Maddy Wright adds another Picnic Cup to the mantlepiece

Maddy Wright with the 2024 Yass Picnic Cup. Image: Jeff Hanson.

Maddy Wright’s triumphant return to race-riding continued at Yass on Saturday, with the Moruya-based amateur jockey picking up a double and another Picnic Cup. 

Wright won the Harden and Bong Bong Picnic Cups in late 2023 with the Natalie Jarvis-trained California August, and on Saturday, teamed up with another Moruya trainer, Lauren Davies. 

This time, she was aboard Rock ‘N’ Tori in the $8000 Yass Picnic Cup (1350m), which commenced the $4.80 third favourite. 

The John Rolfe-trained Captain Corelli (Ricky Blewitt, $2.40) led the field along, with the Canberra galloper having his own way in front. 

Stalking the leader was Wright, who unleashed Rock ‘N’ Tori on the home straight, and the seven-year-old powered to the front. 

From there, the pair held on comfortably to win by a length from the Darryl Rolfe-trained Final Showdown (Leandro Ribeiro, $3.20), while two and a quarter lengths back in third was the Captain Corelli.

It was a memorable win for connections, with Davies and Wright good friends on and off the track. 

The popular picnic hoop then made it a race-to-race double when winning the final event on the card, this time riding the Clare Mansell-trained Vintage Borossa to victory in the 1100m Open Trophy race. 

Down from Cooma, the six-year-old was unwanted in the market, easing from $2.80 to $3.60, while good money came for the Shaun Harvey-trained Buckin’ Rippa (Izzy Neale), which was crunched from $4.20 into $2.20.

Despite the good go for the Wyong visitor, it was a two-horse race between Vintage Barossa and the Rob Potter-trained Bracewell (Michael Wade, $4), with Vintage Borossa eventually winning by a neck from Bracewell while two lengths back in third was Buckin’ Rippa. 

Leading picnic hoop Leandro Ribeiro was named the most successful jockey on the day, finishing with two wins and three seconds from six rides. 

Ribeiro kicked off the program with a win, helping the Luke Musson-trained Robran to a nearly three-length victory in the 900m Maiden Plate. 

The Nowra visitor was well found in the market ($3.50 into $2.30) and won accordingly, defeating the Russell Hogan-trained Denali Kai (Ricky Blewitt, $2.20) in second and the Shelley Kirkpatrick-trained I’m Too Sixey ($4.60) in third. 

In a dominant result, Ribeiro then helped Luscious ($2.50) to a three-and-a-half length win in the 1200m Class B Handicap.

Ribeiro went straight to the front, and there was no catching the four-year-old Canberra galloper, which beat home the Clare Mansell-trained Spirited King ($7) in second and the John Rolfe-trained Rhineland (Michael Wade, $5.50) in third. 

The victory of the day went to Dylan Parrott, who travelled to Yass for just one ride. 

Teaming up with Warren Ganderton, the Wollongong-based amateur won by nearly five lengths on Artieos ($2.50) in the 900m Class Three Trophy Handicap, beating the Darryl Rolfe-trained Litvyak (Leandro Ribeiro, $2.50) in second and the David Kelley-trained Mia’s Dream (Todd Bailey, $4) in third. 
Kate Petersen, who hadn’t won a race since late 2022, was thrilled to score a well-deserved win at Yass, teaming up with Neil Osborne.

Jumping aboard Danish Lane ($1.70), Petersen won by eight lengths in the 1350m Maiden Plate, defeating the Darryl Rolfe-trained Lake Hume (Leandro Ribeiro, $2.40) in second and the Russell Hogan-trained Gutbuster (Ricky Blewitt, $3.40) in third. 

Over 2000 patrons streamed through the gates on a massive day at Yass, and the weather gods behaved with picture-perfect conditions. 

The fashions on the field competition, held in the parade ring, was an absolute spectacle, with Sky Racing’s Graeme White as one of the judges. 

NSW Picnic Racing heads to Tottenham on Saturday, and for the 2024 calendar, click here

For more on the 2024 NSW Picnic Champion Series, click here.