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13 April, 2023

Greig’s ‘Gossip’ wins Tomingley Picnic Cup

By Colin Hodges

Tomingley Races, Saturday, April 1 In a repeat of the 2022 result, the Connie Greig, Dubbo-trained runner Gossip — before a big crowd on Saturday — won the 1500-metres Alkane Resources Tomingley Picnic Cup. Again ridden by Leandro Ribeiro, Gossip (the $2.90 favourite) led throughout to win by a length from stablemate Merdeka (Wayne Wheatley at $7) with Our Blue Moon (Ricky Blewitt at $3.20) a half-neck away third.

Last year, Gossip came from fourth to win the Cup from Alpha Lane and Chuck ‘N’ PaulThe now seven-year-old mare, Gossip has the handy record of eight wins and 12 placings from 55 star ts with prizemoney of more than $110,000. Formerly from Brazil, Leandro Ribeiro is the current Picnic Riders Premiership holder in NSW, and he was again dominant at Tomingley with four winners, Centre Circle, Sizzling Millie, Gossip, and The Cave.

On the same day that Dubbo trainer, Brett Robb, won the $500,000 Newhaven Park Country Championship at Royal Randwick with Sizzle Minizzle his parents, Rodney and Wendy Robb from Nyngan, won the 800-metres Eric Pugh Memorial Maiden Plate at Tomingley with Centre Circle. Trained by Robb and owned by Wendy, Centre Circle (Ribeiro on the $1.70 favourite) took control in the straight for an easy win over Cheerful Union (Emily Waters at $3) and Basilfromtheblock (Tamsin Gough at $4). Dubbo trainer, Clint Lundholm, who was himself at Randwick with his Country Championship runner, Smooth Esprit, had two starters at Tomingley, Sizzling Millie and The Cave, and they both won.

Parked behind the three duelling leaders by Ribeiro, Sizzling Millie (at $3) won the 1150-metres Rod Hore and Peter Angus Memorial Maiden Plate by over four lengths from Tonatrix (Wayne Wheatley at $5) and Rain Don (Emily Waters at $4.40). Completing the four-win haul for Ribeiro and the double for Clint Lundholm, The Cave (the $1.90 favourite) led for home and clearedout to win the 1500-metres JDP Heavy Diesel/Byrne Trailers Class B Handicap by over seven lengths from Here Come Chum (Emily Waters at $3) and Tequila Shots (Ricky Blewitt at $3.80).

Quirindi trainer Geoff O’Brien and jockey Wayne Wheatley, combined to win at Tomingley last year with Scriba and they again teamed up to win the 800-metres JD McGaw Class Two Trophy Handicap with Tandem. From near the tail of the field, Tandem (at $4.80) rushed home to score by a length from Luckyimwithaimee (Tamsin Gough at $12) and Agent Moon (Rebecca McCrae at $3.20). McCrae then changed from her j o ckey colours, to a glamorous outfit, and won a major award in Fashions in the Field at Tomingley!

Narromine jockey Ricky Blewitt has been in great form throughout the season, and it was an outstanding ride for him to win the 1150- metres O’Brien/Angus/Strahorn Memorial Class Three Trophy Handicap on the Dean Mirfin, Bathurst-trained, Kimmylee.

Finishing strongly from the back of the field, Kimmylee (the $2.80 favoruite) won by a long-head from Get Up Alby (Ribeiro at $4.20) with almost two lengths to the third placed, Speudosa (Breanna Bourke at $4). Winning trainer, Dean Mirfin, missed the victor y himself as he was at Randwick with a starter, De Forerunner, in the Country Championship.

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