TIGHT FINISH: Crooked Gent beats a fast-finishing Rioli and Fair Dinkum at Clarence River Jockey Club yesterday.
TIGHT FINISH: Crooked Gent beats a fast-finishing Rioli and Fair Dinkum at Clarence River Jockey Club yesterday. Adam Hourigan

BY A NOSE: Crooked Gent claims breakthrough win at Grafton

RACING: In a breakthrough win at Clarence River Jockey Club, Casino's Crooked Gent powered home to hold off a late charge from Alan Ryan's Rioli and race favourite Fair Dinkum in the Time to Rock Class 2 Handicap (1100m) yesterday.

The five-year-old gelding has enjoyed a stellar run in its past four starts, and the win backs up another at Murwillumbah in August.

Trainer Leo Clapham said he was nervous on the home straight and was pleased with the win.

"(Jockey) Jason (Taylor) has rode (sic) him the entire time I've had him and he has won two previously so this is his third win here," Clapham said.

"I think he is a better horse at Murwillumbah. He has had two starts and won two races up there.

"He has always run good places down here in Grafton, but to get the win here is good."

Clapham said after the win he was not sure what was next for Crooked Gent.

"We will just take it as it comes I think," he said.

"I tend not to make too many plans, they tend not to come through."

Yesterday's win was Crooked Gent's third win in 21 starts, and Taylor said he was impressed by the finish.

"He was first up back in trip and likes a bit of speed on," Taylor said.

"With plenty of pace on (I) was able to ride him quiet and he has got a good turn of foot."

Fellow Northern Rivers trainers Ethan Ensby and Matt Dunn also claimed wins earlier in the race meeting.



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