The Bob Milligan trained Texas Storm powered through the Soft 7 track on July 7 to claim the 2021 Grafton Toyota South Grafton Cup. Image: Screenshot from Racing NSW website.

Storming to victory in South Grafton Cup

Emma Pritchard

Consistent galloper Texas Storm blew his rivals away to win the 2021 Grafton Toyota South Grafton Cup with gusto on July 4.

In the market with punters at 5/1, Texas Storm jumped cleanly from an inside barrier and sat midfield throughout the race before jockey Ashley Morgan gave the six-year-old son of All American his head at the top of the home straight.

Relishing the upgraded track conditions to a Soft 7, Texas Storm forged clear to win the feature event on the program by one and a half lengths from Hit The Target and Zigallene (NZ) in a time of 1:36.90.

Last year’s winner Jazzland never looked likely inside the final furlong and could only manage 8th place with the topweight of 61kg.

Prepared in Taree by prominent country trainer Bob Milligan, the victory on Sunday was Texas Storm’s first win at his fifth start over 1608m.

Although his trainer was unable to make the journey to Grafton to watch his tenacious galloper claim one of the feature races of the 2021 July Racing Carnival, his son and stable representative Glen Milligan was trackside on the weekend.

Describing Texas Storm as a horse which “loves rain affected going”, Milligan also revealed the horse has overcome “a lot of niggly problems” and has matured beautifully.

“He’s a very good horse and he’s lucky there was a lot of speed on during the race,” he said.

“He got the sit on them and was able to dash away.

“He was very strong late in the race and he’s such a powerful horse.”

Jockey Ashley Morgan, Texas Storm’s regular rider, was also full of praise for the gelding following his emphatic win.

“He always tries hard, and he deserved to win today,” he said.

“He’s a very good horse.”

Milligan also revealed during a post-race interview that Texas Storm will not race on towards the 2021 Maclean Hotel Grafton Cup later in the carnival with the gelding heading home to Taree instead.