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28 April, 2022

Western racing report - April 20

By Colin Hodges

Bourke, raced Sunday, April 17

A record breaking crowd at Bourke on Easter Sunday saw Knee Slapper in an exciting finish win the 1600 metres Splashe Cola-Harry Hart Memorial Picnic Cup for Nyngan trainer Rodney Robb. Proving a bad result for bookmakers, the former South Australian galloper, Knee Slapper, was backed from $16 to $8 and took an estimated $35,000 from the betting ring.

Emily Waters from Tumbarumba won her first race three weeks ago at Tullibigeal Picnics and she rode Knee Slapper very well at Bourke.

Leading all the way, Knee Slapper held on to beat Allez Rev (Ricky Blewitt, $8) by a head with the $1.90 favourite Gossip (Leandro Ribeiro) a length away third. Gossip had won the recent Picnic Cups at Ardlethan and Tomingley, however Leandro Ribeiro probed for a run at the top of the straight which did not materialise. A protest third versus first was dismissed.

Brazilian-born Leandro Ribeiro had earlier won the first three races, including the 800 metres Bourke Bowling Club Open Handicap on the Connie Greig, Dubbo-trained nine-year-old gelding Billy Bent Ear.

Making it eight wins and 30 placings from 110 starts, Billy Bent Ear ($2.20, favourite) raced near the lead and won by over three lengths from Rebecca’s Quest (Ricky Blewitt, $2.50) and Three Rar (Dylan Stanley, $5).

First leg of the Leandro Ribeiro treble was the Brett Cavanough, Scone-trained Jackal ($2.50) which led throughout for a convincing win over Rewardus (Breanna Bourke, $10) and Dare To Fight (Wayne Wheatley, $2.20 favourite) in the 800 metres Bourke Steel and Wire-Franks BP Service Station Maiden Plate.

Leandro Ribeiro then rode last start Hillston winner Orezira for Menindee trainer Wayne Marsden in the 1000 metres Outback Ice and Outback Refrigeration Class B Handicap. The strongly supported Lenroy (Wayne Wheatley, $6.50 to $3.50) looked a big threat in the straight but was beaten threequarters of a length by Orezira ($2.40 favourite) with Keep No Secrets (Ricky Blewitt, $4.80) filling third place. Bill Hayes from Eugowra who has made a return as a trainer after time off has won successive races at Grenfell and Bourke with Run Callan Run.

In the 1300 metres Nutrien Walsh Hughes-Dad N Dave Turf Class B Handicap at Bourke, Hoffy’s Dream (Emily Waters, $2.60) took the lead in the straight but was overhauled and beaten a halflength by Run Callan Run (Dylan Stanley, $4.20).

Sun Master ($6) finished third however, was unlucky as Breanna Bourke reported she was disadvantaged when the saddle shifted soon after the start.

Lightning Ridge, raced Saturday, April 16

Experienced horseman Andrew Banks rode a treble, including the cup winner Fearless Mila, under unusual circumstances on Saturday at Lightning Ridge.

The final five races were flag starts after a barrier malfunction in the opening event won by Gunnerside.

The last time flag starts were used in the region was well over 30-years-ago at Trundle in the central west when the barriers became bogged.

All that aside, it was a big crowd to see the well performed TAB performer Fearless Mila win the 1200 metres P W Concrete Lightning Ridge Cup for Dubbo trainer Clint Lundholm. Fearless Mila (Andrew Banks, $5) raced in a forward position and won by over a length from the Bryan Dixon, Gilgandra-trained pair Ecker Road (Zara Lewis, $4) and Fox Spirit (Angela Cooper, $6).

At the recent Mudgee TAB meeting, Fearless Mila finished second to the Brett Robb trained All Words which won again on Sunday at Dubbo. First leg of the Andrew Banks treble was the Peter Mills, Quirindi-trained Hillbilly ($4) which accounted for Turmoil (Jodi Worley, $5.50) and Saimaa (James Rogers, $10) in the 900 metres Class One Handicap.

Andrew Banks then won the 1200 metres Maiden Plate on the Andrew Bayley, Coonambletrained and Canham family owned Miss Ash Star ($6) which settled behind the leaders then finished best to beat Direct Vision (Clayton Gallagher, $4.60) and More Than Venice (Jake Barrett, $2.20 favourite).

Kieren Hazleton is building a handy team at Gilgandra and Japingka (Clayton Gallagher, $4) led throughout to win the 1000 metres Benchmark 58 Handicap from Another Sheila (Jodi Worley, $6) and Indian Thunder (Angela Cooper,$6). Wellington trainer Karen McCarroll took a team to the Northern Territory last winter and Gunnerside was placed at Adelaide River and Darwin.

Contesting the 900 metres Maiden Plate at Lightning Ridge, Gunnerside (Elissa Meredith, $3.20 favourite) raced outside the leader then took control to win by over two lengths from Outback Pat (Zara Lewis, $7) and Dream Lad (Jacob Golden, $6).

Dubbo based apprentice Elissa Meredith completed a double when the Kelly Smith, Collarenebri-trained Ringside ($6) shared the lead before scoring a close win over Legal Zou (Clayton Gallagher, $3 favourite) with Big Arjay (Zara Lewis, $6) finishing third in the 1200 metres Lost Sea Opals Benchmark 45 Handicap.

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