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Balnarring Report
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.

The final two races of the day were both convincingly won by favourites. In race five, seven-year-old Wait Forette, ridden by Stephanie Dorning and trained by Kim & Gayle Mayberry, proved a class above, winning by two-and-a-half lengths ahead of Evenaz. In the final race of the day, it was a similar story for Well Written who, with Shiralee Maher aboard, took out the 2000m race in dominant fashion.

In cars and buses, they came, lining the road to Balnarring, a racetrack with more pulling power than a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield. And as the sun set, they left, already planning their next trip to this enchanted corner of Victoria. Once again, tremendous credit must be given to the Balnarring Picnic Racing Club for putting on another show to remember.

Well Written wins the Open Hcp


Visit the photo gallery and see the race results.

Next week, picnic racing heads back to Healesville. We look forward to seeing you there!


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