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PICNIC RACING AWARDS NIGHT SEASON 2007/08
Article by Adam Olzsanski, Photos courtesty of Video Air Services

The Amstel Golf Club in Cranbourne was once again the venue of celebration and commendation, marking the close of the 2007/2008 picnic racing season.
At a black-tie function 235 guests relived the highlights of another successful six months on the picnic circuit and congratulated the circuit’s most triumphant participants.
The first half of the program saw the presentation of the season’s premiership awards.
This year the Picnic Horse of The Year title was decided almost half-way through the season when the Alec Manning prepared Warrigal Tom had racked up his six victories by New Years Day.
The five-year old gelding ended up finishing the season with an astonishing ten victories which included glory in the Pakenham Picnic Cup, the Swifts Creek Cup and two heats of the Middle Distance Series.
The award was received by part owners Anne and Barry Howard who spoke of the dream run they’ve experience and how “Tom’s” success had surpassed their wildest expectations.
After all Warrigal Tom started the season still a maiden from thirty-one starts.
It was therefore no surprise to Alec Manning that he received the Trainer of the Year award with a tally of fifteen wins.

Host, Racecaller Adam Olszanski
Barry Ryan Memorial Award to
Adam Bodey
Picnic Club of the Year to Healesville

Picnic Horse of the Year to
Warrigal Tom
Leading Rider of the Year to
Adam Bodey
(Again !!)
Trainer of the Year to
David Brown

Dennis Foy Memorial Up & Coming Rider to John Fitzgerald
Volunteer of the Year to
John McCormack
Picnic Trainer of the Year to
David Brown

Apart from the budding Warrigal Tom, Manning also prepared winners, Xaarski, Turning Yallah and, former Picnic Horse of the Year, Captain Cosmic.
Balnarring trainer David Brown was heralded the Picnic Trainer of the Year, an award restricted to trainers who solely hold a picnic trainers licence.
In his first season of training Brown prepared the aptly named Brownies Gold to two victories. 
The tooth and nail battle for the riders’ premiership was one that has been well documented as the closest and most thrilling in years.
It was the spirited competition between leading hoops Adam Bodey and Kane Harris that left picnic racing regulars enthralled until the very last race of the season.
Adam Bodey was crowned the Leading Rider with a total of forty-seven wins for the season, one win more than Harris.
It was just the start of a night full of accolades for Bodey as later in the evening he also received the Barry Ryan Memorial Award, allowing him to complete the prestigious double for the eighth consecutive year.
Honouring the memory of one of picnic racing’s premier amateur riders, the Barry Ryan Memorial Award is decided by RVL stewards, who award points on a 3-2-1 basis at every meeting, for riding skill and sportsmanship.
Kane Harris however didn’t walk away empty handed collecting the Runner-Up Rider Award.
Harris’s achievements this season are remarkable considering just over a year ago he was involved in a sickening race fall at Woolamai which required him to be airlifted to hospital in Melbourne.
Some of Harris’ biggest wins on the circuit this year included the Drouin, Woolamai, Healesville and Buchan Cups.
The Dennis Foy Memorial Up & Coming Rider Award was awarded to John Fitzgerald whose grounding on the picnic circuit over the past two years put him in good stead for his most successful season yet.
At Swifts Creek in March, Fitzgerald enjoyed his first winning treble which also included victory in the Cup on board Warrigal Tom.
Also in the second half of the program the Community Picnic Club of the Year Award and the Volunteer Award were presented.
Both awards recognise the importance that race clubs and individuals play in supporting their local community.
This year the Healesville Amateur Racing Club was the praised recipient of the David J. Bourke Community Picnic Club of the Year Award.
The prosperous club benefited from an increase in attendance figures which not only enabled them to update oncourse facilities but also provide funding to local charity organisations and small community groups.
This year’s winnert of the Volunteer of the Year Award went to Yea’s John McCormack who has worked as the clerk of scales for a commendable period of forty-nine years. 

In a position he has held since it was handed down to him by his father, McCormack’s commitment and tireless dedication made him not only a role model for volunteers but a well-deserved recipient of the award.


The new racing season dates have been finalised and are now available below.


NOVEMBER 2008
 

Saturday 1st
Tuesday 4th
Saturday 8th
Saturday 15th
Saturday 22nd
Saturday 29th

Healesville - Derby Day
Mansfield Cup - Melbourne Cup Day
Balnarring - Stakes Day
Healesville
Woolamai
Yea


DECEMBER 2008
 

Saturday 6th
Sunday 7th
Saturday 13th
Saturday 20th
Friday 26th
Saturday 27th

Balnarring
Woolamai
Healesville - Christmas Race Day
Woolamai
Drouin Cup - Boxing Day
Mansfield

JANUARY 2009
 
Thursday 1st
Thursday 1st
Saturday 3rd
Sunday 4th
Saturday 10th
Sunday 11th
Saturday 17th
Saturday 24th
Monday 26th
Saturday 31st
Merton Cup - New Years Day
Pakenham Cup - New Years Day
Dederang Cup
Balnarring
Healesville Cup
Woolamai
Alexandra
Woolamai
Balnarring Cup - Australia Day
Yea

FEBRUARY 2009
Saturday 7th
Sunday 8th
Saturday 14th
Sunday 15th
Saturday 21st
Saturday 28th
Buchan Cup
Healesville
Woolamai Cup
Alexandra
Drouin
Healesville

MARCH 2009
 
Sunday 1st
Saturday 7th
Saturday 7th
Monday 9th
Monday 9th
Saturday 14th
Saturday 21st
Saturday 28th
Sunday 29th
Yea St Pats Cup
Alexandra Cup
Omeo Cup
Balnarring
Tambo Valley Cup
Yea Cup
Woolamai
Alexandra
Colac St Pat's Cup

APRIL 2009
Saturday 11th
Monday 13th April
Healesville
Balnarring
             
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