Day At The Track

Billy Grima Memorial to be contested

12:00 AM 13 Apr 2018 NZST
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Quincy Storm
Quincy Storm, with Paul Grima in the spider, edges Mini Masterpiece at Narrabri last start.
Coffee Photography

The late Billy Grima was a well-known harness racing identity who sadly passed away in 2016, but his name and legacy are continuing on in the sport he loved.

On Friday night, a 10-race program at Tamworth includes the Billy Grima Memorial. 

Billy’s sons, Michael and Paul, have Quincy Storm engaged in the Memorial race.

Eldest son Michael is listed as the trainer while Paul will take the reins.

Michael will have three runners at the meeting, with Blissful Quincy and Freddies Delight also set to run.

“We have the whole stable competing at the meeting,” he said. “Dad was always involved in harness racing. It wasn’t his livelihood – it was his hobby.”

Billy and his pacer Tangaratta Thor were certainly a combination that was known in the early days of harness racing, having success both in the North West and at Harold Park.

Last year was the inaugural running of the Billy Grima Memorial, with the Andy Ison-trained Franco Seville taking the feature. 

But this year is the first time that the Grima name will appear in the race.

“It was through Dad’s involvement that got us all involved in the sport,” said Michael.

He was referring to himself and his three siblings.

The two boys handle the horses.

Their sister Joyce is a director of the Tamworth Harness Racing Club while another sister, Jenny, also has a strong involvement in the sport.

“Jenny is still keen – she is always following us,” Michael said.

“We wouldn’t be able to do it without the involvement of the family. 

“Our niece Rachel comes out and works with the horses every day.”

Billy’s grandson Nicholas calls trials at Tamworth while Billy’s wide Carmen will also be trackside on Friday night.

 

“There are many chances in the race – it is a very good field. Actually, it’s a big meeting,” Michael said. “The mare [Quincy Storm] is very honest and has got good gate speed but she will have to make her own luck from the five barrier.”

Quincy Storm comes into the race off a last-start win at Narrabri, where she had a short half head win over Mini Masterpeice from the David Munsie stables. 

“It would be nice to win the race as Paul is doing the driving but we are not expecting it,” Michael said. “You get a kick out of someone else winning it as well.”

Paul Grima was happy with the efforts of Quincy Storm in the Narrabri win.

“She is a real good race horse,” he said. “She hasn’t got much guts but she does everything right and she has got good manners.”

By Julie Maughan

Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

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