GRAFTON CUP PRELUDE: 23-year-old trainer Sally Taylor has taken out the first feature race of the July Carnival with Rednav winning the Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude Quality (2215m) at Clarence River Jockey Club this afternoon.
The novice trainer, who has only held her trainer's licence for six months, was elated to have a starter in next Thursday's $160,000 McKimms Grafton Cup, where she'll rub shoulders with the likes of leading trainers Chris Waller and John O'Shea, who have horses nominated in the Listed 2350m race.
Rednav ($21, Peter Graham) hugged the rail on the turn for home and shot clear in the straight, pulling ahead to win by almost three lengths from locally trained duo Towash ($8, Matthew Paget), out of the John Shelton stable, and Shane Everson's Light Motion ($21, Cassandra Schmidt).
The favourites were well and truly upstaged with Terry Walshe's Shadow Rein ($5.50) fourth, Peter Howells trained Coastal Gem ($4.80) tenth and Matthew Dunn's Dream Speed ($5.50) ninth.
Shelton was the toast of the town on day one of the July Racing Carnival, having earlier picked up a winning double in races four and five on the program.
Spinning Quarters ($6, Matthew Paget) held on to win the Westlawn Life Insurance Class One Handicap (1206m) from Cheljoe ($31, Peter Graham) and Spirit of Husson ($21, Matthew Bennett), while jockey Kasie Stanley timed her run well to hand Excellero ($21) victory in the Westlawn Wealth Management Class One Handicap (1206m) from Foxy Walk ($11, Rachael Murray) and Corder ($11, Matthew McGuren).