A field of eight talented bitches headed to the boxes for one of the feature events on the program, the Cosmic Bonus @ Stud Mother’s Day Pendant, during the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club’s May 14 race meeting.
First run in 2022, the event is open to female trainers and their 4th and 5th grade greyhounds and recognises the incredible contributions they make each year within the greyhound racing industry.
Prepared by prominent local trainer Evelyn Harris, brindle bitches and littermates Laurie’s Gem and Gypsy Road jumped smartly from boxes 2 and 6 respectively and engaged in an early speed duel throughout the opening stages of the 350m event.
As the field entered the home straight, Gypsy Road unleashed a powerful burst of speed and raced clear to win by a widening margin of seven lengths on the line in a time of 19.94 seconds.
Risky Kathleen, also trained locally by Sonia Kempshall, finished second, narrowly ahead of Laurie’s Gem.
Owned by Melissa Arandale, Gypsy Road has raced 64 times for 12 wins and nine minor placings.
Her win in the Mother’s Day Pendant took her career earnings over $23000.
Ms Arandale was presented with a pendant generously donated by Parrys Jewellers following the race.
It was a bittersweet night for Ms Harris after her kennel star and champion greyhound Orson Laurie suddenly and tragically collapsed and passed away following the running of Race 3, the Ladbroke It! over 350m.
A full sibling to Gypsy Road, Orson Laurie had a popular following within the local sporting community and finished a close second behind Integrity Mate in the inaugural running of the $75000 Thunderbolt last year.
Owned by Lawrence Refalo, Orson Laurie raced 74 times for 37 wins and 17 minor placings.
His career earnings stood at $90960.
President of the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club John Corrigan described the loss of Orson Laurie as a real tragedy and said his presence will be missed on NSW racetracks.
This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 17 May 2023.