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Drouin & Mansfield Report

by Brad Best

Eskies and fold-up chairs were on show at Drouin on Thursday as a crowd of more than 2000 people flocked to the Drouin Racecourse for the traditional Boxing Day meeting. Despite only hosting one meeting for the season, the Drouin Picnic Racing Club do a phenomenal job staging this much-anticipated event on the picnic racing calendar, giving friends and families the opportunity to come together and keep the Christmas spirit flowing.

The big winner on the day was Wait Forette who took out the Drouin Cup. In a nail-biting finish, the $3 favourite held on to record its fourth win for the season, beating home Mr Jomar by a nose with the fast-finishing Spinning Tune a further half-a-length behind. It was the seven-year-old gelding’s third consecutive win, delighting trainers Kim & Gayle Mayberry and jockey Stephanie Dorning.
Michael Kent was the other big winner on the day, picking up another double to make it 9 wins from 16 starts this season. The talented apprentice currently sits on top of the jockey’s premiership in front of veteran Adam Bodey.

Kent’s first win of the day came on board Big Baba Looey in race two. The four-year-old gelding, trained by father Michael, proved a bit of a handful in the straight with Kent needing to straighten the favourite before pulling away for a one-length victory. He brought up his double in the final race of the day, taking the reins of Note Shredder in blazing sunshine to finish off the afternoon with a solid one-length victory for trainer Lyn Shand.
In other races, Matthew Brown dominated the first on Floatlikabutterfly, guiding the four-year-old mare to the front before pulling away to record a two-and-a-half length victory.

Wait Forette wins the Drouin Cup

In race three, Wayne’s Command, ridden by Dani Walker, held off a strong challenge from High Regal to make it two wins in a row for the six-year-old gelding. Race five went the way of Angela Bence on $1.60 favourite Break Even, the four-year-old doing just enough to fight off a plucky Dizzy Belle in the home straight.

On Saturday, picnic racing headed north to the Victorian high country where Mansfield District Racing Club hosted their second and final meeting for the season. In warm conditions, a dedicated crowd of picnic enthusiasts (along with many first-timers) witnessed some great racing, entertainment and a very controversial two-horse race.

In a strongly-contested Mansfield Cup, six-year old gelding Muss won the 1200m sprint in a thrilling three-way finish. Jockey Craig Kirkpatrick timed his run to perfection, storming past Ernie’s Mate in the shadows of the post before holding on gamely ahead of the fast-finishing Pilot’s Lane.
In other races, Jack Peat kicked off proceedings in race one with a dominant performance on board Estambul Or Bust, steering the five-year-old mare to a seven-length victory. It was a little closer in race two with favourite Lilmissindependent, ridden by Shiralee Maher, pulling away in the straight for a solid three-quarter-length win.

Muss wins the 2013 Mansfield Cup

Race three was a hotly-contested two-horse battle with Vixenite, ridden by Michael Kent, and The Blue Angel, ridden by Reece Goodwin, hitting the line together in a bob-of-the head photo finish. After a quick review, the judge declared Vixenite the winner and correct weight was signalled. However, in a calamitous footnote to the race, stewards were forced to re-examine the photo following the presentation and, with a keener eye, discovered that The Blue Angel had, in fact, won the race. Unfortunately for punters who backed the $3 outsider, all bets stood according to correct weight, meaning that their “winning” tickets could not be collected. Needless to say, the incident has been referred to Racing Victoria officials.

In a more conventional finish, Rob Kirkpatrick guided Popcorn Taxi to victory in race four for trainer and wife Shelley Kirkpatrick, winning by two lengths. While in the final race of the day, Adam Bodey, still smarting from a late scratching to his mount in the Cup, made the most of his only ride for the day, grinding out a gutsy win on Gold Viper, the nine-year-old gelding notching up career win number 17 for trainer and owner Bodey.

Congratulations to the Drouin and Mansfield Racing Clubs for a successful post-Christmas double-header. As the year draws to a close, we look forward to starting another one on Wednesday with the traditional New Year’s Day meeting at Merton and Pakenham. Here’s to a bright and prosperous 2014!

Visit the photo gallery for Drouin and Mansfield for all the days action. Race results for Drouin and Mansfield.



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