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Stratford claims the Townsville Grand Prix

R8-Stratford-Presentation-220621.jpgBy Brennan Ryan

Stratford, winner of the Townsville Young Guns back in March, brought up his third 498-metre feature win for the year on Tuesday night when successful in taking out the Townsville Grand Prix Final.

The brilliant son of Fernando Bale and Jingjing has strung together nine straight victories on end.

Stepping away from box eight, Stratford began on terms with Diva Valentine in the early stages, before finding the lead down the back and holding a late charge from the fast finishing No Regrets.

He scored by two-and-a-half lengths, clocking 28.66 seconds, with Diva Valentine holding on for third.

Stratford set a new race record for the Grand Prix, originally held by Saviour of 28.72 seconds in 2014.

Burdell trainer Rhonda Essery, who celebrated a birthday this week, was elated with the victory.

“Stratford is such an amazing chaser, and has a great affinity with Townsville,” the trainer stated.

“Box eight is the draw that suits Stratford well, he loves the competitiveness of racing and just knows how to find the line,” she said.

“Steve (Essery) and I are truly fortunate to have this dog in our kennel.”

Races

8
8

Townsville | Townsville Greyhound Racing Club | 9:53 PM

Townsville Grand Prix F

Victory in the Townsville Grand Prix brought up 29 wins for Stratford with 13 minors from 56 starts.

Since making his debut in August of last year, Stratford has won 21 races on the showgrounds track.

Over many decades, there has been many great chasers to have raced around the Townsville circuit.

North Queensland champion sprinter Saltwater Pete holds the mantle of 48 wins at the track.

With the track due to be shutdown for the Townsville Show period, Rhonda will now look towards heading south to Rockhampton in contesting their Grand Prix series, with heats staged on July 6.

“It will be tough without having to trial Stratford in between campaigns keeping him race-fit while Townsville will be shut down for the show, but we’ll just try keep him ticking along,” Essery added.

“The Rockhampton Grand Prix will be his next target and then we’ll get ready for the Townsville Cup.”

Greyhound racing will promptly resume at the Townsville Showgrounds on Tuesday night, July 13.