From the Grandstand by Col Hennessy


Well, the Melbourne Cup may indeed be the ‘race that stops a nation’ but the Clarence Classic (as in our Council election) could be the ‘race that starts a revival’.

I have taken a keen interest in the responses of our candidates in this paper and attended the ‘Meet the candidates’ evening. I was surprised that many candidates are avid readers of this column but then they could be playing politics and looking for a vote.

So why has the grandstand done a 180 degree turn away from the sporting field and look the other way to politics.

Well, I know very little about horse racing, but I thought I would have a go in a light-hearted manner and give readers a bit of a form guide before we vote.

Now the names I have come up with hardly hide their real identity but hopefully bring as smile. Of course, we have had some dandies in racing already. Who can forget just a few years ago a winning horse by the name of ‘Whykickamoocow’. Here are a few others I discovered – ‘Mywifenoseveything’, ‘Fiftyshadesofhay’, ‘Notacatbutallama’ and of course ‘Doremifasollatido’.

All these are registered racehorses, and some are winners. Imagine calling the race.

So back to the Classic and the stand-out favourite in the race is Tiny Tiley. His name belies his stature. He has a big frame and is back in provincial racing after a few events in the bigger cities so he should find the pace a bit easier. Even the other horses in the race seem to understand the pecking order of this herd.

Then we have Coutts Clancy who will be racing in the all green colours. His experience will have him in good stead, and he has been in a good paddock of late with high grass, plenty of shade trees festooned with koalas.

Then we have the mare Tomsagirl. Her big asset is that she has such a long stride and can reach across both sides of the river mouth with ease. She has been out on her own in a paddock by the Grafton airfield but is popular with many long-term residents.

Now in all red colours we have Ellementary trained by Sherlock and ridden by Holmes. He has raced in some high-profile events in the past and will surely feature again.

Another popular mare is Marketdeb, but she is better known by her stable name of REX. Now if her jockey can pull his finger out and ensure she does not play up in the mounting yard she is in with a big chance as well.

Now we move on to where there is a comeback of sorts by the name of Billdayknight. He goes by the stable name of Chessty, but he is no pawn in this game and will quickly checkmate any outlandish style of running. He has been hidden away in a paddock alongside the old information centre in South Grafton but will soon regain his form.

Finally, we move on to the novices. First amongst them is Port Pickers who looks in fine shape despite missing his early swims in his local enclosure. He has been in training for quite some time and there is every indication this will pay off.