Dogs bring the heat for July carnival
GREYHOUNDS: There was plenty of speed through the cool night air on the main night of the Grafton Greyhound July Carnival.
In the first of the features, the Village Green Sprinters Cup it was a race in three for much of the straight, but a dashing run from Painted Picture grabbed the win on the line.
It beat out favourite Cop a Chevy by a neck and Ducati George running 23.39 to claim the sprinting prize.
Owner and trainer Mark Wilkes of Casino said after a good stat out of the boxes he began to worry as the race progressed.
"I was happy when he jumped but he looked like he found some sort of trouble and got back in the field,” he said.
"But he came out of the rough... but when I saw him wide I thought he'd get home, he comes home strong.”
Mr Wilkes said the win took the prize money for Painted Picture to more than $70,000 in prize money.
"He's a handy dog,” he said. "He's won six at Albion Park so we'll probably head back that way, and back for Lismore and Casino Cups.
In the other feature race, the Clarence Valley Sheds Taylor Family Maiden, favourite La Grand Quality streaked away to win in a slick 22.82.
It beat Aston Poker by a length to claim the Maiden final and the two dogs led the field out from the jump.
"I thought he could run that,” Hunter Valley trainer Darryl Thomas said. "It was quicker than his heat, but he's had another look at the track and come here a lot better tonight.”
Despite its good start, Mr Thomas said you can never be certain of the result, and the held its nerve to win well.
Mr Thomas said he'd be keen to return to the carnival after his success in the maiden "if I have a dog good enough.”
In other races, Kulu Eagle overcame a wide draw to win the Ladbrokes Distance Final and Brave Warrior stretched away to win the Westlawn Finance Stakes.
The July carnival finishes on Friday night with two 5th grade finals the feature.