Breanna makes Bourke Picnic Cup her own

Breanna Bourke guides the Rodney Robb-trained All Words to victory in Sunday’s Harry Hart Memorial Bourke Picnic Cup. Photo: Racing Photography.

Just on her name alone, it can be easy to say Breanna Bourke was always destined to win a Bourke Picnic Cup. 

Still, it was no mean feat for the Leeton-based amateur jockey, who covered around 1200 kilometres over the Easter weekend, to ride at the Back O’ Bourke picnic race meeting.

“I think I am ready for bed,” Bourke laughed when chatting with NSW Country and Picnic Racing after returning to Leeton on Monday afternoon. 

“It was a big trip, especially on my own. It was a bit of a boring trek, and I saw lots of goats and pigs, but there was lots of time to think. 

“I left Saturday afternoon, stayed the night in Cobar, and stayed in Bourke last night, and I came home today.”

Still, the decision paid dividends, with Bourke winning two races on the program, including the day’s feature race. 

Riding for Rodney Robb in the Harry Hart Memorial Bourke Picnic Cup (1600m), Bourke was a comfortable winner in the end, cruising to a 2.7 lengths victory on All Words ($3) from the Connie Greig-trained Gossip (Leandro Ribeiro, $3), while in third and 11.74 lengths back was the Benno Bowen-trained Hard Currency (Todd Bailey, $15). 

It was a good result for connections, considering the Nyngan galloper had to carry 75kg in the $12,000 event.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been more confident with a horse, and if anything was going to get it beat, it was the weight, but he didn’t worry about it, and he was too good,” Bourke said.

Earlier on the program, the 30-year-old won on Saint Olga ($3) in the 800m Maiden Plate. It was a cruisy 6.2 lengths win for the pair, with the stablemate Supreme Reality (Leandro Ribeiro, $2.40) finishing in second, and 7.74 lengths back in third was the Allan Prisk-trained Cinders (Tamsin Gough, $11).

“I don’t think I’ve been able to wipe the smile off my face,” Bourke said. 

“It’s been great, and the amount of support and all the messages you receive make it very special.”

Bourke, who rides trackwork for legendary Leeton trainer Peter Clancy, is enjoying a breakout season on the NSW picnic circuit.

With nine victories next to her name, she is riding at a 23.6% strike rate and feeling as confident as ever in the saddle.  

“I’ve never enjoyed riding so much in my life,” Bourke said. 

“It’s all confidence, and I don’t think I’ve ever had enough confidence, and hopefully, it keeps growing and growing, and I keep improving.”

When asked about her recent form and what she is doing differently, Bourke believes it all comes back to experience. 

“I think when you first start riding, everything happens so quickly, and you don’t have time to make decisions,” Bourke said. 

“Whereas now, everything is slowing down, and I’m learning to be patient and wait for the gaps, know which rein to pull at the right time, and when to push the buttons, and I’m getting on some better horses, which helps.”

Bourke will look to continue her excellent run on the picnic circuit on Saturday when racing a lot closer to home at Grenfell. 

For a full recap of Bourke’s Easter Sunday meeting, including Rodney Robb’s four winners, click here

For all results, click here.