POTENT PAIR: Matthew McGuren (right) takes Tony Newing's Charmed Princess to the lead to win the Westlawn Wealth Management Grafton Guineas Prelude on Westlawn Finance Race Day.
POTENT PAIR: Matthew McGuren (right) takes Tony Newing's Charmed Princess to the lead to win the Westlawn Wealth Management Grafton Guineas Prelude on Westlawn Finance Race Day. Adam Hourigan

McGuren and Newing take out July Carnival honours

RACING: The July Carnival was a huge success in 2019 with a number of local riders and trainers taking out feature races but Grafton's Matt McGuren was by far the best rider and was awarded the Jockey of the Carnival last week.

McGuren took part in 30 races over the duration of the carnival and claimed ten first-place finishes including victory the Maclean Cup on Evopex and the Grafton Guineas on Trainer of the Carnival Tony Newing's Charmed Princess.

The Grafton jockey teamed up with Gosford trainer Newing with great effect taking out five race wins including the remarkable feat of riding Charmed Princess through the qualifiers on Prelude Day and going on to win the main event.

Clarence River Jockey Club Chief Executive Officer Michael Beattie was happy to see McGuren performing on the track and hailed his reputation within the racing community.

"It was great to see a local jockey doing as well as he did,” Beattie said.

"One thing that allows Matt (McGuren) to achieve what he has is the great respect he's held in by the visiting trainers. People notice you when you go about things the way he does.”

Prominent Grafton racing figure John Shelton was not far off the pace after he claimed three race wins and was agonisingly close to edging out Newing's Exopex with Ben Looker riding Cool Prince in the Maclean Cup.

"John (Shelton) had another really successful carnival. Had Cool Prince won the Maclean Cup, the trainer of the carnival would not have been decided until the last race,” Beattie said.

"It didn't look that close in the end but really it came down to half a head in that final race.”

The Grafton jockey has kept a rich vein of form alive with a further two firsts in Ballina last week before travelling to Lismore where he teamed up with Newing to ride Rock Sonic to victory in a Class 1 Handicap.

McGuren has made a name for himself not only in the Clarence Valley but also in greater New South Wales and Queensland, racking up 583 career wins to earn a 14 per cent win rate but in his last fifty races that has doubled to a whopping 30 per cent rating.

The iconic strawberry jersey McGuren dons will long be remembered at the Clarence Valley Jockey Club.