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 the Bass Coast on Saturday for Woolamai Race Club’s final meeting of the 2014/15 season. With close to fifty runners taking to the track over the six-race program, there was no shortage of talent on show as owners and trainers sought to make the most of the remaining four weeks of racing.
It was a day to savour for jockey Matthew Brown who rode an impressive double from his book of five rides. Taking the reins of The Tale of Aver, Brown notched up his first win in race three, leading the field into the home turn on the four-year-old gelding before cruising to victory by almost two lengths. He brought up his double in the fifth with a fantastic ride on topweight Stonehaven. The five-year-old gelding, trained by Todd Balfour, recorded his first victory at the picnics with a fantastic swooping run, gobbling up valiant front-runner Party Star within sight of the finishing line.
In other races, Reece Goodwin closed the gap on Courtney Pace in the battle for the jockey’s premiership, taking out the first with a brilliantly-timed ride on board Here’s To Saturday. In a scintillating finish, Goodwin powered home late on the five-year-old mare, winning by half a length ahead of Pace on Bolshoi Belle. In the second, six-year-old gelding King Henry, ridden by Michael Kent, atoned for a narrow defeat last start, rounding the home turn in front before holding on gamely for a one-and-a-quarter-length win. Race four saw a return to form for Nine Mile Sniper, the five-year-old gelding, ridden expertly by Craig Kirkpatrick, stealing a break at the home turn before bolting away with a three-length win.
In one of the most eagerly-anticipated races of the season, picnic racing heavyweights Howling Wolf, Immortal Fire and Tearaway Tommy led an all-star cast in the last. With a huge crowd watching on, the race lived up to all expectations as four-year-old gelding Howling Wolf, ridden by Courtney Pace, and five-year-old gelding Immortal Fire, ridden by Dani Walker, kicked clear in the straight, hitting the line together in a nail-biting photo finish. In the end, not even the judge could separate them. After a tense two-minute wait, the race was declared a dead heat, providing fans with a fitting finalé to the Woolamai season.
Congratulations to the Woolamai Race Club for another fantastic season of picnic racing! With just three meetings to go before the winter break, don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy a relaxing day out at the picnics. We can’t wait to see you at Healesville on the final Saturday in March for the running of the big one: the Golden Thong!
Results for Woolamai. Visit the picture gallery for the days action at Woolamai.