Ricky Blewitt had a field day at Boorowa Picnic Race Club on Saturday, booting home four winners and taking out the Boorowa Picnic Cup on the Darryl Rolfe trained, Opera Tickets.
The Narromine hoop, who by his lofty standards had been in a rare slump, having not ridden a winner in 20 starts – yet he put it all behind him, as he rode the first three winners on the card for Corowa trainer, Rick Freyer, before winning the feature race on his fourth mount.
Blewitt’s first came on Brother Fox in the 1000m Maiden Plate, before he helped Riverina Boy across the line in the 1000m Class Two trophy for his second winner.
Sun Master was the duo’s third winner in the 1300m Class B, before Blewitt’s crowing moment came in the fourth event, with Opera Tickets keeping Deterge and Cryfowl at bay in the $8000 feature race.
“It was good on Saturday, I’ve ridden a lot for Rick Freyer over the years, and he normally goes around Lockhart and those places, and he rang me and said he would have a full book,” Blewitt said.
“I had already told Darryl I would ride Opera Tickets in the cup, but I rode the rest of Rick’s and it turned out to be a pretty good day.”
In the ultimate compliment to the legendary picnic jockey, Rick Freyer, said Blewitt made all the difference for his stable at Boorowa.
“He was the difference for all three horses and without him, we wouldn’t have got them over the line,” Freyer said.
“He got through openings, and his strength got them over the line.”
Freyer went as far as stating he wouldn’t go to the picnics unless he had Blewitt in the saddle.
“If I can’t get him, I won’t run them,” Freyer said.
“He is the go-to guy, if I can get him for Lockhart or any of those places, I won’t take them.”
Blewitt said the Boorowa racecourse was in good condition, which resulted in good racing.
“The track itself was dead, but it had enough grass cover on it,” Blewitt said.
“It was firm, but with the grass cover, it took a bit of sting out of it and there was some good racing.”
The former premiership winning picnic jockey looks to have built up a nice rapport with Opera Tickets, who is turning out to be a decent picnic cup horse.
“The horse has ability, he probably has too much ability than he knows,” Blewitt laughed.
“I’ve ridden him for Darryl a few times now. I ran second on him at Tullibigeal, and the feel he gave me there, was that he was half trying, and he still ran second
“At Tomingley, he wanted to get going at the 700m and I grabbed onto him and Darryl said when he gets going, I should let him go.
“Then at Boorowa, I let him go when he wanted to go, and he was just too good.”
As a result of his recent form at the picnics, Opera Tickets is on 22 points and sits second on the NSWPRA Picnic Champion Series and looks set to be one of the favourites for the $50,000 final that will be held at Coonamble Jockey Club in October.
“Darryl said he is now on 22 points, so he should have enough points to make the final, and Darryl reckons he will have three of them in the final now and he (Opera Tickets) would definitely be the pick of them,” Blewitt said.
Having the veteran jockey racing and winning is a sight for sore eyes, after Blewitt was involved in a three-horse fall at Tomingley back in 2019, and Blewitt was happy to admit the fall had crossed his mind sometimes, before assuring everyone he was as confident as ever when in the saddle.
“Any day is a good day when you walk away from the last race, and any winners are a bonus, and I learned that the hard way after Tomingley,” Blewitt said.
“Without a doubt I still think about it, coming up to that meeting at Tomingley last week, I was umming and ahhing whether to go, but once I got there, it wasn’t even on my mind.”
Blewitt will now prepare to race at one of his favourite tracks this Saturday, when teaming up with Peter Sinclair at Marthaguy (Quambone).
“Yeah, I am looking forward to Quambone. Over the last few years, I’ve had luck there and whenever I’m out that way, I ride a lot there for Peter Sinclair,” Blewitt said.
“He had three for me, but the thing in the cup went amiss, but he is taking another two and I can’t wait to get there and ride.”