Darryl Rolfe continues Boorowa Cup love affair

Main Image: Leandro Ribeiro returns after his win on the Darryl Rolfe-trained Opera Tickets in the 2023 Boorowa Picnic Cup. Inset: Darryl Rolfe (middle) and Leandro Ribeiro (right) after winning the Boorowa Picnic Cup. Photos: DJM Racing Pix.

Darryl Rolfe has added another Boorowa Cup to the mantlepiece. 

The former picnic jockey won the race when in the saddle in the late 1980s, and he’s since enjoyed racing at the South East course as a trainer, winning the Boorowa Cup (1700m) with Opera Tickets (Ricky Blewitt, $6) in 2021, before his old stager came out and won the race again on Saturday. 

In fact, with Boorowa not racing in 2022, it was back-to-back wins for Opera Tickets, with champion picnic hoop Leandro Ribeiro guiding the despised $8 outsider to a half-a-length victory from the Andrew Dale-trained Garros (Shaun Cooper, $2.70), while in third and three lengths back was the Petr Kirby-trained Broo Boss (Tamsin Gough, $6).

“It was a good win,” Rolfe said. 

“He sat up in third place and took the lead halfway down the running, and he was just too strong for them.

“It was almost the same way he won it before.”

The Tickets gelding has been a grand old campaigner for connections, starting 74 times for five wins and 18 placings, and Rolfe was confident of another success heading to Boorowa. 

“Damon Budler has been riding him in work, and he said he’s that close to a win, but everything has been going wrong,” Rolfe said. 

“If you watch the replay of his last run at Canberra, he was tracking into it and nearly come down and had to come wide. 

“He was running to the line all the time in all his other races, but they might have been stronger.

“At Boorowa, it was the right race for him, and he’s been tops, and that’s why he is still in the stable.”

It was a red-letter day for Rolfe at Boorowa, as he sent three horses to the races for three wins, with the stable winning both features on the program. 

On top of Opera Tickets and his excellent win in the $10,000 Boorowa Cup, Ribeiro was also in the saddle when Waldo Waldorf ($4) won the $7,000 Boorowa Picnic Sprint (1200m) and when Hamish The Swift ($3) took out the 1$7,000 Class Two Trophy Handicap (1000m). 

“I went there thinking I could win with all three,” Rolfe said. 

“I got $3, $3.50, and $8, so it wasn’t a bad day.”

Boorowa Picnic Race Club did well to get through their meeting on Saturday, with the racecourse holding up to the consistent rain. 

“It was really good because of the grass coverage and the way the club presented the racetrack,” Rolfe said. 

“The grass coverage was terrific, and I rode a cup winner there in 1987 or somewhere around then, and I’ve been racing there ever since, and that’s the best that track has ever looked.”

NSW picnic racing heads to Marthaguy (Quambone) on Saturday, May 6, before a pop-up meeting at Leeton on Saturday, May 13, where Rolfe will take his trio of last-start winners next. 

“Leandro is booked to ride the same three horses at Leeton, and we’ll see how they all go,” Rolfe said.

In other results at Boorowa, Breanna Bourke maintained her good recent form when winning on the Sarah Murray-Leslie-trained Lunar Ashes ($2) in the 1000m Maiden Plate.

The John Nisbet-trained Coupla Days (Ricky Blewitt, $2.50) made it three picnic wins at their last five starts when taking out the 1300m Class B Handicap.

In arguably the most popular win of the day, jockey Todd Bailey is no longer a maiden after winning on the Russell Hogan-trained Fast Pulse ($4) in the 1200m Maiden Plate. 

For Boorowa results, click here.