HIGHLIGHTS: GSDC Ramornie Handicap Day
TURNBERRY might be sprinting sire Snitzel but could turn out to be a stayer of promise after a big pay day at Grafton today.
The Kris Lees-trained gelding copped not only the $43,140 winners cheque for winning the $80,000 Tursa Inglis Bonus Grafton Guineas (1600m) but a $50,000 Inglis bonus.
While stable mate Chalmers, the race favourite, had no luck Turnberry teed off to beat captivator with Mishani Bullitt third.
Stable representative Tamara Oxlade said Trnberry, who has now won three of his 11 starts, is a nice horse.
"He appreciated coming back in distance," she said after the win.
"He's looking forward to a good future."
Corey Brown rode the son of Snitzel and also believes he has a bright future.
"It was a good tough win," he said.
"He's a big strong type who covers the ground well.
"It was a funny run race. They kept pushing up underneath me so i elected to come back and let them go."
DARK Image handed owner/trainer Scott Hendry a large windfall in a race ending in drama and near catastrophe at Grafton today.
The Ballina motor mechanic, a hobby trainer with two in work, won the $30,000 Group 1 Feeds Class 2 Showcase Handicap (1600m) by a short head from Husson's Pride with Our Tax Return a length and a half away third.
It was a race that ended in distress with three horses - It's relative, Found Out and Denver - all falling about 100m from home.
Their jockeys - Ben Looker, Jake Hull and Josh Adams - all landed heavily but all three were okay and conscious according to reports from the Clarence River Jockey Club officials.
All three were treated at the scene and then taken to hospital for further tests, including head injury assessment. Jake Hull and Ben Looker suffered a concussion while Josh Adams was relatively unscathed, suffering a cut chin.
Scott Hendry was a concerned and worried trainer.
"It's a downer," he admitted.
"Just won with a 100-1 shot and that happens."
He hopes all three jockeys and their mounts are okay and was visibly moved by the race fall.
"It's bad luck," he said.
A self-employed motor mechanic, who works to pay his "hobby" racing, has had Dark Image since Christmas.
"Bought him from a bloke in Wyong," he said.
"He's been improving all the time.
"He loves it, leave him in the paddock at home and take him and My Boy Cellito to the track every morning bar Wednesday and Saturdays. Get home at 7am in time to go to work and then knock off at 3pm and do my jobs."
He wasn't surprised Dark Image won either.
"He was the second favourite last start (at Ballina) and been working 100 per cent."
LISTEN to the interview with CEO of the Clarence River Jockey Club Michael Beattie:
THREE jockeys have fallen from their saddle on the home stretch of RACE FIVE.
All jockeys are conscious. One appears to be in a worse condition than the others and has sustained a concussion.
One horse has been injured.
Like the flash of lightning that he is, sports editor Matthew Elkerton caught up with the winner of RACE THREE:
SIMPLY Striking converted a good barrier into a good win in today's $30,000 Mark Bloomer Transport CG&E Benchmark 55 Showcase Handicap (1100m).
He also handed Denise Osborne, wife of Canberra trainer Neil Osborne, an early birthday present.
Simply Striking, a five-year-old grey gelding, was reared by Denise Osborne as well, Neil Osborne said.
"Denise reared this bloke on a bucket," Neil Osborne said.
"He had a nanny mare too. It's Denise's birthday tomorrow too."
Neil Osborne said Billy Owen rode Simply Striking perfectly from a bad gate (14).
"Magnificent ride, had him third on the rail," Osborne said of a gelding son of Alert who has won twice from 27 starts.
"He's been unlucky," Neil Osborne said.
"In those 27 starts he's probably finished in the first five in 23 of those races."
Sports editor Matthew Elkerton caught up with the winner of RACE TWO:
ISLAND Grange snared a deceptive win when the Wyong mare won today's $30,000 Grafton Taxis F&M Benchmark 57 Showcase Handicap (1100m) at Grafton.
The Les Tilley-trained daughter of Home On The Grange flashed late to catch Todd Payne's Victory Lass on the line. while it looked like the Inverell mare had lasted the actual photo finish favoured Island Grange by a short half head.
"She really deserved that," said jockey Robert Thompson.
"She travelled well and was probably a length further back than I wanted but let down well."
Les Tilley said the four-year-old mare is easy to train and bounced back well from a fourth at Muswellbrook.
"She's been racing great," Les Tilley said.
"Just didn't run out the 1280m at Muswellbrook. I've had three weeks to freshen her up."
Tilley loves the Grafton carnival and has done for a long while.
"I first came here when I was 18 and I turn 53 this year."
He said he will continue to progress "through her grades".
Sports editor Matthew Elkerton caught up with the winner of RACE ONE:
FOXY Foxinator kicked off Ramornie Handicap day with a convincing win in the $40,000 The Abbey Motor Inn Country Showcase Maiden Plate (1000m) at Grafton.
The Jenny Graham-trained two-year-old gelding son of Foxwedge was too strong for his opposition, surging to success from Aiden St Vincent's Eulo Queen while Matthew Dunn's Mother To Race Her was third.
"It was a convincing win," Jenny Graham said after the gelding's third race start had ended in victory.
"To be honest I was a bit concerned but he's had a jump out and a trial."
Foxy Foxinator began his racing career at Grafton when second to She's Choosie back in January. Then he headed to Quirindi but reared backwards there when third to Jamaican Dream.
A good spell followed and he resumed first up from a wide gate with a tough run.
Belinda Hodder had to work hard to cross and sit outside the leader although he then "had a cushy run", Belinda Hodder said.
"He's been a little unlucky in his first two runs," Jenny Graham said admitting she hasn't planned anything for him.
"I haven't thought about it, was just hoping he could win today."
Race 1: The Abbey Motor Inn Country Showcase Maiden Plate is about to start. Have you placed your bets?
Welcome to The Daily Examiner's rolling coverage of the GDSC Ramornie Handicap Day! We will also be bringing you live coverage from the track on our Facebook page. Stay tuned for updates as the day unfolds.