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   Past News Woolamai 22nd & Yea 23rd Feb 2014
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Woolamai and Yea Reports
by Brad Best

The festival of relaxed racing continued on the weekend with a bumper double-header at Woolamai and Yea. In blissfully mild conditions – a far cry from the excessive heat of previous weeks – picnic racegoers attended both meetings in strong numbers with hen’s parties, buck’s parties and work gatherings featuring prominently on the last weekend of summer.

On Saturday, leaders had a day out at Woolamai with the track clearly favouring on-pace runners. Michael Kent continued his run of good form with an impressive double, taking out both sprint races in dominant fashion. In race four, Kent rode the only winner of the day to settle off the pace (albeit just), storming home three-wide on topweight Bertoglio to win by two lengths. He notched up his double in the following race with another two-length victory on five-year-old mare Niersheim.
In other races, three-year-old filly Keltic Light, ridden by Grant Seccombe, won the first in a canter, pulling away in the straight to record a crushing twelve-length win.

The second was much closer with Matthew Corbisiero guiding six-year-old gelding Paradian to a three-quarter-length victory, holding off the fast-finishing Break Even.

In race three, Debbie Waymouth took the reins of Royal Diva and made the most of her late call up to ride the three-year-old filly, cruising to a three-length victory. In the last, a capacity field of ten runners took to the track with picnic debutant Vin De Vie proving too strong over the 2008m journey. Teaming up with trainers Kim & Gayle Mayberry, stable jockey Stephanie Dorning guided the six-year-old mare to a comfortable two-and-three-quarter-length win.

Vin De Vie wins Heat 5 of Middle Dist Series

On the last Sunday in February, St Patrick’s Race Club gathered for their annual St Pat’s Cup Day meeting at Yea. With a huge crowd in attendance, there was plenty to see and do including fashions on the field for the foals, fillies and mares; an aerobatic display for the adrenalin junkies; a vintage car display for the motoring enthusiasts; and music from the Yea & High Country Pipes and Drums and, of course, fan favourites The Dirty Rotten Husbands. And yes, there was also some horse racing in between!
In the feature event of the day, the Skilled St Pat’s Cup, a seven-horse field assembled in perfect conditions for the 2100m classic. Rounding the home bend, Adam Bodey looked set for another big win, taking Bel Sir to a commanding lead. But in the end, he was no match for Jo Stevens, the young apprentice booting seven-year-old gelding Pegembak to the front before clearing away for a two-and-a-quarter-length win.
It was a great day for another rising star, Reece Goodwin, who notched up a well-deserved double. Goodwin kick-started proceedings in the first with a typical Yea win, storming home along the outside rail to win by one length on five-year-old gelding Bellbrae. He completed his double in the fifth, finding the front easily on second favourite Kondoa before pulling away down the middle of the straight for a four-and-a-quarter-length victory.

Amber Comb took out the second with a hard-fought victory on Polish Rose, the win twice as sweet for Comb who also owns the six-year-old mare. Adam Bodey made sure that it wouldn’t be a clean sweep for the young guns, claiming victory in the third on five-year-old mare Classy Francesca.

The final race of the day not only provided the best finish of the day but, quite possibly, the best finish of the season. After hitting the lead in the straight, Paddy Kelly, in his final race ride, looked set for a fairytale victory on board $3.20 favourite Wine Shanty. But in a last gasp drive to the line, apprentice Ryan McNulty, on board seven-year-old gelding Malebo Magic, came from behind to spoil the party, claiming his first ever race win in the process. McNulty duly celebrated, standing high in the irons post the post, his whip raised skyward as if he had just won the Melbourne Cup.

Pegembak wins the Yea St Pats Cup 2014

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

It was another fantastic weekend of picnic racing made possible thanks to the tremendous work of the Woolamai and St Pat’s Race Clubs. Next week, picnic racing takes a well-deserved break before returning to Alexandra Cup, Omeo Cup and Balnarring for the Labour Day long weekend. See you in a couple of weeks!




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