While there was no crowd allowed to watch the 2021 Yenda Group Griffith Cup action at Dalton Park in person, it is being heralded as the best day of racing in years.
Griffith Jockey Club president Bernie Connolly said there was little to separate the competition in all six races on the day.
"It was probably our best day of racing for many years," he said.
"No horse won by a length, and there were a number of photo finishes for the three placegetters.
"No trainer or jockey won more than one race.
"It was a pity the public weren't there to enjoy a great day of racing."
The Yenda Group Griffith Cup was won by Claptone, who was the smallest horse in the race. Trained by Craig Weeding of Wangaratta and ridden by apprentice jockey Fiona Sandkuhl from Albury.
Due to COVID restrictions, Weeding had to transport Claptone to trainer Mitchell Beer in Albury, who brought the 4-year-old gelding to Dalton Park.
It would have been a feeling of deja vu for second place getter Bezazzalled trained by Phil Sweeney of Jerilderie, who was narrowly beaten in the 2019 Griffith Cup by Logan River trained by Mitchell Beer.
Beer didn't go home empty-handed as he had a winner in the Hotel Victoria Class 1 and Maiden Plate 1820m race.
He trained the favourite Sydney Blue, a grey gelding that sat back in the field until the last turn into the home straight, where jockey Simon Miller took him to the outside and powered past the field down the home straight to beat local horse, Roman Nero, by a head.
This was Griffith trainer Gino D'Altorio's best result of the day.
He also got second place with Kinross in the first race and fourth place with Shadow of Mordor in the last race of the day.
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