Linden Tree stands tall in Bourke’s picnic feature

The Connie Greig-trained Linden Tree, ridden by Leandro Ribeiro, won Sunday’s Harry Hart Memorial Picnic Cup at Bourke. Image: Racing Photography.

Leading NSW picnic trainer and jockey combination Connie Greig and Leandro Ribeiro added another notch to their belts at Bourke on Sunday. 

Racing at the Easter Sunday meeting, they combined to win the $12,000 Harry Hart Memorial Bourke Picnic Cup (1600m) with Linden Tree. 

It was a stable quinella for the Dubbo pair, with the six-year-old edging Kalpana (Izzy Neale, $4.60) by a length. Two lengths away in third was the Denis Consadine-trained Frau Holle (Ricky Blewitt, $10).

Linden Tree was already a clear leader on the 2023/24 NSW Picnic Champion Series leaderboard. 

Following Sunday’s win, he is all but guaranteed a start in the $50,000 final at Coonamble on October 19.

Greig scored a double on the program, and Izzy Neale delivered in the saddle when getting one back over Ribeiro. 

Neale guided Pahang ($3.20) to a half-length win over stablemate Individualist (Ribeiro, $2.50) in the 1300m Class One Open Trophy event while nearly seven lengths away in third was the Greg O’Neill-trained Are You Certain (Michael Gray, $6). 

Wagga jockey Emily Harrison enjoyed a good day in Bourke. The youngster rode a winning double for Cobar-based trainer Allan Prisk. 

The pair took out the 800m Open Trophy Handicap with Mr Pointer ($7), finishing a long neck in front of the Connie Greig-trained Have Mercy (Leandro Ribeiro, $3.40). 

A length and a half away in third was the Rodney Robb-trained Hurn Court (Maddison Wright, $3.20).

Harrison and Prisk made it a race-to-race double when A Tender Lady ($4.40) scored a comfortable win in the 1000 Class B Handicap. 

The Daniel Stanley-trained Scruff’s Magic (Izzy Neale, $5.50) was two lengths away in second, while in third and two and a half lengths back was the Rodney Robb-trained Hamoon Sunshine (Maddison Wright, $3.40).

It wouldn’t be a Back O’ Bourke program without a Rodney Robb win, and the Nyngan trainer teamed up with Maddison Wright when taking out the 800m Maiden Plate.

Racing Hammoon Sky, the well-supported $1.80 favourite put three lengths on stablemate Party Stop (Anthony Williams, $3.50), while six lengths back in third was the Janelle Galea-trained Juliet Bravo (Ricky Blewitt, $3.50). 

On the day, Connie Greig won the trainer’s award, and Leandro Ribeiro and Izzy Neale shared the top jockey’s honours, finishing with seven points each. 

NSW picnic racing heads to Cootamundra on Saturday, and for the 2024 calendar, click here

For more on the NSW Picnic Champion Series, click here