La Grand Quality Lands Grafton Maiden

LA Grand Quality was a resounding winner of Wednesday night's Clarence Valley Sheds Taylor Maiden Classic at Grafton on Wednesday night.

David Brasch

11 July 2019

LA Grand Quality, the dog almost killed three times in car accidents, finally got his chance to show his great ability when leading virtually throughout to win the time-honoured Taylor Family Clarence Valley July Maiden (407m) at Grafton on Wednesday night.

Bred and raced by Kellie Fogarty and trained by Darryl Thomas, La Grand Quality (El Grand Senor-All Quality) scored by a length and a quarter in a flying 22.82, beating Aston Poker with two and a half lengths to Big Nose Johnny in third.

The winner started favourite at $3.10.

Kellie was overjoyed at the victory and relayed that she had a car accident on her way to take a number of pups, of which La Grand Quality was one, to John Martin’s education centre outside Casino.

“It was very lucky none of the pups, or me, were badly hurt,” said Kellie.

Given to Thomas to train, La Grand Quality showed such potential that Thomas decided to give him his chance in the Group 3 Vince Curry Maiden in February.

On the way to the track for the semi-finals, Thomas was involved in a major accident slamming into the back of a semi-trailer.

“In hindsight, the dog should not have gone around in the race,” said Thomas.

“He raced well, but not up to what we know he can.”

Given a spell after Ipswich, La Grand Quality was then prepared for a feature maiden at Bulli.

“I was coming home from trialling him and was sitting in my brand new replacement van at the very end of a line of cars stalled on the M1,” said Thomas.

“I kept watch behind me and saw a four-wheel drive car coming screaming up behind us.

“He slammed on the breaks, locked the car up and then slid out of my lane into a car right beside me.”

Both Thomas and Fogarty hope La Grand Quality’s victory in the July Maiden has turned the corner in regards to the luck of his career.

“I suppose we could say the luck has always been with him,” said Thomas. “He could have been seriously hurt in any of the three car accidents he’s been involved in, but hasn’t.”

Thomas was overjoyed at the victory.

“The win shows everyone what we have always known about this dog,” he said.

“The 10 days between the heat and final allowed him to freshen right up and he went into the final 110 percent right. It’s my biggest thrill in greyhound racing to date because Kellie and I have always had such faith in him.”

Fogarty bred the dog from proven broodbitch All Quality who she bought from Charlie and Lisa Lamb as a three month old pup.

“She showed plenty of ability but was injured,” said Kellie. “I decided to breed with her.”

All Quality is a daughter of the Lamb’s former Group 1 star One Three Hill.