third. It was a bit disappointing last week when we went home with nothing, but we were hoping for some luck and it turned out to be a great night.”
Gradence’s next assignment is the Group One Paws of Thunder heats on Saturday night where he will line up against some very talented greyhounds including Spud Regis and Double Trigger in heat five.
“I think he has a chance on Saturday night but he does need room early. He should be coming home at the finish and hopefully that will be enough to get through to the semi-finals.”
Scerri bred Gradence and juggles a part-time job whilst embarking on his newest venture as an assistant at Oaks Road Lodge.
“It was a big decision to cut back to part-time at my current job, but I thought why not you only live once. I am really excited to be working with the Gatt brothers, they are such an amazing family and I’ve learnt so much already.”
Gradence, who turns four in May, now has an impressive prizemoney total of $85,220 next to his name, with the potential to add a further $100,000 from a Paws of Thunder final victory and give Scerri the thrill of a lifetime.