By DARYL ‘ALBERT’ GLEESON
I have not been in the best of health over the last few months but I’m still here battling away so here we go with Albert’s Diary for April.
I went to the Grafton gallops meeting on Sunday, March 14 and on my way home I stopped to have a look at the track renovations going on at the dog track. Of course everything was blocked off, but I did get to see the shape of the new track as their first layer of road base was put down.
Fantastic big, long back straights and long runs home will certainly sort out the speedy squibs and the dogs powering home. Looking very much like Maitland and Bull,i we will certainly see some very strong racing at Grafton when they get up and running.
I’m sure leading Coalfields trainers Jason Mackay and Daryl Thomas will have no problems driving the five hours each way to race. With the prizemoney being so good when Grafton resumes, it will take a smart dog just to win here. I’m sure Darren Russell will relish driving the 2.5 hours to race on such a great track.
I was speaking to Grafton boss Glenn Heaton recently and he said the track distances will be 350m, 450m and 660m and, weather permitting, we are on course to hold our first meeting on Monday, May 31.
All the race dates will appear in upcoming editions of the Chase. I know we are never going to get a track as good as Parklands (I still shake my head every time I drive down Smith Street). As I have said numerous times, how did this happen to the best track in Australia?
That would be like shutting down Randwick racecourse to make way for highrises. Yes, a million to one you say. Hopefully, when Grafton is all ready to go, it will be something like the old Parklands track. As I said previously, with the prizemoney being so good I expect Grafton race fields to be as good as any provincial track in NSW.
Last week Greyhound Racing CEO Tony Mestrov and his media crew called in at Grafton to see how things where panning out. Tony was very happy with what he saw as was Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis.
Club president John Corrigan has been working tirelessly since Grafton shut down in October and club secretary Glenn Heaton is champing at the bit ready to go.
So Grafton, good luck from here on in and may we see some superstars race over the new track. Will we see the next crop of local champions such as He Knows Uno, Cosmic Bonus, Bright Ebony, Pretty Short who all raced in Group Ones or will it be the next lot of Brother Fox , Star Title , Kununurra .
Who knows, but I tell you one thing, it will great racing back at Grafton.
Until next month, cheers from Albert.