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The Grafton Carnival reaches its climax this Thursday where it is Grafton Cup, attracting a quality field of stayers. 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) Mother's Gift 1400m

Back Me

2 Lolly Shoppe (Bet Now: $5.50) is a tough and gritty mare for Sally Taylor who looks one of the hardest to beat here. She ran over 1300m on her home track at Coffs Harbour last time out and showed some pretty good ticker, charging home from off the pace and powering clear late. She is a mare who has turned the corner this campaign and rates highly.


7 Shoreline (Bet Now: $8.00) is a talented mare for local trainer Andrew Parramore who has been given over three weeks off since racing over 1100m at the Gold Coast where she was an alarming drifter in the market and while she didn’t win, I thought she was game in defeat behind Live Fast. She is much more effective on top of the ground and thrives on firmer ground.

Long Shot

1 Explosive One (Bet Now: $5.50) is a handy stayer that resumes for the Matty Dunn yard. Ran some good races during the Summer/Autumn, including efforts at Doomben. Her best form is over further, but she does go well fresh and a recent Doomben trial was in fast time, so I think she will be somewhat wound up.

Race 2. (12:55) The Bidford Handicap (Class 1) 1400m

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10 Snapchat Girl (Bet Now: $2.25) is a two year old filly taking on the older horses but I think she is right up to these. She ran in a 1400m maiden at the Gold Coast last start and she absolutely spanked them under Ryan Plumb, winning by over five lengths without being fully extended. Really keen to see what she does here.


8 All About Charlie (Bet Now: $6.50) was three weeks between runs when racing over 1200m at Coffs Harbour last time out where she was heavily backed in betting and the punters got it spot on as she dashed right away and spanked them, beating I Too Can Dance, who ran well here on Sunday, so the form looks good and this horse does look ideally suited up to 1400m.

Long Shot

3 Meadow (Bet Now: $11.00) is a handy filly for the Desleigh Forster yard who resumes here. She showed some inkling of potential in her first prep, winning her maiden in good style but she just didn’t quite go on with it. Resumes here with no public trials, but stable are very good when on the road. Definite market watch.

Race 3. (13:35) PSA Defending Local Jobs Handicap (65) 1000m

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14 Supreme Girl (Bet Now: $7.00) was an overall drifter in betting when resuming on her home track at Coffs Harbour but a late push from the punters got it right as she sat on speed over 810m and toughed it out to win. Won impressively second up last time in and stable always fire this time of year.


10 Elite Dubleo (Bet Now: $6.50) is a gelding in ripping form at the moment for the Trevor Hardy camp. Ran over the 1000m at Coffs Harbour last time out where he was given a lovely run just off the pace and when the split came, he dashed and sprinted hard to get the win near the peg. Really well in at the weights and draws a suck gate again.

Long Shot

15 Racecraft (Bet Now: $31.00) is a talented sprinter that resumes for the Luke Berger stable at Inverell. He’s somewhat of a non tab specialist, and doesn’t mind going on the road to find the right race, so resuming here is interesting. He does have a pretty good fresh record, and the pace engaged here will really suit his racing pattern.

Race 4. (14:10) Northern Rivers Concrete Pumping Big Maiden Handicap 1200m

Back Me

5 Plectrum (Bet Now: $14.00) was ordinary when debuting at Taree and doing nothing but his coat looked much better in the yard next time and he ran accordingly when second to Superlight. Tipping he will come on more from that outing and I think he will represent good value here in an open contest.


1 Dreamscope (Bet Now: $3.30) was well backed late when resuming over 1200m at the Gold Coast a tick under two weeks back where he loomed to win the race but was beaten by a hard fit horse in Exceed All Odds. Former Hong Kong horse, and generally these runners do go better with a run or two under the belt.

Long Shot

10 Ritchford (Bet Now: $7.00) is a handy type that resumes for the Marcus Wilson yard. Former Victorian making his Queensland debut and his form down south does read well, with good efforts behind Ocean Grove and Seracena, both city performers. Trial recently was okay and I’d watch the market with this boy.

Race 5. (14:50) NBN Springboard To Fame Plate 1200m

Back Me

 6 Victorem (Bet Now: $2.35) clearly on top for me here. Really promising youngster for Jenny Graham who should have walked up on debut at Casino but decided to put on a buck jumping display. Sent to the trials and like Black Caviar in a Taree trial before going to Kempsey where he was smashed in betting and dominated proceedings. More depth here, but as I said, he’s quite promising.


2 Imperial Eagle (Bet Now: $3.20) is a progressive type for Allan Denham who should take some holding out here. Resumed at Kempsey and worked home well from the back before putting together back-to-back wins at Taree where he was ridden a treat both times by RT. Toughest test to date, but he has shown his past two that a tough 1200m will be no issue.

Long Shot

4 Purple Cap (Bet Now: $26.00) was kept quite safe in betting when debuting here last Thursday where he showed really good speed from a wide gate to sit near the pace and looked to travel well but just felt the pinch late. I think he will come on from that and though rising in grade/depth, I think he should be included in multiples.

Race 6. (15:25) Earthmoving Equipment Australia Association Plate (Class 6) 1200m

Back Me

11 Ocean Grand (Bet Now: $11.00) could be worth an each way gamble. Okay fresh run in a Randwick Highway behind Clipper before going to the Beaumont track at Newcastle where he was wide no cover throughout and faded late. Third up now on a big track, so this really is D-Day for him and on his best form, he’s right up to these.


5 Jonny Ge (Bet Now: $5.50) is a talented type for Adam Duggan who was crunched in betting last time out over 1200m at Gosford and the punters got it right as he came with a brilliant finishing burst under Josh Parr to win and draw clear late. Looks to have some upside left and rates as one of the hardest to beat.

Long Shot

10 Havasay (Bet Now: $3.20) is a four year old gelding that is first up for the Liam Birchley yard. He doesn’t have the greatest of winning strike rates, but he has contested some nice races throughout his career, most of them coming in town. Nice trial recently at Doomben, he goes well fresh and stable love to target this Carnival.

Race 7. (16:05) McKimms Real Estate Grafton Cup 2350m

Back Me

Hard to look outside 2 Supply And Demand (Bet Now: $3.20). He’s been in ripping form this time in for the Waterhouse/Bott team who had been going quite well in Sydney before the stable sent him north for the Caloundra Cup where he was pretty much gifted the race on speed and dashed right away. Not sure he’ll get the same favours here, and creeps up in the weights, but does look the one to beat.


3 Montauk (Bet Now: $5.00) does look the obvious threat. He has been fantastic this time in for the Waller camp. Comes through the Winter Cup at Rosehill last time out where he dashed to the front and looked all over a winner but he couldn’t hold off Gallic Chieftain. No horse of that class here, and the slight drop in trip will suit.

Long Shot

5 Morendi (Bet Now: $18.00) is a talented stayer for the Darren Graham camp who comes through the Tatts Cup at Doomben on June 24 where he sat back in a crawl and just lacked the turn of foot against the better horses but was solid late behind Rudy. Should be a more genuine tempo here and up to 2350m is ideal.

Race 8. (16:40) Sir James Kirby Quality 1000m

Back Me

5 Capitano (Bet Now: $19.00) is a really good Tamworth sprinter that resumes for the Jacob Perrett yard. He is a real beauty for connections, always around the mark in feature NSW Country Sprints as well as the decent performance here and there in town. Goes well fresh and the pace engaged here will really suit his racing pattern.


4 I Am Gypsy (Bet Now: $4.40) is a former SA mare that is making her NSW debut for Matty Dale. This mare had a pretty solid Autumn prep back home, including a couple of strong efforts in blacktype races. Comes here with no trials, but she does go well first up and stable should always be respected when on the road.

Long Shot

8 Espiritu (Bet Now: $12.00) is a Stephen Lee trained mare who comes back home after a stint in Melbourne where she ran really well in three outings but just couldn’t quite measure up. Won her lone start here and she is another who will relish a hot speed, because she will be very strong at the end of a fast 1000m.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Five Number 6 Victorem

NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 2 Supply And Demand

VALUE: Race Six Number 11 Ocean Grand


Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):

Leg One: 2, 6

Leg Two: 5, 9, 10, 11, 12

Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6

Leg Four: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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