By Mark Brassel
Tough Harden-trained galloper Seargeant Bilko refuses to let another horse wrestle the lead from him in the inaugural NSW Picnic Champion Series.
Prepared by Mark Cummins, Sergeant Bilko was beaten just half a length when runner-up to Black Fusion in the 2017 Boorowa Picnic Cup (1700m) last Saturday.
With that second 'The Sergeant' (52 points) is now 10 points clear of As Easy As (trained by Sarah Mcilrick) with Black Fusion (30pts) moving to third after his Boorowa victory. Zaphod (third in the Boorowa Picnic Cup) is fourth on 28 points with Kinda Tangy and Security Code (27pts) jointly fifth.
Left: Sergeant Bilko (Ricky Blewitt) after a Yass victory. The horse continues to fight off all challenges in the inaugural NSW Picnic Champion Series. Image by - Bradley Photographers
Sergeant Bilko was previously unplaced in the Bedgerabong Picnic Cup but bounced back with his sterling second place at Boorowa. The consistent As Easy As has won picnic cups in three of her past four starts (Ardlethan, Grenfell and Tomingley).
The points score began at Harden in 2016, with the NSW Picnic Champion Series Final being run on Dubbo Gold Cup Day (Sunday, 17th September 2017) offering $50,000 in prizemoney.
To qualify, horses will acquire points for every picnic race meeting they attend in NSW, with the highest ranking horses at the end of the 12 months being eligible to nominate for the Picnic Champions 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