On the racing circuit with Col Hodges

Narromine based Ricky Blewitt has won the 2016/2017 NSW Premiership for Approved Riders despite missing 5 months of the season through injury. With his wrist pinned and a plate inserted, Blewitt resumed riding in mid February and first meeting back won the Royal Hotel Condobolin Picnic Cup on Double Halo for Gilgandra trainer Bruce Parker. Since then Blewitt has consistently ridden winners over the Picnic circuit and with 22.5 wins finished clear of Maddison Wright (18), Samara Johnson (16), Ashley Boyd (13), Billy Owen (12) and Katelyn Jenkinson (10).

Wean on Saturday was the final meeting for the Picnic season and Ricky Blewitt landed a winning treble, Winter for Armidale trainer Stirling Osland,Folkestone for Tamworth trainer Luke Morgan and Track Flash from the Peter Sinclair stable at Moree.

In the Wean Picnic Cup (1600 metres), Blewitt on Track Flash chose to follow the favourite About Time, the recent Narrabri Cup winner. Track Flash ($3) took control over the closing stages to win by over a length from About Time (Katie Spalding, $2.5 fav.) with Medal Of Glory (Wesley Boyd, $4.40) finishing third.

Blewitt led throughout  for a runaway win on Winter ($1.40 fav.) in the Maiden Plate (1000 metres) but needed all his experience to get home on Folkestone ($1.70 fav.) which hung in down the straight before beating Oh No Gecko (Michael Gray, $6) and Cool Rules (Kath Bell-Pitomac, $2.30) in the Bracelet Handicap ($2.30).

Wesley Boyd who rode his career first winner at the recent Talmoi Picnics had a winning double at Wean,What A Bonus ($2.50 fav.) for Armidale trainer Lea Selby and What A Party ($3.20) which is trained by Thomas Elmes at Scone.

Meanwhile, the Picnic Trainers Premiership for the 2016/2017 season has been won by Rodney Robb from Nyngan who with 18 wins was well in advance of Trevor Sutherland (7), Kylie Kennedy (5) and Sarah McIlrick (5).


Making an auspicious return to racing after a spell, the Dennis Bush, Forbes trained Molasses came with a booming run down the outside to win the Hendersons Menswear Class 1 Handicap (1000 metres) at Dubbo on Friday.

From the back of the field, Molasses (Mathew Cahill, $7) swept past the favourite Zeta's Rocket (Greg Ryan, $1.95) to win by a half length with Miss Morgana (Daniel Pitomac, $31) a half length away third. Owned by Danny Kotel, Grenfell Picnic Race Club President, the four year old gelding Molasses has been patiently handled and from only five starts has recorded two wins and a second placing.

Stan Leonard  from Coonamble has raced horses for many years and has always hoped to eventually win  a Kings Hall Jewellers Silver Goblet at Dubbo. That wish was fulfilled when Check The Ticket at cricket score odds on Saturday won the prestigious race for two year olds over 1100 metres.

Starting at 100/1,Check the Ticket ridden a dashing race by Andrew Banks led for home and held on gamely to beat the $1.75 favourite Star Boy (Kody Nestor) by over a length with Kenneth (Chris Williams, $81) another length away third. Now well established at Dubbo,winning trainer Clint Lundholm is formerly from Coonamble while the now Sydney based jockey Andrew Banks was reared at Gulargambone and served the majority of his successful apprenticeship with the late John Lundholm at nearby Coonamble.