Greig and Ribeiro claim another Picnic Cup at Grenfell

Winning jockey Leandro Ribeiro, winning trainer Connie Greig, and strapper Amber Collins with Grenfell Picnic Cup winner Valadyium. Image: Jeff Hanson/NSW Country and Picnic Racing.

Dubbo trainer Connie Greig and Muswellbrook-based rider Leandro Ribeiro continued their dominance on the picnic circuit on Saturday, combining to win the 1400m Lane Cove Legends/Doug Allen Memorial Picnic Cup with Valadyium.

Frau Holle and Namarari led the Cup field to the halfway point, where Celtic Harp ($2.20 favourite) moved up wide to attack.

Meanwhile, Ribeiro was biding his time. When given more rein in the straight, Valadyium ($3.50) cruised to the front and won by over a length from the strong-finishing Bush Warrior (Sebastian Galea, $6), with California August (Madison Wright, $2.80), burdened with a massive 78kg, a brave third.

The first leg of a double for Connie Greig and Leandro Ribeiro was Better Judgement ($5.50), which led throughout from the outside barrier to defeat Alaskan Aura (Zara Lewis, $9) and Luscious (Madison Wright, $2.80) by over four lengths in the 1000 metres CL Commodities Grenfell Picnic Bracelet.

The biggest fields at a picnic meeting for several years saw emergencies declared in some races, including the 1200m Terry Bros Furniture & Bedding Class 2 Trophy Handicap won by the Ashley Gibson, Gilgandra trained Foxstorm.

In an exciting finish, Foxstorm (Zara Lewis, $8) came from well back to score by a short half-head from Pahang (Dylan Parrott, $4.40) with a nose to the third-placed Far Too Hot (Madison Wright, $3, equal fav.).

Madison Wright had earlier brought the Neil Osborne, Canberra-trained debut maker Ima Dubawi ($2.50 fav.) from midfield to win the 1000 metres Mawhood’s IGA Maiden Plate from Jet Missile (Dylan Parrott, $3) and Red Card Rosie (Ricky Blewitt, $4).

From Natalie Jarvis’s Moruya stables, Champ Profond ($2 favourite) was taken straight to the front by Madison Wright and romped home over eight lengths ahead of The Drafter (Ricky Blewitt, $3.60) and Gifted Curves (Sebastian Galea, $6) in the 140m McAlister Motors Class B Handicap.

The innovative Grenfell Club staged the longest-distance Picnic race in NSW, and the 2150m O’Connors/Case IH Presidents Class 1 Trophy Cup Trophy Handicap resulted in an enthralling contest.

Turning for home, Mayapple took a narrow lead from Ready For Lift Off, Radiant Glow and Sham with Thetis making a move from last position.

Over the final 300 metres, Mayapple (Leandro Ribeiro, $1.80 fav.) and Thetis (Izzy Neale, $8) matched strides, with Thetis eventually winning by a head while over five lengths away, third was Radiant Glow (Zara Lewis, $3.80).

Thetis, which won its first race after 40 starts, is trained at Forbes by Peter Kirby, who also trained the half-brother Hayne Plane to win five races, mainly over long distances.

Grenfell attracted a very good crowd and the unique array of prizes and bonuses was much appreciated by the owners, trainers and jockeys.

Central and Western District action heads to Orange for their Orange Cup TAB meeting on Friday for the Warren TAB meeting on Saturday.