by Brad Best
After shivering through an unseasonably cold Stakes Day meeting, Balnarring hit the jackpot on Saturday, drawing perfect conditions for their second race meeting of the season. With less than three weeks until Christmas, thousands of picnic racegoers took advantage of the festive cheer, making Emu Plains Reserve their home for the afternoon.
The track looked a treat, playing true and giving every runner a chance. Under a spotless sky, Michael Kent thrived, riding a winning double from just three rides for the day. He kicked off his double in race one, leading all the way on favourite Big Baba Looey, the two-and-a-half length victory also bringing up a win for his father, the trainer of the four-year-old gelding. His second win came in race four on board consistent picnic performer Jive Music, sweeping down the middle of the track to score by three quarters of a length.
In race two, Wayne’s Command, ridden by Craig Kirkpatrick, drove to the front early and held on ahead of the fast-finishing Ripa Artois while in race three, Matthew Corbisiero and Jo Stevens battled it out in the straight, hitting the line together in a photo that went the way of Corbisiero, his mount Gaja notching up its second win for the season.