By Geoff Newling
Wean might just line up with its best Cup field in a few decades when the annual picnic race meeting kicks off this Saturday. Wean Amateur Picnic Race Club finished with 10 nominations for Saturday’s $4000 Wean Picnic cup (1600m) on a day where the five-race program had 36 nominations.
With the natural grass cover in best-ever condition the meeting looks like being one of their finest in recent memory, advised club official Graeme Shields.
“The nominations look pretty good,” Graeme Shields said. “Could be the best cup day we’ve seen for 10 years. Have some nice horses nominated and Gavin Groth should go close with About Time. He’s been running some good races at the TAB meetings.”
Indeed, About Time has been in good form winning the Binnaway and Narrabri Cups at two of his last four outings. He was only beaten 2.3lengths by Strathaird at Dubbo in his most recent race over 1420m and has a win at Wean too. The six-year-old bay gelding son of Danehill Express won the trophy race at wean in 2015, one of seven wins in a 39-start career. He doesn’t have far to go either, stabled at Gunnedah with the rest of Groth’s gallopers.
Sally Torrens also has a short haul from stable to Wean and has nominated Stirling shadow. Last start winner Beau in Chains (Doug Fernando) and recent Talmoi trophy winner Our Boy Danny (Nathan Sinclair) make the trip down from Moree along with Peter Sinclair’s Track Flash.
Graeme Shields doesn’t have a runner in the Wean Cup but the Gunnedah trainer has three going out. He is just out of a three-week stay in hospital and thankful to Tamworth trainer Melissa Dennett for looking after his trio. He believes Redaktor might just win the 1000m Maiden Plate.
“Katy Spalding will ride him,” he said. “She (Spalding) is a great kid and rode her first (full) winner at Garah (Talmoi) the other day.”
That full story on Spalding’s first outright winner for Dennett, who also celebrated her first winner as a trainer, can be read HERE a beautifully written story by Moree racing identity Bill Poulos, who also wrote extensively for The Northern Daily Leader and Racing NSW over the past three decades.
Graeme Shields said the track has never looked better after 30mm of rain in the past week or so. The fact there is also a $50,000 prize for picnic horses at Dubbo later in the year (September 17) means entries have been received from wide and far.
There is also a $400 trophy whip for the best rider at Wean as well: “It’s going to be a great day out there,” Graeme Shields said.