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Healesville Report
by Brad Best

With temperatures nudging the high 30s across much of the state, picnic racegoers could have been easily forgiven for taking the day off to pay their respects to the patron saint of air-conditioning. But for the large crowd that gathered at Healesville on Saturday, this was never an option. In cars and in coaches, they arrived with the spirit of summer at their backs, spending the afternoon on the banks of the Watts River under the shade of the glorious oak trees.

As always, Healesville Amateur Racing Club put on a tremendous show, ensuring that all spectators were looked after in the summer heat. There was plenty of entertainment off the track with a live band playing throughout the day and a petting zoo for the kids. Horses were also well-looked after with extra hoses placed around the mounting yard and soaker hoses running on top of the stalls to combat the heat.

In keeping with the weather, the action was equally hot on the track with big fields taking part in the six-race programme. In the first, six-year-old mare Theia, ridden by Grant Seccombe, held on to victory in front of the fast-finishing El Sali, winning by a head. The second came down to a battle in two with Debbie Waymouth on Tearaway Tommy and Michael Kent on Jive Music pulling away at the top of the straight. After leading for most of the race, Tearaway Tommy was unable to hold off a late challenge from Jive Music, the ever-consistent six-year-old mare taking out the Year Of The Horse Handicap by half-a-length.


Pegembak wins Heat 4 of Middle Dist Series

In races three and four, two very smart horses tore up the track for a pair of very impressive victories. In the third, four-year-old gelding Cochin, ridden by Reece Goodwin, made it two in a row at the picnics with a strong three-and-a-quarter length win; while in the fourth, Adam Bodey took the reins of picnic debutant Yolanda Be Cool and dominated the race, demolishing his rivals by nine lengths.

The final two races of the day were much closer encounters with the top three placegetters in both races separated by less than half-a-length. In the fifth, Matthew Corbisiero hit the front early on $21 outsider Paradian and held on in a photo finish, beating home Bayfury and Classy Francesca. The best finish of the day was saved to the last with young apprentice Jo Stevens upstaging her more-experienced counterparts on board seven-year-old gelding Pegembak. In a perfectly-timed ride, a clearly-elated Stevens hit the front at precisely the right moment, taking out heat four of the CRV/VBA Middle Distance Series by a head.


Results for Healesville. Visit the picture gallery for the days action at Healesville.

Despite the heat, it was another fantastic day at Healesville, highlighted by some of the most competitive racing of the season. Next week, picnic racing returns to Woolamai for the running of the Woolamai Cup. It promises to be another great edition of this classic race. We look forward to seeing you there!


 

 

 




             
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