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Robb Targets Second NSW Picnic Champion Series Final

By Mark Brassel

Nyngan trainer Rodney Robb is quietly assembling his troops to tackle the $50,000 NSW Picnic Champion Series Final run at Dubbo during the spring.

The Series was staged for the first occasion last year and Robb snared the major prize, with Security Code and jockey Maddie Wright winning the Final from Black Fusion (Toby Lake for trainer Scott Spackman) and Kinda Tangy (Billy Owen; Neil Osborne).

Trainer Rodney Robb with jockey Maddie Wright. Image by Janian McMillan

Robb has four horses in contention in 2018 with Rusty Motorbike leading the charge on 12 points, along with Mango Liston (8 points), Austin (7) and Rayne Park (4). Austin moved into the fray with an easy win in the recent Macquarie Picnic Cup at Trangie when ridden by Maddie Wright.

The Series is again gathering momentum leading into the Final following a month’s hiatus during the Christmas-New Year period.

Kinda Tangy continues to race well and earned three points for her minor placing in the Macquarie Picnic Cup. Connections are naturally hoping to go two spots better in this year’s Dubbo Final.

The Real McCoy currently leads the NSW Picnic Champion Series with 20 points resulting from victories in the Mungery and Harden Cups last October.

Ausbred Petal and Black Fusion are equal second on the table with 14 points, followed by Benno’s Boy (13), Rusty Motorbike (12), Mop the Floor (11), Ain’t She a Dane, Kinda Tangy, Mr De Niro, Unshinkable and Wide Eyed (10).

Tough 10-year-old Double Halo, who finished fourth in last year’s Final at Dubbo at the $4.20 favourite, picked up his first points this season with a sound fourth to Austin at Trangie under 65kg. Double Halo has now had 103 starts for 15 wins and 27 placings for earnings topping the $250,000 mark.

The next round of points will be available at Geurie picnics on Saturday 3rd February.

Racing NSW’s CEO, Peter V’landys AM, said: “We are pleased to be supporting this concept and by staging a $50,000 event on a big day such as the Dubbo Gold Cup program gives these riders and horses plenty of exposure.”

The idea of the NSW Picnic Champion Series was hatched by Deidre Adam, secretary of the NSW Picnic Racing Association, and Craig Tyack, president of Tullibigeal Picnic Race Club.

“The Series offers something worthwhile to picnic jockeys and trainers and is the first picnic TAB race in New South Wales,” Deidre Adam said. “The inaugural Series generated plenty of interest last year and has already helped improve horse attendance at our picnic race meetings.”

To qualify for the NSW Picnic Champion Series Final, horses acquire points for every picnic race meeting they attend in NSW. The highest ranked horses at the end of the 12 months are then eligible to nominate for the NSW Picnic Champion Series Final.

All horses except Maidens are eligible to qualify (Clubs must be affiliated with the NSW Picnic Racing Association and use Approved Riders).

NSW Picnic Champion Series Leader Board

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Runner-up Third
2017 SECURITY CODE Maddison Wright Rodney Robb Black Fusion Kinda Tangy
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