By Mark Brassel
Wyong trainer Allan Kehoe is bursting with confidence as he prepares to take his two gallopers up for New South Wales’ richest country racing carnival at Grafton commencing Thursday.
Kehoe said his duo is “spot on” for the trip and will be led by honest stayer Get on the Grange who is to contest the $25,000 Grafton Cup Quality Prelude (2200m).
Get on the Grange has strong city form to his credit and is certain to be one of the major players on Thursday.
Three starts back the seven-year-old ran second to Broadside at Rosehill Gardens (2000m) and was a last start fourth to the in-form Collateral over 2400m at Royal Randwick, after hitting the lead with 350m to travel.
“The rider just went a bit early on him,” Kehoe admitted. “If he’d waited I’m pretty sure he would have got home. That last 200m just found him out.”
The gelding drops back to 2200m which is more suitable, according to Kehoe: “He’s won at Warwick Farm and Doomben over the 2200m so it’s probably his pet distance.”
Stablemate Epic Dan will be running in the $25,000 John Carlton Quality (1200m) and is also in top form, having bolted in at Dubbo (1020m) following an 11-week lay-off.
“He was going to race at Tamworth on Friday but the races were called off. I gave him a jump out this morning and he is ticking along nicely; he’s improved since and Thursday looks a nice race for him.” Kehoe expects to book top country jockey Greg Ryan for his three starters.
Kehoe said his promising two-year-old Crackneck will next appear in the $45,000 Two-year-old Plate on Grafton Cup Day (Thursday 13 July): "That is his ultimate goal.”
Crackneck was beaten narrowly in a 900m maiden at Newcastle on debut at $71 before running about badly when again second over the same course and distance last Saturday, throwing the race away with his waywardness..
Next Monday top jockey Hugh Bowman and trainer Gary Moore will be interviewed at the popular Ramornie-Grafton Cup luncheon at the racecourse on July 10.