Galea announces his arrival at Mungery picnics

Sebastian Galea (third from right) with connections of the Sharon Jeffries-trained Jin Chi Phantom and Mungery Picnic Race Club committee members after his win in the 2023 Mungery Cup. Image – Racing Photography.

Announcing his arrival as a prominent jockey on the NSW picnic circuit, 17-year-old Sebastian Galea rode four winners, including Jin Chi Phantom, in the Cup on Sunday at the highly successful Mungery picnic meeting.

Parkes trainer Sharon Jeffries supplied three of his winners, Jin Chi Phantom, Speed Match and Nymagee, with his other winner, Bush Warrior, coming from the stables of Wellington trainer Daniel Stanley.

Now with an overall record of 11 winners, Sebastian Galea has for the past three months been a trackwork rider for leading Warwick Farm trainer Bjorn Baker since moving from Dubbo.

A courageous third in the Grenfell Cup last week, Jin Chi Phantom was very well ridden by Galea in the 1750 metres QUBE Agri Mungery Picnic Cup.

Controlling the race from the front, Galea kept enough in reserve on Jin Chi Phantom ($2 favourite) to defy the spirited challenge in the straight by Merdeka (Leandro Ribeiro, $3.20) to win by a half neck with Broo Boss (Ricky Blewitt, $5.50) battling on for third.

Representing the Jeffries family, former successful jockey Tiffany Jeffries praised Sebastian Galea for an outstanding winning ride.

Kicking off the day in the 800 metres H & M Rural Fencing Class B Handicap, Galea on the Sharon Jeffries trained Speed Match ($1.60 fav.) lasted to beat the late closing Watermelon Wine (Emily Harrison, $13) by a half neck with Outside Edge (Zara Lewis, $3) a close third.

Galea and Jeffries then combined with Nymagee ($2.20 fav.), which shot clear in the straight to win the 1200 metres Simpson Williamson Memorial Maiden Plate by over two lengths from Vivalicious (Zara Lewis, $4.20) and Iron Fist (Ricky Blewitt, $13).

The $2 favourite Warrior’s Spirit (Ricky Blewitt) in the 1000 metres Inland Petroleum Class B Handicap had a clear lead in the straight however, lugged to the outside fence, and the Daniel Stanley trained Bush Warrior (Sebastian Galea, $3.20) finished best to score by almost two lengths with Spicy Menu (Zara Lewis, $4.20) three lengths away third.

Gilgandra trainer Bryan Dixon Jnr also had a successful day at Mungery with a winning double, Foxstorm and Jackal.

Travelling well from the outset for Gilgandra-based rider Zara Lewis, Foxstorm ($3.20) held on strongly to beat Blackhill Kitty (Leandro Ribeiro, $3.60) and Well Decorated (Ricky Blewitt, $6.50) in the 1000 metres Don Barling Memorial Trophy Handicap.

Zara Lewis then gave the Dixon-trained Jackal ($3.70 to $2.80) a nice run behind the leading pair before gaining a split to beat Hammoon Sunshine (Leandro Ribeiro, $2.20 fav.) and Sun Master, Ricky Blewitt, $7) in the Narromine Hotel Class B Handicap.

The track at Mungery was in very good order after a lot of voluntary work, and a big crowd attended the meeting.

On Saturday, the Collarenebri Cup will headline a big weekend of Western Racing Association action, while on Sunday, action heads to Coonamble for the $75,000 Coonamble Cup and $50,000 Picnic Championship Final.