Thursday, 7 July 2011
: Sydney's new champion trainer elect Chris Waller will be seeking his first success at the Grafton July Racing Carnival when he tackles next Thursday's $150,000 Wykes Tyrepower Grafton Cup with his in-form stayer The Verminator.
| Chris Waller|
Photo by Racing and Sports
Waller has made only one previous Grafton carnival assault two years ago when he started Come On On Cugat and Bellagio Wynn in the 2009 Grafton Cup. Come On Cugat finished fourth and Bellagio Wynn was eighth as favourite.
Last start Rosehill winner The Verminator
is among the 23 high class entries for the 2011 Grafton Cup and includes a big contingent of horses who have figured in the recent feature staying races at the Queensland winter carnival.
The entries include Ipswich Cup winner Gold In Dubai
(Mark Riley), Caloundra Cup winner Spechenka
(Ben Ahrens) and Tattersalls Cup second Shuffle The Cash
(Bryan Guy). Gold In Dubai followed his Ipswich win with a close second to Spechenka in last Saturday's Caloundra Cup.
Victorian entries include the last start Sandown winner Summarise
, trained by Stephen Theodore, and Robert Smerdon
's tough stayer Light Vision
. Smerdon trained the 2003 Grafton Cup winner Belus.
Other leading trainers represented include David Payne with recent Sydney winner Winning Glory
, Bevan Laming (Sea Skye
), Liam Birchley (Diego
), Brian Smith (Little Stranger
), Troy Hall (Interlocking
), Bruce Hill (Warrior Within
) and the New Zealand-based Frenchman Yves Sequin (Arcenciel
Dual Stradbroke Handicap winner Black Piranha
heads a strong list of 25 entries for the $130,000 WHK Ramornie Handicap, the most famous sprint race in NSW country racing, at Grafton next Wednesday.
Black Piranha has been in Grafton since last month preparing for the Ramornie where he will be bidding to give his trainer, the perennial Grafton carnival visitor Con Karakatsanis, his first Ramornie victory.
“He's been thriving. We gave him 10 days in the paddock after he ran in Brisbane last month and he has freshened up really well,” Karakatsanis said.
“We we know he will have to carry the topweight but he will be hard to beat. We have won a lot of races at Grafton over the years but we have never had any luck in the Ramornie. It's the race we want to win.”
The Ramornie has drawn a list of classy entries from top Sydney and Brisbane stables including Peter Snowden, Robert Heathcote, John Thompson, Liam Birchley, Kris Lees and Brian Smith,
Snowden has given himself two chances to repeat his first win Ramornie win last year with Pinwheel by nominating talented mare Jerezana
Heathcote will lead the Queensland assault with his in-form sprinter Gundy Son while other notable entries include the comeback sprinter Here De Angels
, Temple Of Boom
and last year's third placegetter Lifebuoy
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