by Brad Best
Race 1 Replay | Race 2 Replay | Race 3 Replay | Race 4 Replay | Race 5 Replay | Race 6 Replay
In the early hours of Saturday morning, an untimely storm settled upon Emu Plains Reserve, forcing the cancellation of the big Christmas meeting at Balnarring. However, it wasn’t all bad news for picnic racegoers with the Sunday meeting at Mansfield going ahead despite more overnight rain across the highlands. It was another well-organised meeting from the Mansfield Race Club with plenty of activities for the kids and a local band keeping punters entertained throughout the day.
On the track, it was Reece Goodwin’s afternoon, the talented young jockey steering home four winners to shoot to the top of the jockey’s premiership. His brilliant day started in the first with a close-up win on the consistent Derby Way. Fighting it out with Michael Kent on Aunty Nellie, Goodwin timed his run to perfection, sweeping home late to give the four-year-old mare her first win for the season following three successive second places. In the third, Goodwin dominated the 1200m sprint, taking the reins of six-year-old mare Southerly Grace before pulling away to win by almost four lengths.
His winning run continued in the fourth with a hard-fought victory on board Clovelly Hill, the five-year-old gelding prevailing in a tight finish ahead of Princess Wings. Fittingly, Goodwin capped off his near-perfect afternoon in the feature event of the day, the Mansfield Cup, guiding Up And Downs to a stellar victory. Trained by local trainer Gerald Egan, the five-year-old mare fought on gamely in the dying stages of the race, holding out the fast-finishing Kondoa in a dramatic photo finish.
Amazingly, Goodwin could have easily made it a handful of wins in the second, taking the reins of red-hot favourite Saveloy in a two-horse race. However, it was Christopher Brown on Ranger Ming who stole the show, leading all the way to cause a huge boilover, winning by two-and-a-quarter lengths.
In the other race of the day, Matthew Corbisiero scored a long-overdue win in the fifth with a solid victory on Pretty Almaher, hitting the line strongly on the seven-year-old mare to win by three-quarters-of-a-length ahead of the valiant Benny’s Jet.
Next week, picnic racing returns to Healesville for Healesville Amateur Race Club’s annual Christmas meeting. The racing will be furious and the marquees will be bursting at the seams. Bring along your party hats – it’s going to be a fantastic day out!
Results for Mansfield. Visit the picture gallery for the days action at Mansfield.