Greig chasing more picnic cup success at Tomingley

Leandro Ribeiro and Connie Greig with Naoko after winning the 2020 Cobar Picnic Cup. Photo: Racing Photography.

There isn’t a trainer in better form than Connie Greig when it comes to the NSW picnic racing scene.

NSW’s leading picnic trainer won the Tottenham Cup on March 6 with Regina Margherita, before training a treble of winners at Tullibigeal on March 27, with Bella, Rosesay and Malibu Stacy all winning – the latter of these three gallopers winning the Tulli Cup. 

Most recently, Greig travelled north to Bourke, winning the Harry Hart Memorial Picnic Cup with Malibu Stacy again in the winner’s circle. 

Tomorrow, the Dubbo trainer will only have to travel just down the road as she prepares Naoko for the 1500m Tomingley Picnic Cup. 

The 113-start veteran is chasing career-win number 10, and Greig joked that it was all down to what mare turned up on the day. 

“She is old now, she is nine and she is not as honest as Malibu Stacy – she could turn up and win it, or she could turn her toes up like she did last start,” Greig laughed. 

The Excellent Art mare finished down the track at Bourke, running last behind Malibu Stacy, and Greig admitted the short turnaround didn’t suit her old stager. 

“I was going to Bourke for the long haul, and I thought I would take her to keep Malibu Stacy company,” Greig said.

“I think backing her up was a mistake, and she told me that by the way she ran.”

The nine-year-old has shown that she is still a capable type, finishing third at Gilgandra first up this preparation, before finding the line nicely in the Golden Spur at Wellington at her run prior to going to Bourke.

“It all comes down to her and whatever her conditions are,” Greig laughed. 

“She can win that race Tomingley if she goes out there and wants to win. She loves it, she still enjoys racing, but it all comes down to the day.”

According to Greig, Naoko is easy to train, which is one of the main reasons she is still going around in picnic cups.

“She does her work and comes back easy enough. Anyone can ride her, there is no fuss with her,” Greig said.

“She eats and she is no problem at all and that is why she in work.”

Greig will have three runners in action at Tomingley, and she believed all three were a chance on their best form. 

“Get Up Alby, he is first up and never does well first up, but he is fresh,” Greig said. 

“Rosesay is a bit the same as Naoko. She has the ability, and she will go close if she turns up.”

NSW’s leading picnic hoop, Leandro Ribeiro, will take all three rides for Greig and her team, and the pair have proven to be an unstoppable duo of late. 

“He’s passionate about racing and he rides well,” Greig said.

“I’ve said it before, if he could be a professional, I would put him on. If it wasn’t for his weight, I’m sure he would be as competitive as the TAB jockeys.

“He can read a race, he reads a horse well, and he puts them in the right position to win, and that’s all I can ask.”

In what turned out to be a decent meeting of six races for Tomingley, the program commences at 1.30pm, with gates opening at 11am. 

Entry is $15, with full bar facilities, canteen, food and free kid’s entertainment on offer, while there is over $5000 worth of prizes in the club’s fashions on the fields.