by Brad Best
Race 1 Replay | Race 2 Replay | Race 3 Replay | Race 4 Replay | Race 5 Replay | Race 6 Replay
Summer made a welcome return to Healesville on Saturday with sparkling sunshine greeting racegoers at one of picnic racing’s most picturesque venues. In front of a typically strong crowd, the Healesville Amateur Racing Club continued its fine run of hosting performances, delighting the masses with a splendid afternoon of entertainment on the banks of the Watts River.
On the track, punters had a day out with all six races won by either favourites or second favourites. In the first, Clay Beasy kicked off proceedings with a dominant performance on $2.80 favourite Belli Laugh. The six-year-old gelding, coming off a six-month spell, proved a class above in the 1000m maiden, winning by four-and-a-half lengths. In the second, Tearaway Tommy took up its customary front-running role, crossing from the outside barrier at breakneck speed before romping away to win by almost four lengths for Debbie and Rebecca Waymouth.
The dominant wins kept on coming in the third with five-year-old gelding Immortal Fire, ridden by Dani Walker, justifying its favouritism with a barnstorming two-and-a-quarter length win.
With veteran hoop Adam Bodey in the saddle, Grey Giggle notched up its third consecutive win for the season, taking out race four despite lugging 70kg. Working off a hot pace, the seven-year-old gelding proved too strong in the straight, holding off all-comers to record a one-and-a-quarter length win.
Race five went the way of the John Price-trained Manwell. Ridden by Michael Kent, the four-year-old gelding recorded its second win at Healesville for the season, holding on to victory ahead of the fast-finishing Combien. It was a similar story in the last with the ultra-consistent Avon Country, ridden by Grant Seccombe, hitting the front early before seeing off a late challenge by Big Baba Looey to record another win for trainer John Kilgower.
Next Saturday, picnic racing heads to Yea where the tinsel will be flying for Yea Race Club’s annual Christmas meeting. Make sure you get your festive shopping out of the way early as it will be your last opportunity to soak up the picnic racing atmosphere before the jolly old fat man descends into your living room. (Seriously, someone should put a grate on that chimney. It’s an OH&S disaster just waiting to happen.) See you at Yea!
Results for Healesville. Visit the picture gallery for the days action at Healesville.