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   Past News Woolamai 8th February 2014
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Woolamai Report
by Brad Best

For the second Saturday in a row, a summer heatwave hit the picnic races, setting the scene for a host of blistering times and track records at Woolamai Racecourse. Despite a forecast top of forty degrees in Melbourne, it was a great turnout with hundreds of dedicated picnic fans taking advantage of the early start and abundance of shade to make Woolamai their home for the afternoon.

It was also a big day for two dedicated picnic fans in particular, Rod and Cate, who tied the knot before race one, exchanging vows in front of family, friends and plenty of new acquaintances.

In the feature event of the day, the Woolamai Cup, five-year-old mare Born This Way made it back-to-back victories in the time-honoured race, winning by two lengths. It was a tremendous ride from Angela Bence who, in a performance reminiscent of last year’s race, timed her run perfectly, taking the lead in the straight and hitting the line strongly. The win brought up a double for Bence who also rode the winner of the first, Shanghai Rooster, guiding the five-year-old gelding to a two-and-a-half-length victory.

Angela has now ridden 15 winners as an apprentice and loses her 2kg claim but based on the skill shown in her double that should not stop her from finding many more winners.

Born This Way wins the Woolamai Cup 2014

In other races, five-year-old mare Till Then, ridden by Craig Kirkpatrick, won the second in emphatic fashion, taking out the 1008m sprint by two lengths. The third went the way of Dani Walker on board Wayne’s Command, the consistent six-year-old gelding holding off a late challenge by topweight I’m A Soldier to win by a length.

In the fourth, punters were treated to a classic contest between two of the most experienced jockeys at the picnics. Turning into the straight, Courtney Pace, on Here’s To A King, and Adam Bodey, on Spirit Eyes, left the rest of the field in their wake, hitting the line together in a nail-biting photo finish. After a tense delay, it was eight-year-old gelding Spirit Eyes who got the nod from the judge, further extending Bodey’s lead in the jockey’s premiership. In the last, punters were on the money with the heavily-backed favourite Vertigo, ridden by rising star Matthew Brown, proving too strong for the seven-horse field, dominating the race to win by three lengths. Matthew also brought up 15 winners and loses his 2kg claim.

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

Congratulations to the Woolamai Racing Club for putting on a great show under trying circumstances. Next Saturday, picnic racing heads to Buchan, four hours east of Melbourne, for the running of the Buchan & Gelantipy Cup. It promises to be another great day of picnic racing.




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