PICNIC RACE REVIEW
By Colin Hodges
A decision by jockey Natasha Baxter to bypass a meeting in Victoria on Saturday not only enabled Southern Gamble to start but also win the Doug Allen Grenfell Picnic Cup. Seymour based Baxter (24) was due to ride at Healesville but answered a call to ride at Grenfell when several horses including Southern Gamble were going to be late scratchings due to a jockey shortage. Collins Street established a good lead in the 1400 metres Cup with Southern Gamble racing in a handy position to the hometurn in the 8 horse field.
Completing a hat-trick after recent wins at Crookwell and Cootamundra, the Doug Gorrel, Canberra trained Southern Gamble (Natasha Baxter,$3) took the lead in the straight and won by over two lengths from Salerno (Ricky Blewitt,$5) and Dream On Stan (Jody Hughes,$7).
The grandstand rocked when a big syndicate of owners from Bathurst began cheering for the Roy McCabe trained My Girl Grace over the final stages of the the Balance Accountants and South West Tractors sponsored Sweet Lauraine Class 2 Handicap Over 1200 metres. My Girl Grace (Ricky Blewitt,$4) held on strongly to win by a length from Tennessee Pasha (Rowena Dillon,$3.20 fav.) with more then six lengths to third placed Heeby Friendly (Alan Barton,$13).
Parkes trainer Sharon Jeffries took out the Terry Bros/Landmark/Ausure Maiden Plate (1200 metres) at Grenfell with Bodice. Bodice (Maddison Wright,$3.80) set the pace then cleared out to score by four lengths from Our Romeo (Jody Hughes,$2.20 fav.) and Foreverly (Steven Kehoe,$7). King Of Sting had the credentials to handle the testing 2000 metres in the JJ O'Connor Presidents Cup Class 1 Handicap having last August finished second to high Mode in a 3800 metres marathon at Wagga. Leading all the way at Grenfell, King Of Sting ($2.10 fav.) became the third leg of a winning treble at the meeting for Wagga Wagga trainer Trevor Sutherland and jockey Jody Hughes when beating More Ransom (Alan Barton,$4) and Mingalarba (Ricky Blewitt,$3.20). Enjoying a great season on the Picnic circuit, Trevor Sutherland and Jody Hughes had earlier combined to win the Railway Hotel Bracelet Handicap (1000 metres) with Oh What A Thief ($3.20 equal fav.) and Anderson Realty/Australian Wool/ Criterion Hotel Maiden Plate (1000 metres) with Hardachak ($3 fav.).