Despite not being able to head trackside, punters still managed to form winning combinations with local trainers in Grafton last week when the Clarence River Jockey Club (CRJC) held their third and final race meeting for the month on September 28.
With the track rated a Good 4 and the rail in its true position, 91 horses competed across the eight-race program, with locally trained gallopers saluting the judge on three occasions.
A standout in the mounting yard and a popular pick with punters, consistent mare Allusive Eve broke through for a well-deserved win in Race 1, the Herb Blanchard Haulage Pty Ltd Maiden Plate over 1100m.
The four-year-old daughter of Moshe broke cleanly from barrier six, and under the strong urging of apprentice jockey Oliva Pickering, assumed the lead during the first half of the race and kicked strongly in the home straight to score by a long neck over debutant Andy and Kentucky Grey.
Trained locally on the track by John Shelton, who described her as a lovely mare, Allusive Eve is still in her first preparation, and has recorded one win and three minor placings from seven career starts.
Less than three hours later, her stablemate Tara Jasmine provided Shelton with a winning double.
Racing in blinkers for the first time, Tara Jasmine began slowly and trailed the field inside the first 100m, before jockey Ben Looker steered the $1.60 favourite home to record a dominant two-length victory in Race 5, the McKimms Real Estate Class 3 Handicap over 1175m.
Describing Tara Jasmine as a mare with plenty of ability during a pre-race interview, Looker also stated he was hopeful the blinkers would “switch her on”, and the mare would enjoy racing on her home track.
The four-year-old daughter of Cowboy Blue has now won four of her 10 career starts and remains unbeaten at Grafton.
Another local trainer to feature on the winners list was Daniel Want after his progressive gelding Full Of Flavour took out Race 6, the Grafton Gas and Plumbing Maiden Handicap over 1400m.
Given a positive ride by Jodi Worley, Full Of Flavour was well fancied in the market and charged home out wide to score by half a length from the well-tried Al Be Purple.
Race favourite and early leader Gobbled finished 1.2 lengths away in third.
The CRJC will host their next race meeting on October 19.