A new edition to the GRNSW racing calendar in 2022 was the Grafton Cup.
Not to be confused with the annual Sprinters and Stayers Cup, run during the July carnival each year, the Group 3 Grafton Cup is held over 450m and is worth $25,000-to-the-winner.
Respectability claimed the race in it's first year for Mick Patterson. Victorian On The Bit ran second with local Orara Dan finishing third.
In 2023, Leading local trainer Robert Cooke thought he had missed his chance at winning the local Cup after going out in the heats, but after a couple of scratchings and landing a box one draw, Cash Master provided him with the third leg of a Northern Rivers Cup treble.
After a shock fourth placing as a $1.45 favourite in last week’s heats of the Grafton Cup, Cash Master scraped through only as second reserve, but when scratching were announced on the morning of the race, Rushford Ally was out, and so was first reserve All Lies Ahead, which meant Cooke’s dog gained a start from Box 1.
And when you get a chance like that you make the most of it and that’s exactly what the talented dog did, leading out of the boxes, holding the rail when headed, and then exploding away in the straight to claim the $25,000 Cup.
Cooke, from Woodview near Casino, claimed the Lismore Cup back in 2021 with Cash View, a half-brother to Cash Master and later that year he took out the Casino Cup with Aston Titan.
Cooke did win the Grafton Sprinters’ Cup back in 2016 with Major Jackpot, but Sunday night’s Group 3 Grafton Cup was an event only introduced by Greyhound Racing NSW in 2022.
Using box 1 to its full advantage, Cash Master held the fence and lead until challenged by Starline Express heading to the top turn. Starline Express got three quarters of a length in front but couldn’t cross, and Cash Master pushed up to draw level on the home turn.
Starline Express drifted wide on the turn pushing challengers Commands respect and Jay Is Jay wide which allowed Cash Master to pinch a winning break, going on to score in 25.24s.
Cash Master has an impeccable record at Grafton with now six wins and two placings from nine starts over the trip.
The victory improved Cash Master’s record to 12 wins and four placings from 21 starts and his prizemoney has crept up to more than $86,000.