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The Grafton Cup Carnival gets into full swing this Wednesday with Ramornie Day. The 1200m feature assemble has assembled one of the better fields in the history of the race. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.


Race 1. (12:23) The Abbey Motor Inn Maiden Plate 1000m

Back Me

12 Foxy’s Foxinator (Bet Now: $4.60) has to take on the older horses but I think he’ll take some beating here. Jenny Graham trains this son of Foxwedge, who had two career outings in the Summer, placing each time, including on debut behind She’s Choosie, an above average filly. Thought he trialled well behind the open class horses at Taree recently and I like him at 1000m fresh.


8 Little Bit Of Suzy (Bet Now: $7.50) is a talented type for Matty Dunn who is bursting to win a maiden and I think she gets her chance here. Sat on speed last time out at Murwillumbah and gave a really good kick under Tegan Harrison but just couldn’t quite finish it off when a close up third to Indy Bonbon. Interesting to see if they opt for cover with her, because I reckon that might be her best chance given there is good speed engaged here.

Long Shot

5 Toucan (Bet Now: $10.00) is a local trained by Felicity Firth who ran over 1200m last start at Lismore where Whiteley had him just off the pace and he loomed large to win but just whacked away late when third to Thru The Storm. Back to 1000m on his home track with the break between runs looks an ideal recipe.

Race 2. (12:58) Grafton Taxis Handicap (57) 1100m

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2 Island Grange (Bet Now: $3.90) clearly on top for me. Les Tilley trains this mare, who has good form next to her name, much stronger than most engaged here. Just got a touch too far back last time out over the 1280m at Muswellbrook but worked home well enough to run a close up fourth. Fast run 1100m, fresh, looks an ideal recipe for her to launch.


5 Royal Equiano (Bet Now: $6.50) is a David Joice trained filly who is just under a month between runs since racing over the 1100m at Lismore where she seemed to have her chance but wasn’t beaten far in the end behind Penny Gambler in what looked a strong Class 2. Creeping up in the weights, but looks to have ability and overall, this isn’t a strong race.

Long Shot

11 I’ll Take Money (Bet Now: $8.50) doesn’t have the greatest of winning strike rates, but she does try hard so expect and honest run from this Taree based mare. Sat on speed last start over 1250m on her home track but was no match for Stradance, who is provincial class, so I think that form should hold up nicely here.

Race 3. (13:33) Mark Bloomer Transport Handicap (55) 1100m

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I’ll take a chance on 10 No Qualm (Bet Now: $27.00). I reckon he’ll be an ideal candidate for a sprint race during the Coffs Cup Carnival but I think first up here, he can be effective. He’s got the awful racing pattern of flopping out the back and flashing, but he can rattle off a decent split and those from behind the speed did get their chance on Sunday, which was good to see. Happy to be with him in a tough race.


4 Tevye (Bet Now: $4.20) is a son of Red Element for Chris Munce who is bursting to win a race and I think he gets a great chance here. Ran over 1200m at Ipswich last time at the midweeks where Ron Stewart had him on speed, fighting hard and for the most part looking home, but had to settle for a close up second to The Tinman. Back to 1100m a big tick.

Long Shot

7 Simply Striking (Bet Now: $3.90) is a Neil Osborne trained gelding who is on the quick back after racing here last Thursday over 1200m here where he did a bit of work from the wide gate and had the right to drop away but he found and was quite game in defeat when fourth to Looks Like Elvis. Back to 1100m and firmer footing looks ideal.

Race 4. (14:08) Winning Edge Presentations Handicap (65) 1400m

Back Me

I’ll have a throw at the stumps here via 11 Hotel Coste (Bet Now: $17.00). He’s a bludger for Bruce Hill but I didn’t mind his effort a couple of Saturdays back at the Gold Coast when making up ground late behind impressive winner Academy Hill. Always respect Bruce Hill when he hops the border and this is a winnable race.


7 Ten Taubada’s (Bet Now: $5.50) is a Matty Dunn trained gelding who was confidently supported when racing at Ballina last time out but despite doing work to find the lead, he found plenty late when challenged and gee I thought he was impressive. Form has been franked by Jakuta on Sunday, so it reads well.

Long Shot

10 Eight Below (Bet Now: $9.50) represents a bit of value here. Sally Taylor trains this mare, who resumed over 1200m at Newcastle where she sat out the back throughout in what was a fast run race, so she had her chance to wind up and did it well enough to be not far away from High Power. Good second up record and this race looks a touch weaker.

Race 5. (14:43) Group One Feeds Handicap (Class 2) 1600m

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Now his confidence is up, 1 It’s Relative (Bet Now: $3.70) can go on with it for mine. He was going well but needed a win on the board and it came last week in what looked a pretty weak race. He had to put them away and he did it with ease, winning by a soft four lengths. Has run well here before. Just has to overcome the draw.


4 Risaldar (Bet Now: $4.00) is bursting to win a race for Sally Taylor and I reckon the mile will be ideal. Ran over 1400m at Newcastle last start where he got a mile off them but found the right part of the track and closed off with purpose behind the above average Moondancer. Should get a sweet run from the gate and Matty McGuren rides him very well.

Long Shot

11 Our Tax Return (Bet Now: $23.00) could be a potential improver. Ran over 1400m at Taree last Sunday on a day where those near the speed/rail were advantaged so I thought he should be forgiven for his effort behind Crossing Guard. Good record at the mile and I think firmer footing will help his cause for sure.

Race 6. (15:20) Grafton Guineas 1600m

Back Me

Looks a lovely race for the Kris Lees trained 4 Chalmers (Bet Now: $3.50). This bloke hasn’t raced in a month since scoring a good win at the Warwick Farm midweeks over the mile, aided by a peach from J Mac. Been given a tick over trial at Cessnock to tune up and wasn’t asked to do a great deal. Got fresh legs and the mile is no issue.


1 Mishani Bullitt (Bet Now: $4.80) is the clear class of the field, but 61kg off the back of some very hard runs is a slight concern. In saying that, I thought his effort in the Sunny Coast Guineas was enormous. Had to sit three and four wide throughout and really had no right to finish off but he stuck on really well in defeat behind the above average kiwi The Bostonian. That form reads superior to these. How much petrol is left in the tank?

Long Shot

6 Unique Magic (Bet Now: $15.00) strung together four impressive wins before contesting the Sunny Coast Guineas where I thought she was far from disgraced behind The Bostonian after doing work on speed. Entitled to drop away but she didn’t turn it up and stuck on well for sixth. I think she goes in multiples.

Race 7. (16:00) Ramornie Handicap 1200m

Back Me

Firm track and a fast run 1200m…looks a great set up for 13 Notonyourlife (Bet Now: $34.00) to run a beauty. Her three runs this time in have come in some very strong races for the mares and has been far from disgraced each time. If she doesn’t get too far back from the inside draw, I think she’s in with a great chance.


2 Zestful (Bet Now: $6.50) is the class of the field. High quality mare that resumes for Kris Lees after just one run in the Autumn where she ran a close up second to Faraway Town in the Triscay at Randwick. She is an absolute bomb when produced fresh and her two trials leading in have been great. Should get three wide cover and launch.

Long Shot

4 Siegfried (Bet Now: $34.00) could be an improver at odds. He resumed in the Hinkler a few weeks ago where he got back and was never really in the hunt but did get held up slightly when building momentum behind Savanna Amour. Dry tracks are what he need, so he’ll get that here and the horse has been nominated a few times since without racing, so interesting to see what he does here.

Race 8. (16:38) Prime Thoroughbreds Rural Plate (Class 6) 2200m

Back Me

6 Glen Ord (Bet Now: $4.00) is a Dianne Murphy trained gelding who is knocking on the door to win for mine. Last start over the 2200m at Doomben on a bog, I think you can make a case he should have won. Just got badly held up at the top of the straight when looking to build momentum whereas the first three that beat him all had that. Run prior behind Great Glen reads very well for this.


Back to this level will suit 2 Art Attack (Bet Now: $4.50). He tried to qualify for the Grafton Cup via winning the Prelude last Thursday but he just got a mile back and had too much to do when fifth to Chillin With Dylan. That race had depth to it, far more than what he faces here…hopefully can sit a touch closer from the draw.

Long Shot

The unknown is 4 Red Viking (Bet Now: $7.50). On his form when with Paul Cave, he’d spank these. Heavily backed when having his first start for George Woodward at Tamworth over 2100m but he was the first horse beat and dropped out to run last. Nothing in the Stewards Report but tongue tie goes back on, which may be the reason for the flop. Another chance.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Six Number 4 Chalmers

NEXT BEST: Race Eight Number 14 Cut The Mustard

LONG SHOT: Race Seven Number 13 Notonyourlife


Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):

Leg One: 1, 3, 4, 11

Leg Two: 1, 4

Leg Three: 2, 4, 5, 6, 13

Leg Four: 2, 4, 5, 6

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