Report for Healesville 13th December 2008
Unfortunately for the Healesville club the weather gods did not shine and it was a very ordinary day, raining continously. This turned the betting ring and surrounds into slush and although Healesville do now have plans to enclose the betting ring and hopefully asphalt the ground along the lines of Balnarrings recent renovations it was all too late for this day. These amateur racing clubs under the care of enthusiastic volunteers do all within their financial limits to improve the facilities for patrons and bookmakers however they really do need some additional assistance from controlling bodies.
Despite this being amateur non-tab racing, many racing patrons frequent these meetings via Corporate Marquee events, betting via phones to Melbourne and Interstate racing as well as betting locally and contributing to overall racing revenue. Surveys have shown that approxiately 20% of racegoers at Picnic meetings are first time racegoers and it is important for the industry they have a good experience. Dedicated picnic racing followers, trainers, owners, jockeys and others are all racing enthusiasts who are also involved in racing generally and contributing and deserve better treatment than what is provided by current facilities.
The racing on the day was competitive with good fields and riding honors went to Leigh Taylor who rode a treble. After sitting on the sidelines for a lot of last season due to injury it was good to see Leigh boot home his share of winners.
For those punters looking to get the markets off course via the website and bet via phone for Healesville I apologise for not being able to provide that service yesterday. There was not adequate cover to have that computer active without risking the equipment in the rain.
Next week we return to Woolamai for their Xmas meeting and long range weather forecasts are predicting a perfect 25 degrees. Fields should be strong for this meeting and hope to see you all there.
Good luck on the punt,
Race 1 was the first of Leigh Taylors treble and went to Sheza Ranga ($2-30 fav) who led all the way for a very easy win. This horse was heavily backed last start at Woolamai when beaten into 1st place by Caratime but with the extra run under the belt the Allison Sheehan trained 4yo mare looks to have a few more picnic wins in store based on this easy win.