Dubbo trainer lands Ardlethan Picnic Cup trifecta

Connie Greig’s team continues to win race after race on the NSW picnic racing circuit. Photo: Racing Photography.

Connie Greig’s dominance on the NSW picnic racing circuit continued at Ardlethan on Saturday, with the Dubbo trainer preparing yet another winning-treble, while she incredibly landed a trifecta in the 2023 Ardlethan Picnic Cup. 

After winning the 2022 Ardlethan Cup with Gossip ($2.60), Greig again combined with Leandro Ribeiro in the 2023 feature, and the Brazilian hoop made no mistakes when partnering perennial picnic cup competitor Valadyium ($3) to victory in the $10,000 event. 

The six-year-old proved too good for stablemate Inzaghi, which finished 0.64 of a length back in second, while rounding out the stable’s trifecta was Merdeka (Sally Faulks), which finished third when beaten 1.76 lengths.

Greig and Ribeiro also combined for two more winners on the day.

Firstly, the Leandro Ribeiro-owned and ridden Cheeky Nugget ($1.80) won the 1600m Class One Trophy race, with the five-year-old proving a class above the Andrew Dale-trained Reckless Bay (Tim Grace, $2.50), which finished 1.31 lengths away in second, while the Peter Kirby-trained Thetis (Sally Faulks, $7) was 3.64 lengths away in third.

Rounding out the stable’s treble was Benyatta ($1.90), which took out the 1000m Open Sprint from the Debbie Prest-trained pair of Bizarro (Sally Faulks, $8) and Big Arjay (Emily Waters, $6.50), which rounded out the minor placings. 

In other races on the day, Leeton pair Peter Clancy and Breanna Bourke combined to win the 1200m Maiden Plate with Wee Juggler ($2.30).

Bourke kept up her good recent form, helping the five-year-old to a 0.34 of a length win from the Michael Travers-trained Boogie On Down (Leandro Ribeiro, $2.50), while in third and 1.2 lengths back was the Debbie Prest-trained Horsenado (Emily Waters, $4).

Emily Waters landed her fifth win of the season in the 1200m Class Three Trophy Handicap when riding the Peter Kirby-trained Her Call ($4.20) to a good 0.11 of a length win from the Connie Greig-trained Get Up Alby (Leandro Ribeiro, $2.50), while in third and 0.89 of a length back was the Russell Steiner-trained Eillod (Breanna Bourke, $6).

Victorian jockey Tim Grace made the long trip worthwhile in the 1400m Class B Handicap when winning on the Lauren Davies-trained Rock ‘N Tori ($3.20), which won comfortably from the Garry Rolfe-trained Gifted Curves (Sally Faulks, $5) in second and the Mont Waters-trained Here Comes Chum (Emily Waters, $3.50).

Greig and Ribeiro streak clear in premiership race

It has been yet another incredible season for Greig, who has trained 17 picnic winners this season at the strike rate of 43.6 percent.

Overall, for season 2022/23, the Dubbo trainer has racked up 32 winners, and sits in sixth place on the country trainer’s premiership ladder. 

In terms of picnic racing, Roy McCabe is next back on the trainer’s premiership ladder, having prepared four winners, while Peter Kirby is third on three winners. 

It’s a two-horse race in the NSW jockey’s premiership race, with Ribeiro now on 23 winners at a 46% strike rate, while in second in Ricky Blewitt, who has ridden 15 winners at a 33.3% strike rate. 

Coming into her own is Breanna Bourke, who is in third with seven winners at a 29.4% trike rate. 

Picnic racing moves to Tullibigeal on Saturday before meetings at Tomingley on April 1 and Bourke on April 9.

For all results from Ardlethan click here