Chinese fortune wears off as Grafton races washed out
RACING :The Chinese New Year looks to bring fortune to all but its race one namesake at Grafton today could bring just one winner and it was Andrew Parramore's gelding Steppin' Up to the plate.
Piloted expertly by jockey Stephen Traecey, Steppin' Up led the 2200m opener at the Clarence River Jockey Club from start to finish, taking out a huge 2.51 length win to edge betting favourite Tickets For Youth.
"I got in front and as soon as he got his stride away he was comfortable out in front," New Zealand born jockey Traecey said after the race.
"These types of races are easy once you get your rhythm."
Torrential rains forecast for Grafton today held off until the start of race one with the downpour settling in during the opener.
"It's fine at the moment but it'll chop up pretty bad this afternoon," Staecey said.
Shelton's Julianne's Wish was pipped by Chris Lees' Mummentum at the line in race two but Grafton trainer Dwayne Schmidt's No Doubt a Lady found her maiden win in race three, storming home down the outside to edge Mini Me.
CRCA CEO and owner of No Doubt a Lady, Micheal Beattie, was pleased to have an early winner after a long wait.
"It's been a while since we've had one. Brooke (Stower) worked clear into the corner and came home really strong," Beattie said.
"I did have three runners in the race but the other two (Cool Success and Monarch) finished last and second last.
"I was really happy to see a winner for Schmidt and it was great to see Brooke get up too."
With the rain taking the track up to a predicted heavy nine by race four, Beattie hoped they were able to continue.
"The worst part is, people will say I waited until I got a winner to call it so hopefully we get a few more in," he said during the afternoon.
Five of eight races were completed before the final three were abandoned as the track reached a heavy 10 rating.