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   Past News Merton, Woolamai, Dederang & Alexandra 1st - 4th Jan 15
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Alexandra Report

Race 1 Replay | Race 2 Replay | Race 3 Replay | Race 4 Replay | Race 5 Replay | Race 6 Replay

Results for Alexandra. Visit the picture gallery for the days action at Alexandra.

Dederang Report

Race 1 Replay | Race 2 Replay | Race 3 Replay | Race 4 Replay | Race 5 Replay | Race 6 Replay

Results for Dederang. Visit the picture gallery for the days action at Dederang.

Merton Report

by Ben Sporle

Race 1 Replay | Race 2 Replay | Race 3 Replay | Race 4 Replay | Race 5 Replay | Race 6 Replay

The 150th running of the Merton Cup saw racegoers arrive in their droves to the small-country town 80km east of Seymour – with the crowd almost four times as large as the population which holds a little over 300 people.

New Years revelers carried on their celebrations amongst the elm trees as patrons have been treated to annually since the establishment of the Merton Amateur Turf Club in 1865. The unique setting for racegoers looking out upon the tight and undulating 1400 metre round circuit makes for another unique stop-off on the Picnic Racing circuit – the Second Oldest Racing Club established that is still Racing.

Patrons off the track were greeted by plenty of entertainment including a well-attended Fashions on the Field competition and Kelly Sports activities alongside well-executed displays by the Alexandra Horseman. Although it was crowd favorite and 1992 Melbourne Cup winner Subzero who stole the show as part of the Catanach’s Cup presentation. For the first time in 2015 punters were treated to full TAB facilities enabling them to punt off-course at all major venues.

The on-course action saw three hoops take equal riders honors with Ashlee Beer, Reece Goodwin and Craig Kirkpatrick each piloting home a double.

The afternoon’s feature event saw Craig Kirkpatrick win his second Merton Cup having saluted aboard Initial Response for Glen Gascoyne in 2012. The ride was tactical and went to script – setting his eye’s on the front aboard the Darren Stumpo trained Heartofthedevil and not looking back running away for a 3¾ length victory ahead of equal race favorite Clovelly Hill who was shooting for a hat trick of wins. It was the Benalla trained mares second attempt at the silverware and her seventh career victory.

Kirkpatrick would use similar – but more daring tactics to win the final race, one he has been victorious in the last three years aboard horses part-owned by his wife Stacey. An outsider in the field, Delrazzi trained by Brad Cole had not won nor found the minor money since saluting at Hanging Rock 365 days earlier.  The New Year would again agree with the Bendigo-trained mare having also won by five lengths on that particular occasion. She would again run her rivals off there legs and score in devastating fashion giving Kirkpatrick plenty of time to prepare a well executed salute. The $8 hope was not the ‘get out of stakes’ most punters had hoped for if they were chasing their tails.

Ashlee Beer’s afternoon was going to script having punched home the first three winners first-past-the-post. Aunty Nellie got favorite backers off to a painless start in the first event while 11-year-old Ernie’s Mate made his first appearance on the Picnic Racing circuit in over 12 months a winning one for Cranbourne-based trainer Gary Clunning.

Having technically won the Rodwells Trophy (3) Handicap giving Beer the opening three winners (in a photo-finish ahead of the afternoons shortest priced favorite Eclipsable) punters of both horses held onto there tickets in hope as Reecee Goodwin fired in a protest for alleged interference at the 100 metres.  A considerably long protest hearing was held and was knocked down to the opposition Goodwin camp – protest upheld – and our Premiership rider had registered his first winner for the afternoon. A somewhat regular occurrence for the Seymour-based youngster.

The seventeen-year-old talent would no sooner find himself in the winners stall on his own terms to the cheer of the punters when Leixlip Lad at the $1.70 quote was the third favorite home for the day. In what was the lightly raced six-year-olds first Picnic performance he comfortably accounted for his rivals in the four horse maiden affair.

From the broadcasters vantage point the afternoon appeared a reigning success. A job well done must go to joint presidents Murray Hill and Gavin Karthaus and their band of helpers who make the annual Merton race meeting the starting point to each and every New Year to a large brigade of people. 150 years going strong.

Results for Merton. Visit the picture gallery for the days action at Merton.

Woolamai Report

by Brad Best

Race 1 Replay | Race 2 Replay | Race 3 Replay | Race 4 Replay | Race 5 Replay | Race 6 Replay

Picnic racing returned to Woolamai on Thursday for Woolamai Race Club’s first ever meeting on New Year’s Day. It was a tremendous turnout with hundreds of picnic racegoers eager to continue their celebrations from the night before, swamping the famous front lawn in a sea of colour.

On the track, Adam Bodey started the new year in the best possible fashion, taking out the opening two races of the afternoon. His first winner came on board favourite Soldier’s Image, the four-year-old gelding returning from an eight-month spell to record a strong one-and-a-quarter-length victory. He brought up his double in the second with a win on The Tale Of Aver, taking the four-year-old gelding to the front before holding on to victory by half-a-length ahead of the valiant Salestial.

Courtney Pace matched Adam Bodey’s efforts with a double of her own, returning to the winner’s list after a recent string of outs. In race three, Pace hit the front early on Southerly Grace and never looked back, giving the six-year-old mare her second win in a row at the picnics and denying Adam Bodey an early treble on second-placegetter Once. Pace brought up her double in the fifth with a similar ride on Here’s To A King, the seven-year-old gelding enjoying its return to picnic racing with a one-length win.

In other races, Dani Walker brought up her first winner of the year in the fourth, guiding Prima Voce to a solid two-length victory. While in a dramatic prelude to the last, Adam Bodey was forced to hand over the reins of Immortal Fire to Debbie Waymouth after the veteran jockey was unable to ride the red-hot favourite. Making the most of her late call-up, Waymouth produced a sterling ride on the five-year-old gelding, going on to win by almost three lengths.

What a way to kick off the new year! Certainly, after the success of today’s meeting, the Woolamai Race Club will be looking to make New Year’s Day an annual event on the picnic racing calendar alongside Merton.

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




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