Grafton’s new track and Cup attract plenty of attention

Caption: Grafton club president John Corrigan (Photo: Adam Hourigan, Grafton Daily Examiner)

Group 3 Grafton Cup (450m)

Best greyhounds nominated.

Heats May 1. Final May 8.

$25,000 to the winner.

 

By DAVID BRASCH

GRAFTON “supremo” John Corrigan admits to being “70 something” but is adamant the time has NOT come for him to slow down a notch or two.

Corrigan has been president at Grafton Club for as long as anyone can remember. He is a fixture at the track. Where would Grafton greyhound racing be without him?

But Corrigan has learned to be patient in recent times, especially when it comes to the newly introduced Grafton Cup, the Group 3 sprint over 450m worth $25,000 to the winner.

“It was supposed to be run in 2020, but Covid stopped that,” John said.

“Then in 2021 the track was being turned into the best racetrack in the country.

“We’ve been waiting three years, marking time, for the Grafton Cup and here it is.”

The Grafton Cup is a GRNSW initiative following on from Group 3 country Cups around the state.

It is not to be mistaken for the Grafton Sprinters Cup which will be run during the time-honoured July Carnival.

“It is not possible for us to make the Sprinters Cup a Group race during July because it would clash with so many Group races at the time,” John said.

Corrigan, and Grafton locals, are amazed at the trainer response to the new track.

“The number of trials every week is phenomenal,” Corrigan said. “And they come from far and wide to put their dogs around here.

“The numbers from Queensland are amazing.”

Corrigan has no doubt the “gun” trainers will target the Grafton Cup.

“(Jason) Mackay will be here for sure.”

Corrigan is particularly excited about the up-coming July Carnival and The Thunderbolt (350m) series.

“The Thunderbolt final will be run on June 18 with $75,000 to the winner, and it will be virtually 12 months since we re-opened the track to racing,” he said. “The re-opening was June 13 last year.”

Corrigan always has a soft spot for the July Maiden.

“With the new track we are finding the best dog almost always wins,” he said. “The track gives every dog fair running.

“There is very little severe interference unless there is a dog crashing to the fence or off the track.

“The track does not make for interference.

“Our trialling can see 80 dogs going around at any one session. That has to tell you something.”

It tells you the Group 3 Grafton Cup will be a highlight of the year’s racing.

 

 

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