Late Return takes long road to Nyngan for cup success

Wayne Marsden (second from right) accepts the Packy’s Kanga Hire Nyngan Cup after Late Return and Michael Wade (left) cruised to victory in the $5000 feature event.

Wayne Marsden’s eight-hour trip from Menindee to Nyngan paid off on Saturday with Late Return proving too strong in the 1250m Packy’s Kanga Hire Nyngan Cup. 

The seven-year-old Shellscrape gelding did it in emphatic style, sitting at the rear of the field in the early stages while Jawsome clapped on the early speed.

Jockey Michael Wade remained patient though, peeling four wide on the home turn before storming home for a comfortable 2.46 length victory in the $5000 event  

“It was a great win mate, it is unbelievable for him to win that race. I am just over the moon,” Marsden said. 

“It was a great ride by the young lad (Michael Wade) too, he deserves a lot of praise.”

Marsden said that the early speed battle suited his old boy that has a reputaton for finishing races off well.  

“I think the early pace might have suited him, at the top of the straight he stood them up four or five lengths but he has a great finish on him,” Marsden said. 

Marsden said the former Rodney Robb runner reveled on the Nyngan racecourse and hinted that there was stable confidence before the strong victory.

“He is an old horse of Rodney Robb’s; Rodney thought he would be hard to beat, especially going back to his old home track, which really suited him,” Marsden said. 

It was just reward for the veteran trainer, who arrived in Nyngan on the Thursday prior, giving his team of four runners a chance to settle in before racing on Saturday. 

“We got down there on Thursday afternoon and we stayed at Nyngan Showground after Rodney Robb had made arrangements for us to stop there,” Marsden said. 

Marsden said he loved making appearances at these picnic meetings and wanted to support country racing, even if it meant he was one of the most travelled trainers in the state. 

“Its great to visit and race at these little clubs that are keeping country racing going,” Marsden said. 

“We have missed out on a lot of racing lately but full credit to the ones that are still going and that is why I prefer to patronize those country tracks.”

Marsden admitted that it wasn’t possible to get Late Return into the NSWPRA Picnic Champion Series final, an event the pair qualified for in 2019.  

“I think I have left it too late, it is a shame that I have missed the other meetings because he is probably going better this year than last year,” Marsden said. 

In what was another good six-race-program of picnic racing at Nyngan, Rodney Robb landed an early double and secured the trainer’s challenge, winning the first two races. 

Mendonsa Kiss, who was ridden by Leandro Ribeiro, was a little too good in the 900m Maiden Plate, winning by 2.27 lengths; while Thermosa got the job done in the 900m Open Trophy race, winning by 5.31 lengths for Maddy Wright.

Mark Schmetzer and Ash Boyd teamed up on Military Bay in the 900m Class Two Trophy, winning by 1.64 lengths. 

Ribeiro made it a riding double and took home the jockeys challenge, booting home Eagleworks for Connie Greig in the 1250m Class B Handicap,

Finally, Garry Lunn and Ricky Blewitt combined for a win with Dusktilldawn in the 1600m Class One Trophy.