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Merton Cup News
It was back to back Merton Cups for jockey Shiralee Waddell and trainer Gordon Strang after Sigvaldi won this years Cup at the good price of $4-20. Last year the pair won with Lay Back Lad and it was no surprise to see Gordon Strang who is a great supporter of the picnic racing scene back again at this once a year Merton meeting. Shiralee Waddell who came off the back of a winning double at Mansfield on Boxing Day saluted with another double by winning the final race of the day aboard Music Lover.
Sigvaldi wins the Merton Cup
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Pakenham Picnic Cup News LEADERS SALUTE AT PAKENHAM PICNICS ON NEW YEARS DAY by Bill Quin
A mostly overcast day with one brief shower after race 3 set the scene for a memorable day for race goers at the annual Pakenham Picnic race meeting held on new years day. Officials were pleased with the turnout of patrons, who enjoyed the family atmosphere of the day. The children enjoyed the activities on the day and Marceau Camille entertained the crowd with songs during the afternoon. Fashions on the Field (Picnic style) was hugely successful, whilst a lucky patron, Grant Williams won a Palsonic 42” Full High Definition television valued at $1299. There was also four $100 vouchers won for fine dining at 59 0n Queen restaurant in Warragul.
Racing highlights included Jeune De Coeur leading throughout to win the prestigious David Bourke Picnic Plate over 1300 metres. The five years old mare dictated terms out in front with leading rider Adam Bodey completing a treble in easy style. Victory made it three wins for trainer Tom Scanlon in this event, having trained Distraction when he scored in 2007 and 2009. Tom credited track rider Dean Grass who helped with much of the work needed for the mare to be ready for this event.
In a day of trebles so to speak, Sheza Ranga made it three wins on this day and at this track by taking out her second G. & K. O’Connor Pakenham Picnic Cup over 1750 metres. The aptly named chestnut mare gave a bold front running exhibition and gave nothing else a chance in scoring by 2.25 lengths over Affinis which ran home gamely over the concluding stages. Sheza Ranga has an incredible record at Pakenham on new years day. In 2009 she led all the way to score in the restricted trophy (3) race over the 1750 metres and has followed that up by winning the last two Pakenham Picnic Cups, using bold front running tactics and running her rivals ragged. Her winning rider Leigh Taylor also made it three wins in the Pakenham Picnic Cup having scored on Warrigal Tom in 2008 and being aboard Sheza Ranga on the last two runnings of the time honoured event.
The winner is trained Allison Sheehan at Cranbourne and her wish was that there were more picnic meetings at Pakenham, because her mare loved the track and lower level of racing of the picnic meetings. Allison was also thrilled with the trophies that the club awards the winning connections and thanked Worlds Best Hoof Oil for their generous support and products provided.
Leading rider Adam Bodey rode his second winner of a winning treble aboard Play of the Day in the Trevor Lineham Open Sprint leading most of the way to score in fine style by 2.75 lengths. Adam won the opening event, the 59 On Queen Restaurant Maiden Handicap aboard Roman Match, also leading throughout.
In a day of trebles in different ways for a horse Sheza Ranga over three years, trainers Tom Scanlon and Allison Sheehan and rider Adam Bodey, the Pakenham Picnic Racing Club certainly held a day to remember.
Balnarring once again had the weather gods shine upon it and held a successful meeting on the New Years Day public holiday. The first three races of the day went to the leading jockey Adam Bodey and with the favourites in the next three races it looked like he could ride the card.
Alas, it was not to be and the remaining winners were shared around. New picnic jockey John Fennell rode one of the winners at his second race ride. After opening up a big break on Phantom Flight he managed to hang on in the straight to beat the fast finishing Gold Viper.