Johnston aims to keep winning run going at Marthaguy

Michael Johnston has a full book of rides at Marthaguy Picnic Races on Saturday. Photo: Racing Photography.

Michael Johnston will ride a full book at Marthaguy Picnic Racing Club on Saturday, which the young jockey hoping to continue his winning run in the saddle. 

The 21-year-old is fresh off a double at Tomingley and will jump aboard four gallopers for the in-form Connie Greig, and one for Bryan Dixon. 

“I’ve got a full book, which is good, four of Connie’s and one other,” Johnston said. 

“A couple might go alright. I think my best ride would be Get Up Alby – he run second to Bizarro the other day over 800m and in picnic races, they jump quick, and he jumps quick and with it being 1200m, that little bit further should be just right.”

The popular Wellington cowboy, who only kick-started his picnic riding career in January, has been in good form on the racetrack and in the rodeo arena, having won major Bull riding and saddlebronc events at Tumut and Moree rodeos in recent times, whilst this weekend he is also competing at the Nyngan rodeo. 

“I love it, it’s good fun,” Johnston said.

“I like doing a bit of rodeo and picnic jockeying, but it’s good to do both and to change it up.

“I’m going to Nyngan on Sunday – I’ve just got to keep kicking along.”

With the picnic season about to kick off in Western and Northern NSW, with Marthaguy leading into the Golden Triangle of Moree, Mallawa and Talmoi, before Bligh, Duck Creek Wean and Cobar, Johnston is keen to get to as many meetings as possible.

“I’ll be having a little run at them and doing the lot,” Johnston said.

“It should be good.”

Fields for Saturday’s meeting at Marthaguy have held up reasonably well, with 31 acceptors for their five-race-program. 

The Marthaguy Picnic Cup headlines the card, with the $5,000 1400m event attracting six acceptors, while the race of the day looks to be the Quambone Community Sprint, with seven runners taking on the 800m Class Three Trophy. 

Marthaguy Picnic Races didn’t get a chance to race in 2020 due to the impacts of Covid-19, and after a tough couple years, the club is hoping to see a bumper crowd enjoying a good day of Western Districts picnic racing. 

Gates open at 11am, with a luncheon from 12:30pm and the first race jumps at 1:40pm.

There is fun to be had off the track, with fashions on the field, market stalls, a jumping castle, an under 2’s play pen, baby’s feeding/change float and much, much more.

Tickets can still be purchased online, or more information can be found on the Marthaguy Picnic Race Club Facebook page.