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13 April, 2022

Western racing report

By Colin Hodges

By Supplied

By Colin Hodges Gilgandra (transferred from Warren), Leeton and Glen Innes meetings were all washed out on Saturday however, Grenfell Picnics went ahead with a big crowd and despite further showers on the day, safe racing on a rain affected track down graded mid meeting from soft six to soft seven rating.

Anaelle Gangotena, who came to Australia from Ecuador as a nine-year-old, had her biggest day as a picnic races jockey when riding a winning treble on Saturday, April 9, at Grenfell. All her winners, Sestina, Georgian Court and Would Be King, were for trainer Doug Gorrel who Anaelle rides trackwork for at Canberra. In the feature event the 1400 metres Lane Cove Legends Grenfell Picnic Cup, Gangotena settled Would Be King behind the leaders, the recent Tottenham Cup winner Jin Chi Phantom and the Victorian galloper Trumps In. Taking control in the straight, Would Be King ($3 favourite) won by almost three lengths from Namarari (Emily Waters, $3.20) and Broo Boss (Breanna Bourke, $9) which made good ground from a long way back.

Kicking off the big day for Gorrel and Gangotena was Sestina in the 1000 metres Railway Hotel Picnic Bracelet with the final result decided in the stewards room. Sestina ($2.30) was first home by a nose from the leader It’s Business Time (Rebecca McRae ($1.50 favourite) with Miracle Knight (Emily Waters, $4.40) four lengths away third after being with the early lead. A protest second versus first was dismissed. Second leg of the treble for the Canberra visitors was Georgian Court which tracked the leader Mr Bobcat in the 1200 metres Allen and Flach Families Sweet Lauraine Class Two Handicap.

Hitting top gear, Georgian Court (Anaelle Gangotena, $1.80 fav.) shot away to score by nearly five lengths from Mr Bobcat (Wayne Wheatley, $4) with another ten lengths to the third placed Hamish The Swift (Will Stanley, $5.50). After a break from racing, trainer Bill Hayes is putting a team together at his Eugowra stables and two of them filled the top two spots in the 1000 metres JJ O’Connor Maiden Plate at Grenfell. Dare To Fight (Wa-yne Wheatley, $1.90) led for home but was overhauled and beaten a head by stablemate Run Callan Run (Dylan Stanley, $7) with Pippie Star (Will Stanley, $1.80 fav.) two lengths away third. Heavily backed when an unplaced favourite at Tullibigeal, the Luke Pepper, Canberra trained filly Sublime atoned by winning the 1400 metres Terry Bros. Class B Handicap.

Very well-ridden by the Bathurst based Will Stanley, Sublime ($3.80) from third position gained a rails run to beat Watermelon Wine (Emily Waters, $4.60) and Knight Enam-oured (Wayne Wheatley, $6.50). Run over 2000 metres the Railway Hotel-President’s Cup is the longest race on the picnic circuit and had both some drama and a runaway winner. Veering off the track in the early stages My Bullet took Benoni to the outside fence with both losing a realistic winning chance. In the meantime the $2.70 favourite Alpha Lane set the pace until Practical Joke (Breanna Bourke, $2.80) went to the lead at the 800 metres and cleared out to win by over twenty lengths from Mr Menzies (Ricky Blewitt, $10) while Benoni (Michael T Johnston, $3.80) recovered a lot of lost ground to finish third. Guntis Lukss who trains Practical Joke at Queanbeyan was several years ago a trainer at Narromine.


Raging Rush, much to the disappointment of connections, missed a run in the $200,000 Over The Line Racing Wellington Boot when the meeting was washed out but there were smiles all round again when the two year old chestnut colt won the 1000 metres Silver Apple two-year-old Showcase Handicap on Friday, April 8, at Orange. Part owners of Raging Rush include the trainer Clint Lundholm, Wellington Boot sponsor Over The Line Racing and prominent committee members of the Wellington Race Club, Ian Darney, Michael Keirle and Peter Barton. Ridden by Dubbo-based apprentice Elissa Meredith, Raging Rush ($7.50) swept around the field turning for home and won by nearly two lengths from Last Bid Liam (Jackson Searle, $6) and the leader Spinasau-rus (Allysha Collett, $1.90 favourite).

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