The Grafton Carnival concludes on Thursday with a bumper program, headlined by the feature race of the Carnival, the Grafton Cup (2350m). The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:20) NBN Plate 1200m
I like 8 She’s Choosie (Bet Now: $3.60) here. Greg Kilner trains this filly, who was off the map when resuming at Port Macquarie over 1200m, her first crack at the trip, and if you got the overs, like me, it was a painful watch. Should have bolted in but just had no luck at the right time. I want to give her a look here despite the depth/class wise.
10 Tipping (Bet Now: $8.50) is very likeable here and looks the obvious threat. Comes through the B J McLachlan at the Sunny Coast where she was wide no cover throughout and stuck on quite well behind The Fire Trap despite clearly not handling the wet track. Firmer footing, gate one, less depth…ticks a lot of boxes.
6 Greyt Love (Bet Now: $18.00) is a Les Kelly trained filly who has been up a little while but continues to race well. Ran over 900m at the Gold Coast a couple of Saturdays back where she got a mile off them in the run, completely outpaced, but savaged the line to just miss. 1200m is an ask, but if she gets back and if they go hard, she has a chance.
Race 2. (12:55) The Bidfood Handicap (69) 1000m
16 Traumatised (Bet Now: $7.50) could be a definite improver on top of the ground. He has faced wet tracks in all three runs this time in but he has run pretty well each start, the latest coming last Tuesday over 1000m at Gosford when a close up fourth to Miss Imagination. Bigger track looks ideal and should park in the right spot.
4 Warface (Bet Now: $4.60) will appreciate the drop in grade and depth. Just under a month between runs since racing in a 3YO race on Ipswich Cup Day where he did work from the tricky draw and fought on quite well behind Envy Of All, who won on Saturday at Randwick, so the form reads quite well for this.
8 Loose Goose (Bet Now: $6.00) is a daughter of Nicconi resuming for the in form Matty Dunn team and we know that when he brings horses to Grafton, he should be respected big time. Her Spring/Summer prep was quite consistent, even though she only won the one race. Interesting she resumes without a trial, but is a good fresh performer.
Race 3. (13:35) Mother's Gift 1400m
If 5 Pegapus (Bet Now: $3.30) can hold up a forward spot from the draw, she’s the one to beat. She is just under two weeks between runs since racing over 1400m at the Sunny Coast where she was near the speed and fought on well in defeat behind Bluebrook. Firmer footing is ideal and hopefully can sit close from the draw.
12 Contralto (Bet Now: $3.50) is a stablemate of Pegapus who is third up here, so she should just about be ready to show her best. She comes here off the back of a closing fifth at the Sunshine Coast a tick under a fortnight back when fifth behind the promising three year Bluebrook. Best form has come on top of the ground and looks to get a soft run just off the speed.
3 Latitude (Bet Now: $5.00) has really turned the corner since joining Neil Godbolt and it’s really a credit to his stable and staff at Port Macquarie. Once upon a time, she would get tired at the end of 900m. Now, she’s leading them a merry dance over the mile at Newcastle and is strong to the line. She’ll lead these and give a great sight.
Race 4. (14:10) Fidelity Capital Handicap (Class 1) 1400m
2 Wallander (Bet Now: $2.10) is a son of Domesday for Matty Dunn who was a betting drifter when racing over 1300m at the Gold Coast in a maiden and under improving apprentice Clayton Gallagher, he won by five and bolted in. He was down to run recently in a Highway, but looks to have found a lovely race. Like his chances alot.
5 Velocano (Bet Now: $5.00) will appreciate the drop in grade/depth. Ran over the 1350m at Wyong last time out in what looked a strong 65 and wasn’t beaten that far behind the city performer Mollyfield. This is a significant drop down for this Sydney based mare and with normal luck she’s right in the mix.
4 Serveur (Bet Now: $16.00) could be an improver. Matty Dunn trains this gelding, who resumed just under three weeks back at the Gold Coast where he got back and did nothing really in the straight behind impressive winner The Party Girl. That was his first run for the new stable and it followed encouraging trial efforts. Gate one, he can sit handy.
Race 5. (14:50) The Big Maiden 1200m
2 Ruler (Bet Now: $2.40) just needs normal luck to be too good for this lot IMO. This horse has excellent form next to his name and should prove very hard to hold out. Resumed over 1200m on his home track at the Gold Coast where he just got too far back but worked home with purpose behind Wrapped. Fast run 1200m on a good track just looks perfect for him.
4 Moonmo (Bet Now: $7.50) is a Greg Cornish trained filly who has had a few runs now this prep for the new stable and hasn’t been far away from winning but just hasn’t quite attacked the line to get the win. Last start was over 1400m at Lismore when pipped late by Spanish Steps. Back to 1200m, she’s run well at Grafton before, so she’s a definite chance if Ruler is off his game.
13 Airdale (Bet Now: $26.00) lacks the class of some of these, but he’s hard fit and a win isn’t far away. Probably not here, but I’d include him in exotics. Just got too far back last time over 1250m on a bog at Ballina but finished off strongly to run second to Amuthon. Does tend to save his best for tracks with give in it, which is a concern, but if they go silly in front, he will be strong late.
Race 6. (15:25) Village Green Hotel Association Plate (Class 6) 1200m
He has an awful gate, but gee I was impressed with the win of 3 King Lear (Bet Now: $4.60) in the John Carlton. Smashed the track record for the 1206 by some four lengths in bolting up and considering the track was soft, that was just unbelievable. Surprised he didn’t go to the Ramornie, but he looks the winner here.
8 The Lion (Bet Now: $5.50) is a multiple Highway winner in town who did win a Highway first up at Randwick before going to Tamworth where he was no match for a speed demon in Girl In A Million. The pattern with this horse is that he’s very good early in a prep but can drop away as the prep gets deeper. That’s the concern, but so far, big tick for the campaign.
6 Taillevent (Bet Now: $8.00) is a horse I find quite hard to trust, but I’m sure he’s going to win one of these races eventually, ala Mystified last Saturday in Adelaide. He’s been teasing for a while to greet the judge first but hasn’t quite put it all together. 1350m was a stretch last time behind Manaya so I think back to 1200m is perfect.
Race 7. (16:05) Grafton Cup 2350m
Could be the longest 2350m we’ll see this year. There’s no brilliance among this lot. I think the sneaky chance could be 7 Tumultuous (Bet Now: $14.00) for the Waller team. He’s done nothing since the Magic Millions Trophy earlier in the year, but in saying that, he has contested far stronger races than this. Needs to improve on current form, but in a lottery, he’s worth ping at the stumps.
2 Jumbo Prince (Bet Now: $4.50) has run well in this race before and I think he gets a great chance to greet the judge here. Michael Nolan trains this stayer, who sat on speed in the Tatts Cup last time out and stuck on gamely in defeat behind Divine Unicorn. Bit of a drop in depth this time around and should get the run of the race from the draw.
8 Chillin With Dylan (Bet Now: $14.00) was very good to me last Thursday when winning the Prelude. He was the best horse in the race. Just needed normal luck. Didn’t get it, but still proved too good, just. He would need to improve 10+ lengths for mine to be winning, but firmer footing and a 6kg weight drop helps.
Race 8. (16:40) Sir James Kirby 1000m
The Osborne team had good success at the Carnival last year and I think they can get a win here via 13 Nicof (Bet Now: $21.00), who has seemingly been up forever but continues to race well. Ran over 1000m at Wagga last time where he got a mile off them but produced that customary brilliant finale to run third. They’ll go nuts in front here, so he’ll get his chance to ambush and get them.
7 Aimalac Millie (Bet Now: $4.00) nearly landed some nice each way bets when resuming at Rosehill a couple of Saturdays back but was bloused late by another well backed runner at odds, Gala Moshea. Trained on the track and does tend to save her best for here. Another that will love the speed on in front.
6 I Am The General (Bet Now: $5.00) is a definite watch. Michael Nolan trains this bloke with Skye Bogenhuber to steer. He is a very good fresh horse and he does save his best for 1000m. No trials to speak of, but the stable wouldn’t be bringing him here if he wasn’t ready to go, and he looks to get the drop off a hot speed.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Five Number 2 Ruler
NEXT BEST: Race Six Number 3 King Lear
LONG SHOT: Race Eight Number 13 Nicof
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 2
Leg Two: 3
Leg Three: 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 11
Leg Four: 6, 7, 13
$50 Investment= 277.77% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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