Top racing marred by sad news

With 50m to go it was anyone's race (The Schofield Handicap) but Gary Maroney and man Overboard was able to hold off  Can he rap and The Robber.

With 50m to go it was anyone's race (The Schofield Handicap) but Gary Maroney and man Overboard was able to hold off Can he rap and The Robber.

The Goondiwindi Picnic Race Club staged another amazing day at Gunsynd Park on Saturday.

More than 2000 patrons enjoyed what was a magnificent day. Quite apart from the marvelous fashions on display at Gunsynd Park, it was also a great day of racing.

Unfortunately, the day was marred as the news filtered through that senior NSW country rider Darren Jones had lost his life in a fall at Warialda and two of Toowoomba’s greatly admired track-work riders, Ben Saunders and Wade Classholm, had both suffered a bad fall at Toowoomba Clifford Park prior to the Weetwood Handicap.

The Goondiwindi Picnics was a perfect day for race lovers.

The Goondiwindi Picnics was a perfect day for race lovers.

The "locals" certainly gained plenty of attention forom race -goers at the Picnics on Saturday.

The "locals" certainly gained plenty of attention forom race -goers at the Picnics on Saturday.

The thoughts of everyone are with the families Goondiwindi racing identity and Goondiwindi Regional Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu said.

Paul Hamblin had a great ride on Starwood in the B&W Rural Handicap on Saturday.

Paul Hamblin had a great ride on Starwood in the B&W Rural Handicap on Saturday.

Racing was highlighted by the fact that three horses carried in excess of 62kg to win, a feat that is rarely seen these days.

Prolific Jockey Paul Hamblin who has recently returned form Victoria to base himself at the Sunshine Coast and is travelling the country circuit form Blackball to the Border.

Hans opened the batting with a good in the B&W Rural Maiden Handicap with a win on Starwood, trained in Warwick by John Collins.

Starwood was too good for Bams Princess who tried valiantly in the straight with early leader Yours Truthfully back in third place.

Melody O’Brien partnered Mighty Roller in the Landmark Maiden Plate with a bold front running ride and was just too good for Kapachino Miss who knotched up another placing and Lady Marmalade was in third place. 

Another leader, Man Overboard was another to lead all the way for another senior jockey in Wayne OConnell. Man Overboard only just held on form the fast finishing Can he Rap and The Robber was third.

Jocelyn Dight and Sarah Crothers checking out the form in the betting ring.

Jocelyn Dight and Sarah Crothers checking out the form in the betting ring.

The feature event was the Kenway & Clark/Brown and Hurley Cup over 1400m.

Kenway & Clark have been major sponsors of the Goondiwindi Picnic Cup for many years and had committee members scrambling through the records to see just how long the partnership has been in place.

Local warhorse More of the Zaim proved far too good for the very popular Naranja who was well backed to win the event.

More of the Zaim made it nine starts on the track for five wins, three seconds and one third.

More of the Zaim has travelled to country with his last three starts at Blackball., Springsure and Emerald before Saturdays home track win. An outstanding effort in any company.

And so to the last Race and it was back to Paul Hamblin to complete a winning double on-board Kakakenny for Phyllis Kalinowski from Toowoomba. Heavily backed favourite Tartufo D’oro got within a nose of the winner but the strength of Hamblin got him over the line. Kakakenny was having his first start for Phyllis after moving north following  a last start fourth at  Kempsey. Goondiwindi horse Destinys Desire was third.

“And so, the committee of the Goondiwindi Picnics can be justly proud of the event and new President Casey Simpson and her team can now put their heels up and prepare for next year,” Graeme said.

Things don’t stop in Goondiwindi however as next Saturday, the annual Easter on the Macintyre comes to town with a magnificent fireworks display from the bridge over the Macintyre River just one of the feature events.

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