Tamworth Paceway: Franco Seville captures Billy Grima Memorial

Franco Seville charged out of the one barrier in the Billy Grima Memorial at Tamworth Paceway on Thursday night to have an all-the-way win in the feature race.

Reinsman Tom Ison had the race summed up when the draw was announced.

“If he leads he wins,” said Ison, with Franco Seville raced and trained by Ison’s father Andy.

The late Billy Grima was a local legend of the Tamworth Paceway who sadly passed away last year but will always be remembered for his top pacer Tangaratta Thor. The horse won five races at Harold Park and many more races.

A large family gathering was present trackside on Thursday night, with Bill’s sons Michael and Paul still involved in the industry as trainers and drivers.

Billy’s wife Carmen and daughters Joyce – a Tamworth HRC Board member – and sister Jenny gathered with their own families. It was a good night to remember Billy Grima.

Tom Ison was proud to win the feature race.

He thought he was going to have some competition as the barrier pulled away.

“I was worried about the seven horse though,” said Ison of race favourite Justaglamour.

There was no need for Ison to be concerned as Franco Seville – in race start 101 – went on for a 4.8 metre win over Justaglamour, with Jedi Superstar (Stacey Weidemann) a metre further back in third.

“Nothing came near him,” added Ison.

“He was charging out in front. He wanted to run so I let him bowl along a bit.” 

Nine year old Franco Seville has certainly been a consistent horse with 15 wins and 26 placings.

TOO GOOD: Franco Seville captured win No.15 at the Billy Grima Memorial at Tamworth Paceway on Thursday night.

TOO GOOD: Franco Seville captured win No.15 at the Billy Grima Memorial at Tamworth Paceway on Thursday night.

On Thursday, the Badlands Hanover-Silky Franco gelding clocked a neat two-minute mile rate for 1980 metres.

Meanwhile Mondooley Mach broke his maiden status in taking out another feature on the card at Tamworth on Thursday night, when the gelding won the Select Autoglass North West 3yo Classic.

“It was my race to lose,” was how Ellalong trainer and reinsman Michael Formosa summed up the win after race favourite Im Major Harry was taken out of race contention when he copped interference not long after the race start.