Balnarring & Swifts Creek Report
by Brad Best
The picnic racing season ended in spectacular fashion on Sunday with Courtney Pace taking out the jockey’s premiership for the first time, ending the thirteen-year winning streak of picnic racing icon Adam Bodey. Fittingly, the 25-year-old saved her best to last, stamping her authority on the competition with four winners at Swifts Creek including a two-length win in the Tambo Valley Cup on board the Reg Manning-trained Shanghai Rooster. In one of the most hotly-contested premierships in recent years, Pace ended the 2014/15 season on 31 wins, six clear of Reece Goodwin on 25.
Picnic racing stalwart John Kilgower went back-to-back in the trainer’s premiership, taking out the crown for the second year running with 16 wins ahead of Mark Thomas on 11. His season included six brilliant victories for five-year-old gelding Avon Country and two each for Swiss Flyer and Peace Of Heaven.
Picnic horse of the year went to Immortal Fire, the five-year-old gelding racking up eight memorable victories for trainer Trevor Rogers including all-the-way wins in the Alexandra Cup and Balnarring Cup. It was a spectacular season for on-pace runners with Tearaway Tommy and Avon Country also featuring prominently in the winner’s stalls.
On Saturday, Ashlee Beer continued her impressive finish to the season with another riding double at Balnarring. Beer rode her first winner in the second on board four-year-old mare Petite Cherie, holding off a late challenge from Wept to claim victory by a long neck. She brought up her double in the fourth, turning in front on five-year-old mare Believe In Harmony before kicking away in the straight, winning by one-and-a-quarter lengths.
The 2014/15 season will be remembered as one of the most exciting seasons of picnic racing on record. From Courtney Pace to Immortal Fire to the crowds who cheered their favourites home, this truly was a season of memorable highlights. We can’t wait for Spring to come when it all starts over again!
Results for Balnarring. Visit the picture gallery for the days action at Balnarring.
Results for Swifts Creek.