Trainers laud Grafton track

\"\"CAPTION: From left, co-trainer Mick Lill with More Sauce, winner of the Village Green Hotel ‘Fat Albert’ Sprinters Cup at Grafton, Claire Johnson (Village Green Hotel), Mark Knott (retail manager of the North Coast Hotel Group), and Shawn Spedding.  (Photo: Robert Brandolini)

 

By TERRY WILSON

LEADING trainer Jason Mackay has described the new Grafton greyhound track as ‘the ant’s pants and the full package’ after landing a feature race double at the modern venue.

It came as hardly a surprise that Mackay had huge wraps on the $4.6 million modern facility in jacaranda town after he took home $35,000 from the wins of Zipping Maserati in the big Maiden final (450m) and Cool Bourbon in the Stayers Cup (660m).

“This track is the full package and I’ll be back,” declared Mackay.

Anticipation was high that Grafton’s new track would be a winner but it was always going to be until the track hosted some of the better greyhounds to confirm exactly what was on offer.

Mackay said the new track was the best in Australia and a remarkable facility compared to the previous circuit at the Clarence River town.

“It’s all well and good winning a race but the next morning when you put the roller door up you want a dog on four legs, you don’t want them to be injured,” he said.

“Grafton plays a huge part in safety. The circumference, the bends. It is so meticulous that track. It’s all about animal welfare, it’s all about safety.

“It has a magnificent big nine-second back straight, big sweeping bends, lovely big run home, a giant big catching pen.

“It’s just everything you want in a new greyhound track and I’d give it 110 out of a 100 if you can do that.”

Mackay hails from Richmond Vale and another Hunter Valley trainer, Michelle Lill, also took $20,000 first money back home to Greta after More Sauce landed the Village Green Hotel ‘Fat Albert’ Sprinters Cup.

Lill also rugged up third placegetter and favourite Casual Glance.

Like Mackay, More Sauce’s co-trainer Mick Lill also had nothing but praise for the new track.

“It’s the best track I’ve raced on,” he said.

“I’m only 43 but I’ve never seen cleaner racing, never seen dogs get around the track so safely.”

It was a fitting decision by the Grafton club to include Daryl ‘Fat Albert’ Gleeson in the race name after the popular local greyhound identity passed away not so long ago after battling illness for a long time.

Those who knew Gleeson well would have had a wry smile that a greyhound named More Sauce saluted the judge.

Beer drinkers often use the word sauce when referring to the beverage – and Gleeson certainly didn’t mind a beer or ten in his time.

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