Tuesday, 3 July 2012
: Sydney's three leading trainers are planning varying levels of participation at next week's $1 million Grafton Cup carnival.
| Rampaging wins at Canterbury|
Photo by Racing and Sports
Chris Waller, Gai Waterhouse and Peter Snowden will be represented when the nominations for the two major days of the carnival on July 11 and 12 close on Thursday.
The five- day carnival begins on Thursday featuring the $20,000 Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude and $20,000 John Carlton Cup followed by Sunday's Ladies Day meeting headlined by the $50,000 Black Auto South Grafton Cup.
The black type features of the carnival are the $150,000 WHK Ramornie Handicap (1200m) on July 11 and the $150,000 Maclean Bowling Club Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 12 with the $30,000 Maclean Cup winding up the five day on July 15.
Waller, Waterhouse and Snowden have confirmed that they will be nominating horses for the carnival. It will be the first time that the three leaders of the Sydney premiership have had carnival entries in the same year.
Waller, about to win his second Sydney training premiership, is the only of the top three yet to win one of the Grafton features.
He has had runners in the past two Grafton Cups, his subsequent Group One winner The Verminator finishing fourth as favourite last year, but has lowered his sights this year with the $50,000 Tursa Grafton Guineas (1600m) on Ramornie Day his target.
Waller has singled out Disciple
, a Canterbury and Gosford winner, from his big team of three-year-olds as his Guineas entry.
Waller has booked Corey Brown to ride Disciple. Brown has also accepted the Ramornie Handicap ride on promising sprinter Magic Cassius
from Gosford trainer Angela Davies.
Waterhouse, winner of the Grafton Cup in 2006 with Rocking On, also has an alternative target at this year's carnival.
Her focus is on the $54,000 NBN 2YO Plate (1200m) on Grafton Cup day where her smart youngster Rampaging
will chasing a $50,000 bonus that goes to the winner of sold at an Inglis sale.
Rampaging, part-owned by Australian cricket star Doug Bollinger, went for a spell after winning his second start at Canterbury in February.
He finished second in a barrier trial at Randwick on June 20 and is likely to be ridden by Nash Rawiller, who returns from a winter holiday this week.
Snowden has made a big impact on the Grafton carnival in the last two years with back to back wins in the Ramornie Handicap with Pinwheel in 2010 and Jerezana in 2011.
Snowden plans to nominate Parthian
for the Ramornie, Peck
for the Grafton Cup and The Owl
for the Grafton Guineas.
Skytrain and is nominated for Rosehill on Saturday while Parthian has not raced since February but showed up well when third in a Rosehill trial on Tuesday.
Patinack Farm trainer John Thompson is also eyeing a Grafton Cup start for Sharmadashing or Saint Encosta
while John O'Shea and Clarry Conners are other leading Sydney trainers set to send horses to Grafton.
O'Shea will nominate last start Newcastle winner Art Thou Ready
for the Guineas and Conners has last week's Wyong winner Turnley
set for the NBN Plate.
Thursday's opening meeting has been extended to nine races due to the huge number of acceptors, driven by the increased prizemeney for all levels of racing that came into effect in NSW on July 1.
“I'd certainly like to think the Thursday's response is evidence of what's to come next week,” said Clarence River Jockey Club CEO Bradley de Martino Rosaroll.
“It's shaping as a great carnival. The increased prizemoney appears to be having an effect on all our races."