by Brad Best
Race 1 Replay | Race 2 Replay | Race 3 Replay | Race 4 Replay | Race 5 Replay | Race 6 Replay
Yea Race Club received an early Christmas present on Saturday with the traditional Sister Olive race meeting taking place under a faultless summer sky. Despite its awkward timing, the event was well-attended with plenty of racegoers putting Christmas preparations aside to spend a relaxing afternoon at the picnic races.
Michael Kent was the big winner on the day picking up a race-to-race double. His successful afternoon started in the fourth with victory on the in-form Clovelly Hill. In a classic two-horse battle, Kent timed his run to perfection, grabbing the unlucky Cash Caddy on the line to give the five-year-old gelding its third win in row at the picnics. Fittingly, Kent brought up his double in the feature event of the day, the Sister Olive Open Trophy Race. Taking the reins of second favourite Bellesanta, Kent took control of the race at the top of the straight, running away with a four-length victory in the 3000m classic. It was a fantastic training performance by Robbie Laing who had only run the seven-year-old mare two days earlier at Seymour.
In keeping with the festive spirit, Toby Lake was another to receive an early Christmas present, the young rider bringing home his first ever winner on board Sudden Rush. Trained by Lake’s father Steven, the five-year-old mare hit the front at the top of the straight before holding on ahead of perennial bridesmaid Marmegleon.
In other races, Grant Seccombe made no mistake on favourite Paul John in the first, finding the lead early on the four-year-old gelding before holding off a gallant General Sullivan in the shadows of the post. In race three, Conspicuous Star, ridden by Rob Kirkpatrick and trained by wife Shelley, made up for its unlucky last start effort at Healesville by getting the better of Rawlings in a tight finish. While in the last, Christopher Brown rounded out the day with a strong win on Mediano, cruising to victory by three quarters of a length.
Picnic racing continues at Drouin on Boxing Day for a meeting that – just like Santa – always delivers. Merry Christmas to all in the picnic racing community! Enjoy the day! We can’t wait to see you at Drouin.
Results for Yea. Visit the picture gallery for the days action at Yea.