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Winning connections of Miss Marcie, trained locally by Vanessa McLennan, celebrate the mare’s maiden win in Race 3, the Styleline Garages/Dave Young Roofing F&M Maiden Handicap over 1120m on June 11. Image: Emma Pritchard

Locals enjoy success ahead of July

Emma Pritchard

 

Under a clear sky, more than 500 racegoers headed trackside to take advantage of the winter sunshine on June 11 when the Clarence River Jockey Club (CRJC) hosted their final race meeting ahead of the highly anticipated 2022 July Racing Carnival.

With the track rated a Soft 7 and the rail out 5.5m, 62 horses competed across a six-race program, with local punters enjoying the opportunity to have a flutter or two on the weekend.

Short priced favourites and well backed runners won four of the six races, with the longest priced winner of the day paying $13, allowing the bookies a little saving grace.

Local trainers also enjoyed plenty of success, winning five races including the feature event, the 2022 Ulmarra Hotel “Chip In” Cup, Class 3 Handicap over 1195m.

Grafton trainer Samantha McGuren, winning jockey Ben Looker, CRJC Chairman Graeme Green and Ulmarra Hotel publican Dane Baird during the presentation of the Ulmarra Hotel “Chip In” Cup, won by In Fiore (NZ). Image: Emma Pritchard

After Bold Contender (NZ) won Race 1, the J.A.C Electrical and Solar/Coldstream Air Conditioning Benchmark 50 Handicap over 1725m for Grafton trainer Andrew Parramore, three-year-old Your Song gelding Kennysing broke through for a maiden win at start number seven in Race 2, the Walsh Demolition/Naeco Blue Maiden Plate, again over 1725m, on his home track for trainer Greg Kilner.

Five-year-old Reward For Effort mare Miss Marcie made it a hattrick for local trainers when the Vanessa McLennan trained galloper broke through at start number 19 in Race 3, the Styleline Garages/Dave Young Roofing F&M Maiden Handicap over 1120m, after being given a peach of a ride by jockey Olivia Pickering.

Jumping from barrier 1, Miss Marcie settled behind early leader Mystic Magic before kicking strongly inside the final 300m to deny race favourite Miss Wallflower her first career victory in a photo finish.

After the Greg Howells trained gelding Blend prevailed in a three-way finish in Race 4, the O Hindmarsh Builder/Farrell McCrohon Stock and Station CG&E Maiden Handicap over 1120m, all eyes on track turned to the feature race.

Jumping from an inside draw, the short-priced favourite In Fiore (NZ) settled off the speed for jockey Ben Looker before weaving through the centre of the field while travelling three-wide in the home straight to draw clear for a solid victory from late closer Volfoni in a time of 1:08.79.

Trained in Grafton by Samantha McGuren, the win of In Fiore (NZ) in the Ulmarra Hotel “Chip In” Cup Class 3 Handicap was the first time the gelding crossed the line in first place in more than two years.

During the presentation following the race, CRJC Chairman Graeme Green congratulated the winning trainer for her efforts with the horse and praised Looker for another class ride on the track before acknowledging the Ulmarra Hotel for their ongoing support and sponsorship of the race.

The next race meeting at Grafton will be held on July 3 to begin the 2022 July Racing Carnival.

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