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Past News 20th December 2008
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Report for Woolamai 20th December 2008

It was a great days racing at Woolamai, perfect weather and a good crowd that enjoyed the pre XMAS festivities. Probably the only person who did not enjoy the day was jockey Ben Wade who was bucked off first starter Gamblenon after they jumped in race 2. See the clip.  


Unfortuately, there is a lot of concern around the industry at the moment with the announcements during the week by Racing Victoria of potential track closures and reduced meetings for picnic and other country racing and training tracks.

Although I fully appreciate the need for racing to keep reviewing its operating model and question where it is investing dollars I don't think there is a good understanding at all of the role picnic racing plays in the overall marketing value of racing generally. I have worked for many years at Metropolitan, Country and Picnic Racing tracks and picnic racing leads the way in providing a non threatening experience to first time racegoers being introduced to the world of race betting.

Unfortunately, picnic racing is seen as an expense rather than a form of promotion and marketing. I expect the small amount of money invested to run a picnic meeting would yield a better return than the same amount of money spent advertising in the media to try and bring people to the races. The introduction of many young people through birthday functions, bucks and hens parties are regular parts of picnic racing that should continue to be invested in to help groom the next crop of racing enthusiasts.

It is commonplace for customers to come up to my stand at the end of the day and say what a great day they had and give thanks for helping them and showing patience as they learnt to bet. I have never experienced that in all my years on a metropolitan racecourse. It is difficult to measure the value of those experiences to the racing industry and often decisions can be made on the easily measured metrics such as profit and loss. I encourage people to read the directions paper on the Racing Victoria website and provide any submissions to support the industry by February 6th, 2009.

Good luck on the punt,

Peter Bon

Race 1 went to the improving Ivor Strategy who made it two on end at Woolamai winning at the good odds of $5-00. The John Kilgower trained 4yo mare got well back in the running and looked hopeless prior to the turn but finished strongly down the outside to win for jockey Ben Wade.

The win of Ivor Strategy in the first made the form of Ainsleigh's Girl look good for the second race given it had finished a good second to that horse last time at Woolamai. With Leigh Taylor jumping the 6yo mare well from barrier 1 she had the race in her keeping a long way out leading practically all the way to get the Ron Stephens trained horse home at $4-20.

The 10yo Distraction, carrying the steadier of 72kg and over what most would see as an unsuitable distance stormed home down the outside to win at $7-00. Rides are few and far between for jockey Ray Douglas nowadays but clearly when he rides one he shows he has lost none of his finesse. Trainer Tom Scanlon has had great success with this gelding and there seem to be plenty more wins in store for the old boy yet.

The finish of race 4 was a tight affair with King of Dendy ridden by Dani Walker as the rank outsider at $21-00 getting up in a protest from Layout. The horse was well backed last start at Healesville on the prospect it was suited by the wet track having its only win on a heavy at Mt Gambier by 9 lengths. The 6yo gelding was disappointing and very easily beaten by 18 lengths and showed little. Without a wet track today it was a surprise to see this horse reverse its form so much to win but I guess that is racing !!  
King of Dendy wins on protest from Layout.
Video courtesy of Video Air Services, servicing all your picnic video & photography needs.

Race 5 saw Just Kurrupt at $2-20 Fav work hard on the outside of the pace to come again after being headed on the turn to win in a tight finish from Tidal Spirit. Ridden with lots of vigour by Adam Bodey the Shea Eden trained 6yo gelding made it two on end at Woolamai.

The final event was won by the Jason Petch trained and Michael Fitzgerald ridden Dover. Settling well back in the field whilst the pace in front was hectic between Leica Reason and Jack's Palace, the 5yo gelding had the final crack at them down the outside and won at $13-00 after $15-00 was bet.

Full results for Woolamai 20th December 2008. View the days happenings at the Gallery.

Merton Picnic Races New Years Day Thursday 1st January 2008
What better way to spend New Years Day than recovering under the elms at Merton Picnic Races.
Picnic racing at Merton has been held at Merton since 1865 traditionally racing on New Years Day making us one of the oldest picnic clubs still racing. This picnic meeting attracts in excess of 1000 people many of them being visitors (tourists) to the area. ....more

Pakenham Picnic Races New Years Day

The Pakenham Picnic Racing Club will be conducting their famous New Years Day Picnic Race Meeting again on Tuesday, January 1.
The club first raced in 1875 and the day is always a great family and social occasion eagerly anticipated each year by parishioners, members and public, some who have been attending for many years. It is a festive occasion where many acquaintances are renewed and a relaxed spirit pervades the course and immaculate surroundings ....more

Full Picnic Race Dates for 2008 -2009 Season
Full Race Program for 2008-2009 Season

This season the betting fluctuations of races during the course of betting will be published to the Approx. Betting Odds section of the website. For patrons that cannot get to the races or betting ring and want an indication of the odds on offer before betting this is a great innovation.

You can then bet via the Racing Victoria Telephone Betting system. To open a Telephone Betting account with Peter Bon visit PicnicBet.com so you can avail yourself of this new capability.

m. for Mobiles
You can also access the odds from your mobile phone browser via the address m.picnicbet.com

Whether offcourse or oncourse, from the betting ring to the marquees to the stables you can readily get the markets and conveniently place a bet at either Peter Bon's Top Fluctuation or the current odds on offer.

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