Jockey Glenn Lynch rides Ibalance to a win in the John Carlton Cup (1200m) yesterday, the first day of the Grafton racing carnival.
Jockey Glenn Lynch rides Ibalance to a win in the John Carlton Cup (1200m) yesterday, the first day of the Grafton racing carnival. Adam Hourigan

Win may lead to Ramornie

A WITHERING finishing burst by the John Shelton-trained Ibalance kept the Ramornie Handicap dream alive at Grafton yesterday.

"How good are we looking in the Ramornie, John?" a delighted part-owner and Clarence River Jockey Club director Garry McCormick said after the injury-plagued six-year-old swept to victory in the $20,000 John Carlton Cup (1200m).

Shelton merely shrugged his shoulders.

"We'll wait until the dust settles," Shelton said.

"I'm sure Garry wants to run - he'll get a big kick out of this - but I don't know if he's up to a race like the Ramornie.

"We'll sleep on it."

Ridden by Glenn Lynch, Ibalance ($11) scored by 1-1/4 lengths from War Ends ($9) with another local, the Murwillumbah Newmarket winner Getyourown ($5.50), a neck away third.

In the next race, the Moonbi-trained Blink-in Easy broke his Grafton duck by winning the $20,000 Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude (2106m).

In eight previous starts at the track the Ruth Cooper-trained gelding had failed to fill a placing.

"It's a good time to do it," Cooper, a former jockey, said. "He'll go into the Grafton Cup now. That was always the plan if he won."