Michael Rodd spent plenty of time as a developing jockey at the country racecourse at Grafton and he’ll be going back with fond memories as he enters the Grafton Cup Carnival.
Rodd will make the trip west in a couple of weeks where the community hosts a five meeting race program.
Starting on Thursday July 7th there’s more than $850,000 on offer.
Rodd rode at the track in his early twenties before his career was launched into the stratosphere.
Still just 29, Rodd has 20 Group 1’s to his name including a 2007 Melbourne Cup highlight on Efficient.
Before that it was Grafton which gave him a cup’s success, he won it back in 2004 on Pacific Dancer.
He’ll be in action on Emvoss for Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds.
The horse has won two of three with his first loss coming last Saturday over 1200m.
Emvoss will race in one of the feature events, the Grafton Guineas over 1600m on July 13th.
Rodd is seeking rides for the other majors including the $130,000 WHK Ramornie Handicap and of course the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup over 2350m.
One option could be Code Word for John Marzon.
He’s been confirmed as a runner and with three wins from his past four runs there’s plenty of worse horses to be on on the day.
Code Word is an ex Gerald Ryan runner which seems to have found a new spirit running out of Moruya on the New South Wales south coast.
Marzol agrees and says he’s excited about the prospect of claiming the Grafton Cup with his first attempt.
“We’ll probably head back to town for another start over 2000 metres and then tackle the Grafton Cup,” Marzol confirmed.
“It will be my first stript to a Grafton carnival and I am looking forward to it.”
Another contender form unusual origins is Storm Fabulador which has come all the way from Argentina.
The four-year-old now races for John Everson out of Ballina and is back on track after claiming his maiden win in Australia 10 days ago.
Originally racing for Peter Moody in Melbourne he was sent north to Everson on a lease from the owner.
It’s a gamble that’s paid off so far and will prove a masterstroke if he can get up at Grafton.
“He’s got the makings of a good stayer,’ Everson said.
“I was thinking Grafton Cup next year, but we might have a crack at the Grafton Cup Prelude on July 7 and see what happens.”