Leeton ready to host replacement picnic meeting

The Leeton Jockey Club will host a picnic meeting on Saturday, May 13.

Following the postponement of Cootamundra’s annual picnic meeting on April 22 due to the track’s state, Racing NSW has allocated a replacement picnic meeting to be held at Leeton Jockey Club on Saturday, May 13. 

Leeton Jockey Club president Grant Fitzsimon holds a ‘participant-first’ outlook on racing and is more than happy to have his club host a picnic meeting. 

“I’m glad we are racing for the picnic industry participants,” Fitzsimon said. 

“I’m glad we can put our hand up and help out, and I’m sure it will be good for owners, trainers, and picnic jockeys.”

Leeton’s upcoming picnic meeting will quickly follow on the heels of their successful Leeton Cup non-TAB program, held on Saturday, April 22. 

“The track has come on good after our last meeting,” Fitzsimon said.

“We had the boys out there on Monday and Tuesday doing some work to prepare it, and it looks good. 

“It’s something we’ve always tried to do; we want to try and keep it in as good as condition and have it ready so we can get these meetings that pop up every now and then.”

A good crowd supported Leeton’s autumn race day, with locals and visitors making the most of the good conditions, racing, fashions, and entertainment. 

“It was a fantastic day, and our takings for the day were as good as what they have been for a long time,” Fitzsimon said. 

“We raced during COVID with no crowds, and last year we missed our Leeton Cup due to the wet, and we are just really happy to see everyone come out and support the club with a big Saturday crowd.

“Plus, It was a good crowd, and there were a few young people out, but it was an excellent 30-plus crowd, and that’s what we want.

“We put on a DJ, and there was good music being played, and overall, it was a very successful day.

“Also, on the race day, a group do a rally for Cystic Fibrosis, and they do our gate, and we gave them a donation at the end of the day, and that’s been going on for ten years now, plus Yanco-Wamoon Rugby League do our canteen, and they get a donation on the day too.”

The racing took centre stage, with the Andrew Dale-trained Garros (Josh Richards) proving too good in the CopRice Leeton Cup (1600m), but off-track, the fashions on the field drew a big crowd, with fashionistas from all over the Southern Districts in attendance. 

“We had $5000 worth of prizes, which is huge,” Fitzsimon said.

“I couldn’t believe the fashions on the field, and I walked past, and everyone was dressed up, and there was such a good quality of outfit on show.”

“It’s important to push the fashions too, as it gets people from out of town and adds something different to the day.” 

Fitzsimon and his committee hope that Leeton and surrounding communities support their upcoming picnic meeting, with the race day coinciding with Mother’s Day the following day. 

There will be marquee sites, full bar and canteen facilities, platter and sandwich boxes, and kid’s entertainment. 

For more on the race day, click here