by Brad Best
On Saturday, the Healesville Amateur Racing Club hosted another magnificent afternoon of picnic racing, celebrating their final meeting of the season in front of a fantastic crowd. With big fields taking to the track, punters had their work cut out for them, sifting through many months of form to find a winner. But with the bookmakers’ ring ideally positioned between the mounting yard and the bar; and a big screen set up on the infield, there were no excuses with everything a punter could possibly want just a few steps away.
The afternoon got off to the best possible start for Courtney Pace who rode the first two winners of the day. In the first, Pace took the reins of Vin De Vie, completely dominating the race on the six-year-old mare, winning by an amazing nine lengths for trainers Kim & Gayle Mayberry. She picked up her double just half-an-hour later, steering four-year-old gelding Hay Buddy to a similarly-impressive four-length win.
In the third, six-year-old Bemarydan, ridden by Clay Beasy, made it five wins in a row, holding on to victory ahead of the fast-finishing Bertoglio. The win capped off an amazing season for the John Kilgower-trained gelding, taking the title of picnic horse of the year in the feature event of the day, the Brian Bren CRV/VBA Sprinters Series Final.