Byline: brad ellis email@example.com
THE WEATHER was perfect and the racing was just as good on Thursday afternoon at the Grafton Greyhound race meeting, with Coutts Crossing's Gary Smith taking training honours with a winning treble and two other placings from his five runners.
Smith was successful in two of the Betfair Blue Paws maiden heats with Orara Mick and Orara George, while Orara Bella made it three races in succession, winning the Iluka Bowls Club 5th grade.
Orara George made light work of his prohibitive $1.60 quote on the NSW TAB when leading most of the way in a slick 23.18 seconds, while Orara Mick recorded a much slower 23.81 seconds. However, his win was full of merit, because he had to display a lot of tenacity to push runners out of the road before making his way to the lead in the home straight.
Orara Bella was also solidly supported in her event, starting as a $2.20 favourite. The daughter of Collision and Sweet Elite jumped nicely from the boxes and was quickly in the lead. However, she was under pressure from Transquip Roadie and Gee Norman for most of the journey, just hanging on to win by a half-length over Gee Norman, with Marbec finishing stoutly to secure third.
While Orara George went nicely in his heat of the maiden and ran a quick time it was not the fastest, with this honour going to the Des Winters-trained Arem Boots, which defied its $9.00 price for a decisive win. Arem Boots showed good early dash to take up the early running and from there he was simply too strong for Bligh Street and Orara race favourite Orara Maree in a solid 23.09-second victory.
Ellangowan-based trainer Gavin Lowe was all smiles at the start of the day when he learnt this tipster didn't select any of his greyhounds on top. His joy became reality when Captain Cloud and Planetary each won impressively.
Captain Cloud was coming off moderate recent form at Lismore but he did win there in a fast 24.17 seconds. He brought that form to Grafton on Thursday when he won the Carters Canine Capers Stakes in fine style. Captain Cloud handled himself beautifully in the field, navigating his way to second position on the rails at the first turn behind the favourite Hanify's Idol. When that runner shifted off on straightening Captain Cloud took the invitation to race clear, winning by just over two lengths in the career-best time of 23.00 seconds.
Planetary made full use of his ideal box 8 draw in the Clarence Valley Sheds 0-1 win stake over 480 metres. …