By Mark Brassel
THURSDAY, 26th JULY 2018: Moree galloper Track Flash has consolidated his position on top of the leaderboard for the 2018 NSW Picnic Champion Series following his victory in the Boggabri Business Houses Wean Picnic Cup (1600m).
With just one picnic race meeting remaining (Cobar on Saturday 25 August), Track Flash (39 points) has a five-point lead on the Neil Osborne-trained Diamond Charlie who won successive Picnic Cups at Yass, Crookwell and Cootamundra in April before enjoying a break.
That horse is expected to resume from his 3½-month lay off at either Canberra on Friday or Sapphire Coast on Sunday en route to the $50,000 NSW Showcase Picnic Champion Series Final (1400m) at Dubbo on Sunday 16 September.
Track Flash, prepared by Peter Sinclair, has been a revelation on the picnic circuit with four wins from his past five outings.
Those wins having included Picnic Cups at Marthaguy (Quambone), Moree, Mallawa and Wean.
His latest Wean victory - as the $2.90 favourite - saw him carry 69kg with regular rider Ricky Blewitt aboard to narrowly defeat Rena's Lad (Ridge Wilson, $6) and California Raider (Scott Sweedman, $4.20).
Sinclair told the Northern Daily Leader: "I'm really happy with the courage he showed to win the race with that weight. He's a really honest horse and Ricky rode him really well."
The Rodney Robb, Nyngan-trained Bulbadah (Ridge Wilson, $3.50) followed his Duck Creek picnics win with a narrow victory at Wean from Moss Heart (Katie Spalding, $4.60) and favourite Marine Corps (Ricky Blewitt, $1.80) in the Penryn Narrabri Business Houses Class 2 (1200m). Bulbadah is now on 28 points.
THURSDAY, 28th JUNE 2018: Quirindi trainer Geoff O'Brien made an eight-hour round trip rewarding when his galloper Rena's Lad (Michael Gray, $6) captured the B&W Rural WC&R Hunter Memorial Talmoi Picnic Cup (1400m) - the final leg of bush racing’s Golden Triangle circuit.
Rena's Lad was previously runner-up to Track Flash in the Mallawa Picnic Cup (1400m) on June 9 but turned the tables on that gelding at Talmoi with an easy four-length victory.
Deceitful Don (Wesley Boyd, $7) finished second, just under a length in advance of Track Flash (Ricky Blewitt, $1.60 favourite).
For his effort, Rena's Lad picked up 10 points in the 2018 NSW Picnic Champion Series elevating him to 19 points, with Diamond Charlie still leading the Series on 34 points, just two points in front of Butterfly Sky and Track Flash.
The Kylie Kennedy-trained Zaphod is next with 30 points.
Victory Lass (Ashley Boyd, $4.40) scored her first points in the Series, gaining seven points with her game win in the Chesterfield John Deere-Helen Boland Memorial Bracelet (1000m).
The mare beat Not in the Nick (Katie Spalding, $2.60) by a long neck and in a thrilling finish, I Am Dynamic (Ricky Blewitt, $2.30 fav) was third a long head away.
Ashley Boyd was the most successful jockey on the day riding half the program with wins aboard Yes Oui Si ($2.50), Newcastle Dancer ($4.40) along with Victory Lass in the final event.
Article & image by Bill Poulos
TUESDAY, 12th JUNE 2018: Moruya-based jockey Maddy Wright and leading western districts trainer Rodney Robb came, saw and conquered at Mallawa on Saturday – and again proved that they are more often than not an unstoppable force on the NSW picnic racing circuit.
Wright and Robb teamed up to win three races at Mallawa, including the 1000m Chesterfield Australia Mallawa Bracelet with proven miler Austin, a horse very close to Wright’s heart.
With Wright on board, Austin won the Samara Johnson Memorial Macquarie Picnic Cup at Trangie late last year, a race named in honour of picnic jockey and trackwork rider Samara Johnson who was tragically killed in a car accident near Junee in November.
Wright has ridden Austin only twice for two wins, and formed a special bond with the gelding when riding work for Robb at Nyngan last year.
“I worked for Rodney for a year out at Nyngan, and I just love the horse,” Wright said. “Nobody else liked him all that much because he can be quite a handful – he bites and stuff like that – but I’ve always gotten along really well with him.
“I’ve only had one other race ride on him and we won the Trangie Cup, and that win was in memory of Samara . . . it was very special,” she said. “Austin is very special to me as well and to win over 1000m first-up is exceptional.
Click on the following link for the entire article - Wright and Robb unstoppable at Mallawa picnics
Article & image by Bill Poulos
TUESDAY, 29th MAY 2018: It's a moniker that doesn’t sit too well with Peter Sinclair but he was officially crowned King of the Picnics on Saturday after leading back an historic quartet of winners at round one of bush racing’s Golden Triangle at Moree.
After winning earlier races with Marine Corps, California Raider and I Am Dynamic, Sinclair’s coronation was complete when Track Flash and jockey Ricky Blewitt collected the time-honoured Boolooroo Cup for the second time in as many years – and Sinclair’s 12th in 23 years.
“I don’t mind being called the King of the Picnics in one way, but I’d rather be called King of Randwick,” Sinclair laughed.
Sinclair’s incredible Boolooroo Cup run began in 1995 with old marvel, Sahara Bounty.
The trainer went on to win with Midas Boy (2000-2001), Nepelle (2003), Jazzmaker (2007), Crystal Club (2012), Joppick (2013), Tapakeg (2014), One Double (2015), Dungiven (2016) and last year with Track Flash.
Click on the following link for the entire article - Sinclair’s coronation complete after historic quartet of winners at Moree picnics
Articles By Mark Brassel
MONDAY, 9th APRIL 2018: Diamond Charlie has raced to the lead in the NSW Picnic Champion Series following his two-length win in the Cootamundra Picnic Cup (1400m) on Saturday. Ridden by Billy Owen, the $2.10 favourite defeated Oh What a Thief (Willie Pearson, $2.60) and Dream on Stan (Ricky Blewitt, $5).
The win elevated the horse to lead in the Series pointscore on 34 points and he is now five clear of Butterfly Sky with Spinning Dawn (28 points) in third position on the ladder.
Diamond Charlie's win also brought up a hat-trick for the gelding, having previously won the Crookwell and Yass Picnic Cups.
Layo Layo entered the scoring when she snared seven points for her victory in the Cootamundra Picnic Sprint (1100m).
The seven-year-old, also ridden by Billy Owen, had a length to spare after being sent out the $2.20 favourite.
Lightning Alert (Shannon Fogg, $2.50) was runner-up with Benno's Boy (Willie Pearson, $2.50) a long head away in third place.
TUESDAY, 16th JANUARY 2018: Cootamundra-based trainer Debbie Prest has had four of her horses move into contention for the NSW Picnic Champion Series following a successful afternoon at Orange picnics on the weekend. Prest had five runners and finished with a winner and four placings, although maiden performer One Eye Watching remains ineligible after finishing second in race 3 and is yet to break through (maidens do not qualify for the Final). Prest's Supreme Lyne (Ashley Boyd, $6) has been a model of consistency and was runner-up to The Revenant in race 4 (Class B Handicap, 1280m) - her third successive placing on the picnic circuit after a second at Gosford and a third at Trangie. Supreme Lyne is now equal seventh on the point score with 10 points. Damysus (Ashley Boyd, $21) went to five points after his third to Spinning Dawn in race 5 (Trophy Handicap, 1300m). The Prest stable finished with the quinella in the final race (Class B Hcp, 1600m) with Love 'N' Desire (Ashley Boyd, $4) defeating stablemate Tumbleweed (Katie Spalding, $4) by more than two lengths. Love 'N' Desire now sits on seven points with Tumbleweed on three.
SUNDAY, 14th JANUARY 2018: 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). 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.
WEDNESDAY, 11th OCTOBER 2017: Black Fusion ran right up to his excellent placing in TAB company at his previous start in the Cootamundra Cup, with victory in the Verandah Town Cup at Lockhart Showgrounds last Friday. The 8yo was sent out the $1.80 favourite and proved too strong with Toby Lake aboard, defeating Victorian Crown (Ricky Blewitt, $5) by half a length. The Scott Spackman-trained Black Fusion picked up 10 points in the Picnic Champion Series for the win and leaps up to equal third position. The following day saw Leslie Bryant's Unshinkable (Kath Bell-Pitomac, $8) claim the Open Trophy at Young-Burrangong picnics. The 6yo mare beat Manatassee (Samara Johnson, $3.50 favourite) by a neck, earning seven points and is also now on 10 points. Samara Johnson made amends in the following race by guiding Liabilityadjuster ($3 fav) home in the Burrangong Picnic Cup with Doug Gorrel's mare going to seven points. Runner-up was Malleable ($3.60) ridden by Toby Lake.
MONDAY, 4th OCTOBER 2017: 'Miss Consistency' Ausbred Petal has bolted from the gates in the 2017-18 NSW Picnic Champion Series and leads the point score with 14 points accumulated via the Come-by-Chance and Mungery picnic meetings. The Connie Greig-trained Ausbred Petal was second to Wide Eyed in the Come-by-Chance Sprint (1000m) before downing Raynes Park (trained by Rodney Robb) in the Don Barling Memorial (1000m) at Mungery. The five-year-old mare picked up seven points on each occasion. Robb's Rusty Motorbike (12 points) is running second following his win in the Come-by-Chance Picnic Cup (1400m) and a fourth to The Real McCoy in the Mungery Picnic Cup (1750m). Equal third are The Real McCoy (Kylie Kennedy) and Wide Eyed (Bryan Dixon) on 10 points and right on their hammer are Butterfly Sky (9 points), Mango Liston (8pts), Beau in Chains (7pts), Shilopath (6pts) and five-pointers Going Grey, Magnormous and Miss Emily.