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By Darren Winningham | Saturday, July 6, 2019

Well the stage is set. The track is ready and here comes DAY TWO of the 2019 Grafton Carnival.

The track is “soft” this weekend and the rail is out 4 metres the entire track – clearly they are protecting the inside for the big races on Wednesday (The Ramornie) and Thursday (The Grafton Cup).

WINNO representing HORSERACINGONLY.COM.AU will be in attendance over the Carnival with previews, photos and tips!

This Sunday features the running of the 2019 Grafton Toyota South Grafton Cup.

NB: As this form assessment was made prior to race-day, please check final fields and track conditions for any changes on the day


Race 1

A distance race to start off the day.

Hold on for the Grafton race caller’s and smug Queensland Maroon supporter Anthony Collins’s debut at the Grafton Carnival for 2019. (He was at Toowoomba last week). Welcome you muppet!

The Bruce Hill trained runner from the Gold Coast looks a solid way to start off the day. Champagne Vega (4) has been racing in some better-quality races in Brisbane and looks well placed here – local jockey Ben Looker takes the ride.

Matt McGuren was in great form last weekend and he rides Winged Poet (3) for Jim Jarvis who posted a win here three starts ago on a soft track. He looks the obvious danger.

I think Consoling (1) will be better suited on the larger track this weekend and could be one that works home solidly late.

Red Rippa (7) could may surprise them all. Paddy Cunningham trains this lihghtly raced runner. He has a habit of landing a long-priced winner annually at this Carnival – it may be worth waiting to see if there is any late support for this one.

Michael Beattie, the CEO of the Clarence River Jockey Club owns Cambridge Don (5) who is trained locally by Dwayne Schmidt. I am certain that he would love WINNO to take his photo with a winning runner at his local Carnival – good luck mate! He must have opened the wallet as well as it has firmed from $41 into $19.

Selections: 4-3-1-7 rough chance 5


Race 2

A massive maiden field greets us for the second race.

A tough field outside the short-priced favourite Heritage Sash who is trained by Toby Edmonds on the Gold Coast. This son of I Am Invincible has had two recent solid trials and looks well placed to break his maiden status here. He has a solid record on wet ground so that should not bother him.

He has drawn wide in barrier 15 and may need some luck from out there with Robbie Fradd in the saddle. At his previous two career starts he has started a very short priced favourite and not won – maybe third time lucky? He has been gelded since his last preparation.

If you are looking for something to beat the favourite it could by Tis Toby (12) - ironic hey! Toby may beat Toby here!

This runner is trained by Cathy Chapman and is second up here this week. Forget the last start run at Coffs Harbour when he was bumped and basically put out of the race. He will probably race well here around the $15 mark.

Vintage Luxe (13) ran over 1200 metres last start at Gosford. I think that the shorter distance will suit her better.

Hidden Storm (16) is an emergency trained by Shane Everson locally. He was heavily backed here last start here when he led and over raced. I think that if he makes the field and can be ridden more quietly his performance will improve.

Selections: 1-12-13-16


Race 3

Another maiden over 1110 metres.

Edmonds Racing have another two solid chances here – Decisive Heart (7) third up from a spell and Turmoil (3) also third up from a spell. Both are fillies and both will be competitive in this field. I have leant towards Decisive Heart (7) who I think will be suited by this shorter distance.

Alpine Racer (1) could be the smokey in the field here. The trial at Coffs Harbour would suggest that this debutant to the races could be forward enough to put in a bold effort for trainer Warren Gavenlock. Rachael Murray rode him in the trial and stays aboard on race day.

In Fiore (4), from the Tony Newing stables at Gosford, must be respected. Newing got off to a flying start with a winning double last weekend on Day 1 of the Carnival. Fiore is second up here this weekend after a solid effort over 900 metres first up at Scone. He finished the race off well at Scone and I think this distance will suit him second up. Matthew McGuren rides this one.

Arcadian Shores (15) is another runner owned by Michael Beattie, the CEO of the CRJC. Do not let this one get under your guard. He seems to have been running into some decent form in his past few starts and, drawn barrier 2, he may be one that races on the speed and finishes off strongly.

Selections: 4-7-3-1 rough chances 12 & 15


Race 4

Another sprint race over 1010 metres for Class 1 horses.

Matthew Dunn Racing have a strong hand here with two nice runners – Ashman (1) to be ridden by Robbie Fradd and Manila Miss (9) to be ridden by Queensland’s leading apprentice Baylee Nothdurft. There is nothing between them for mine, however, I think that if Baylee can get some luck from the wide barrier with Manila Miss (9), with the speed in the race, he should be able to get this mare placed well and finish off the race nicely.

The irony of the race is that the Dunn Racing stable apprentice Emily Atkinson rides Dorset Coast for Terry McCarthy. I think that this runner ran a massive race first up at the Gold Coast and will strip fitter here and looks perfectly placed to be a very strong contender. At $7 in some markets he looks a wonderful each way bet and the 3-kilogram claim for Emily brings him nicely into this race.

First Wave (4) for Wayne Oakenfull is second up and has drawn well. Watch out for an improved effort.

If you are looking for a knockout chance in the race it may come from the Bruce Hill trained Norm’s Choice taking on the older horses here (he is a 2-year-old). She was impressive winning on debut at Ipswich and then didn’t fire second up on her home track on the Gold Coast.

Selections: 9-2-4-1 rough chance 5


Race 5

A maiden over 1415 metres.

The Toby Edmonds runner Rumberella (4) has had some solid support since the markets have opened – however, no rider has been declared at this stage which probably suggests it will run on Saturday at the Gold Coast in race 5.

With that in mind the Matthew Dunn/Robbie Fradd filly Luvdisc (8) looks well placed to post a victory in this race. She has raced well on wet tracks and looks like she needs 1415 metres. She will be handy in the running.

Multiplied (10) is trained on the track by Andrew Parramore. She was sent out favourite last start at Ballina and failed on a heavy track. She had an awful run last start and I think she will appreciate the larger track – watch for an improved effort.

Flag Raiser (14), a two-year-old taking on the older horses, is now trained by Joanne Hardy. This runner has been running against some nice types in South East Queensland. Maybe he has settled into his new environment and will be able to show something first up for the new stable.

Little Funny Bunny (7) will be ridden by apprentice Liam Blanch – his claim gets her in quite well at the weights. She went around last Sunday on Day 1 of the Carnival over a mile. I think that she struggled at the mile and back to 1415 metres she represents a great chance at around $31.

Selections: 8-10-14-7 rough chance 4 & 5


Race 6

Another 1415 metres race commences this week’s Quaddie.

Be Watchful (3) is trained by Stephen Lee and she is looking for a hat trick of wins here. I see that Jake Bayliss stays aboard and he is looking for three consecutive wins on the filly who was super impressive last start at Lismore. I hope he can get her home so he will have something to celebrate at Grafton on Sunday!

Acoustix (1) ran last weekend here in the Grafton Guineas Prelude and ran an honest race. He has gone up in weight but looks well placed here by Port Macquarie trainer Tas Morton. Peter Graham, who rides this track well, is in the saddle.

The Big Eater (6) is probably named after local trainer and good bloke Brenden Mackey who is pretty good on the fang! This gelding has been racing in Brisbane area and has been performing very well. Matthew McGuren is in the saddle and he will be the testing material in this field.

Redraw (11) is trained by Paddy Cunningham and is second up here after a nice first up effort at Ballina on a heavy track – Matthew Paget rides this one.

Selections: 3-6-1-11 rough chances 8 & 10


Race 7

Julianne’s Wish (7) led them up last weekend in the Guineas Prelude and fought on well only going down in the shadow of the post when she was swamped late. I think this weekend she can race forward and maybe steal the race with Matthew Bennett in the saddle for local and very astute trainer John Shelton.

In Ya Skyrocket (5) has been solid in recent starts and enjoys soft tracks. I think that he should improve from barrier 4 with Ben Looker in the saddle.

Laura Cheshire rides Clever Dolly (3) for Terry McCarthy. She is second up this weekend, does race well on wet tracks and could be the one that causes an upset in this race.

Selections: 7-3-5-1


Race 8 John Carlton Cup 2019

The feature race on day 2 over 1615metres.

I am going to start with Cogliere (4) who won this race last year and is back to defend his title. This year Ben Looker rides him. He looked like he needed the run last start at Port Macquarie when he carried a hefty 60 kilograms. The weight told on him late in the run. This weekend he drops in weight and I expect him to go close again in 2019! His preparation into this race is the same as last year.

The topweight Petrology (1) is trained by Matthew Dunn at Murwillumbah. He has been racing in Listed races his past few starts. This is his fourth run this preparation and you can rule a line through his last effort at Ipswich in the Eye Liner where he never had any luck and didn’t handle the track.

To be effective I think he needs a wide track and plenty of room to gallop – he gets those conditions this weekend at Grafton. Baylee Nothdurft is in the saddle and is looking to win his first feature race at a Grafton Carnival.

Brilliant Jet (3) is trained by Aiden Nunn and this runner always seems to race well fresh. He won a recent trial at Beaudesert and he did that quite well. Matthew McGuren who rode Cogliere (4) to victory last year is riding this one. McGuren loves this Carnival and will rate this runner well.

American Diva (6) will love getting back to this track. This mare is trained by John Smerdon at the Gold Coast and has won here previously and loves to settle off the speed and sprint late. She is fourth up and will handle the wet track. Jason Taylor is in the saddle and will make sure she is given every chance.

The best wet tracker in the field this year is Central Witness (10) who will thrive if the track gets into the heavy range – keep this in mind if there is more rain and the weather settles in. He races well at his home track for trainer Daniel Want and Brooke Stower takes the ride this weekend.

Selections: 4-1-3-6 rough chance 10


Race 9

The last race of Day 2 of the carnival is over the mile – a large field – tough race.

Paddy Cunningham trains Tan Tat Nova (11) who won last start at Coffs Harbour over the mile. Jason Taylor takes the ride this weekend.

Jenny Graham combines with Ben Looker here with Zubrowka (12) who has had a fortnight between runs. I think that the mile and the big track enhances his chances. He is only a three year old and has a victory at the track to his credit.

I’ve Got This (4) will be ridden by Rachael Murray for Tony Green. He gets back in his races and normally grinds home. He is third up this weekend and has performed well in the past third up. He loves heavy tracks and if the track is chopped up come the last race, he looks the value runner at around $26.

Tempete Rouge (5) is trained on the Gold Coast by Michael Costa – she rounds out my selections. She loves wet tracks as well. Robbie Fradd is in the saddle.

Selections: 11-12-5-4 rough chance 10


Jockey’s Challenge

Ben Looker and Matthew McGuren have some nice rides. I think it will come down to the last race – Ben Looker this week,

Early Quaddie (races 2 to 5 NSW only)

1,12,13,16 / 3,4,7,15 / 1,2,4,9 / 7,8,10,14 - cost is $256 to $1

Value Early Quaddie (races 2 to 5 NSW only)

1,12 / 4,7 / 2,4,9 / 7,8,10 - cost is $36 to $1

Quaddie (races 6 to 9)

1,3,6,11 / 3,5,7 / 1,3,4,6 / 4,5,11,12 - cost is $192 to $1

Value Quaddie (races 7 to 10)

3,6 / 3,7 / 1,3,4 / 5,11,12 - cost is $36 to $1

Treble (races 8 to 10)

3,5,7 / 1,3,4,6 / 5,11,12 - cost is $36 to $1

BIG 6 (NSW only races 4 to 9)

2,4,9 / 8,10 / 3,6 / 3,5,9 / 1,3,4 / 5,11,12 - cost is $324 to $1


The Carnival tipping competition will feature WINNO v another QLD muppet – Anthony Collins. I have issued him with a challenge to turn up with his QLD jersey to the track! Let’s see if this smug QLDer has any pride in his State!

I meet him on his territory as he calls at Grafton all the time and should know the form – but watch out WINNO is back in NSW – the State he loves! Stay tuned in the coming meetings for our tips and previews on Facebook and here.

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