Grafton car­ni­val best in the bush

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Ray Thomas

THE Grafton Cup Car­ni­val, ar­guably the na­tion’s most pres­ti­gious coun­try rac­ing event, gets into full swing this week with the first of four race meet­ings in seven days.

Day one of the car­ni­val is Thurs­day, July 2, fea­tur­ing the Grafton Cup Pre­lude and John Carl­ton Qual­ity be­fore Sun­day’s South Grafton cup meet­ing (July 5).

The car­ni­val’s fea­ture dou­ble-header starts on Wed­nes­day, July 8, and the high­light is the $150,000 Ramornie Hand­i­cap (1200m).

The car­ni­val reaches a cli­max the fol­low­ing day with the Listed $150,000 Grafton Cup (2350m). TAR­GET OF GREAT­NESS IT’S hard to be­lieve 11 years have passed since Takeover Tar­get be­gan his fairy­tale rise when he romped away with Grafton’s Ramornie Hand­i­cap by two lengths.

In an ex­tra­or­di­nary ragsto-riches story, Takeover Tar­get won 21 of his 41 starts and earned more than $6 mil­lion prize­money.

His trainer, part-time cab driver Joe Ja­niak bought the geld­ing as an un­raced fouryear-old for just $1300.

Takeover Tar­get was eu­thanased af­ter he suf­fered a se­ri­ous leg in­jury in a pad­dock ac­ci­dent two weeks ago. CIVIC RE­CEP­TION SYD­NEY race fans will have plenty of rac­ing ac­tion at home in­clud­ing the Civic Stakes meet­ing at Rose­hill Gar­dens on Satur­day.

The $100,000 sprint over 1350m in­vari­ably at­tracts a classy field and the last three win­ners have been proved big-race per­form­ers Malavio (2012), Mic Mac (2013) and Gen­er­al­ife (2014). BOW­MAN IN RARE FORM MY TIP this week­end is to fol­low jockey Hugh Bow­man at Rose­hill Gar­dens. The cham­pion jockey has been in rare form as he makes a con­certed push for Syd­ney premier­ship hon­ours.

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