The Chris Waller trained Danchai, the grey, is set to clash again with Banca Mo, the brown, in the Grafton Cup at Grafton. Photo by Daniel Costello.
The Chris Waller trained Danchai, the grey, is set to clash again with Banca Mo, the brown, in the Grafton Cup at Grafton. Photo by Daniel Costello.

2015 Grafton Cup Carnival Preview

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Ramornie Handicap Day and Grafton Cup Day on Wednesday and Thursday are the two main racing days of the five day 2015 Grafton July Carnival.

The Listed $150,000 Ramornie Handicap (1200m) on Wednesday has brought together a quality field of sixteen sprinters plus two emergencies and is always a very competitive and open betting race and this year should prove to be no different.

Also on the eight race program is the $45,000 Grafton Guineas over 1600m for the three year olds.

The Listed $150,000 Grafton Cup (2350m) on Thursday will also develop into a wide open affair with sixteen stayers making up the capacity field.

The eight race Grafton Cup program will see the open class sprinters clash in the $50,000 Sir James Kirby Quality (1000m), while the feature race for the two year olds is the $40,000 Springboard To Fame (1200m) and the fillies and mares will do battle in the $45,000 Mother’s Gift (1400m).

Ramornie Handicap Race Day on Wednesday

Race 7 – 3:55pm Listed $150,000 Ramornie Handicap (1200m)

A full field of sixteen sprinters are set to line up in the Listed $150,000 Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on Wednesday. The Peter and Paul Snowden trained I’ve Got The Looks is set to regain her winning Queensland Winter Carnival form and will start as one of the favourites even though she was well beaten at her latest start when eighth in the Group 3 $150,000 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 23. The Choisir mare was a winner at her two previous starts in the Listed $150,000 Silk Stocking (1200m) at the Gold Coast and the Listed $100,000 Juanmo Stakes (1200m) at Doomben. The Toby Edmonds trained Bound For Earth also has good enough Winter Carnival form to be a threat here following her fourth to Srikandi in the Group 1 $500,000 Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast on June 20. Eagle Farm trained sprinters Rocket To Glory and Rock Royalty also have solid recent form leading into the Ramornie Handicap. Top weight Malavio has had two barrier trials following a short break and trainer Mario Caltabiano has elected to put the blinkers back on the six year old.

Race 6 – 3:19pm $45,000 Grafton Guineas (1600m)

It is a typical Grafton Cup Carnival again this year attracting trainers and horses from all over the New South Wales as well and interstate visitors. Gai Waterhouse will be represented with Meteor Storm in the $45,000 Grafton Guineas (1600m), a winner two starts back in a 1200m Kembla Grange maiden. Sunshine Coast trainer Ray McCall is not frightened to travel and has arrived with Walk To The Bar who has won his last two starts in Rockhampton over 1400m and 1600m against the three year olds. Top Sydney trainer Clarrie Conners will saddle up top weight Conarchie, a Warwick Farm winner two runs back. Trevor Hardy and Paul Smith are up from Coffs Harbour with Youwaitandsee and Kareem’s Edge. Local filly Hula Girl is a winner at the track and has finished in the runner’s up stall at her last two starts here and at Casino.

Grafton Cup Race Day on Thursday

Race 7 – 3:55pm Listed $150,000 Grafton Cup (2350m)

Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller once again has multiple runners in a feature Cups race and will saddle up Danchai, Reigning and Gosh in this year’s Listed $150,000 Grafton Cup (2350m). Danchai took out the Listed $175,000 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich on June 13 from Banca Mo and Darci Be Good and the trio are set to clash again in the Grafton Cup. The well-bred stayer has had a run since and finished third behind Kapour and Bonfire in the Listed $100,000 Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on June 27 and the three stayers will do battle again. The Gai Waterhouse trained Bonfire will be fitter for that second up effort and the English import is likely to cross from a wide barrier to settle in or near the lead. Shoreham from the Gerald Ryan stable is also in with a strong chance if he can repeat his last start second to Escado in the Group 3 $200,000 Tattersall’s Cup (2400m) at the Gold Coast on June 20.

Race 3 – 1:30pm $45,000 Mother’s Gift (1400m)

The $45,000 Mother’s Gift (1400m) is the feature race on the program for the fillies and mares on Grafton Cup Day. Marmaduke’s Lady returns to Grafton after scoring over this course and distance three starts back in Class 2 company. The Graeme Shultz trained mare is also a last start winner in a fillies and mares benchmark 60 at Newcastle and is shaping as one of the main chances. Tamworth trained mare Maybegrey has outstanding country form with two wins at Gunnedah and one at Armidale from her last three starts. The grey mare can handle any type of track and wrapped up her hat trick with a win on a heavy 8 over 1300m at Gunnedah. Local filly Hula Girl has visited the runner’s up stall at her latest two outings at Grafton and Casino and is also a winner over this course and distance.

Race 4 – 2:05pm $40,000 Springboard To Fame (1200m)

The feature race for the two year olds on Grafton Cup Day is the $40,000 Springboard To Fame (1200m) and a full field of fourteen youngsters have accepted. Sargent Doakes is a winner of three races from five starts and if he can repeat his winning effort in the $100,000 Inglis 2yo Challenge (1100m) at Scone on May 15 will be hard to beat here. Coffs Harbour trained Around The Moon also has good country form and was a winner on the Grafton track last start over 1000m. Eagle Farm trainer Liam Birchley is a regular visitor to the Grafton Cup Carnival and will saddle up last start Doomben winner Faint Blaze. Kyoto Rose is also down from Queensland and the Gold Coast trained filly is a last start two lengths Murwillumbah winner.

Race 8 – 4:35pm $50,000 Sir James Kirby Quality (1000m)

The last race on the eight race program is a scamper over 1000m for the open class sprinters in the $50,000 Sir James Kirby Quality (1000m). Top weight Plateau Gold is a winner twice over this course and distance but hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since winning over 900m in a Gold Coast Quality on January 3. The five year old has won a 1000m Casino barrier trial since finishing last of twelve in a 1000m sprint at Kempsey on June 14. Texan Lad comes to Grafton after running third in a 1000m Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on June 8 and a repeat of that run could see him figure in the prizemoney again. Flight In Space is a last start Dubbo winner while Terra Amata and Casino Swoop are both recent barrier trial winners.

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