Breanna Bourke excited to finally race on home track

Breanna Bourke will race at Leeton for the first time on Saturday. Photo: Lance Fearne.

Popular amateur jockey Breanna Bourke has never been able to race on her home track at Leeton, but that will all change on Saturday.

Leeton Jockey Club, who run two professional meetings each year, will step up and host a replacement picnic meeting after Cootamundra’s meeting – initially scheduled for last month – was abandoned due to recent flooding and the subsequent state of the track. 

Born and bred in Leeton, Bourke has spent the best part of the last 13 years working for local trainer Peter Clancy, and she is understandably excited to be racing at home. 

“I’ve never had a trial or anything there,” Bourke said. 

“It’s going to be very, very special. It’s where it all began.”

Leeton hosted their Leeton Cup program last month, and Bourke said the racecourse is in terrific condition leading into Saturday’s picnic program.

“Even though we only have those two meetings, it’s worked on all year round,” Bourke said. 

“It’s more of a summer grass, but it will be right for Saturday; Tony (Axtill) is the one that runs the show, and he does a lot of work on the track and is always in there doing work on it and making sure it’s up to scratch no matter what time of year it is.

“The track will stand up really well, and it will be nice to race on a good grass track, and hopefully, we can get a crowd there.” 

Bourke will team up with Southern Districts trainers Shane Bloomfield, Anthony Craig, and Graham Byatt, and the 30-year-old will head to the races with some good form under her belt, having won the Bourke and Grenfell Picnic Cups last month before booting home a winner at Boorowa. 

“I’m having some luck, and I now go to the races confident,” Bourke said.

“Even if I look at the horses and think they might not win, I’m confident I will give them the run of the race and ride them well, and whether they can win is a different story, but I’ll give them every chance.”

With Leeton close to the Victorian border, there will be a sprinkling of Victorian picnic hoops in action, and with 69 horses nominated, there could be some big fields. 

“The number of jockeys riding determines the fields, and it would be nice to get a lot of jockeys there and see some good fields,” Bourke said. 

There has been good support for the two main races on the program, with 16 gallopers nominated for the Guilford General Transport Trophy Handicap (1150m) and 12 nominated for the Coprice Trophy Handicap (1600m)> 

11 have been entered for the Golden Apple IGA Class B Handicap (1600m), and 10 entered in each of the Leeton Soldiers Club Class Two (1050m), Wade Hotel Class B Handicap (1150m), and Hotel Leeton Maiden Plate (1150m).

Off-track, the club will have the Lion’s train for the kids, a DJ playing from 3pm, full bar and canteen facilities, and platter and sandwich boxes, which can be ordered up until 11am on Friday. 

For more on the race day, click here

For nominations, click here