Our Blue Moon on picnic champs path following Grenfell Cup win

Breanna Bourke guides Our Blue Moon to victory in Saturday’s Grenfell Picnic Cup. Photo: Racing Photography.

All going to plan, the Dean Mirfin-trained Our Blue Moon will contest the $50,000 Picnic Champion Series final at Coonamble in October following her victory in Saturday’s $10,000 Grenfell Picnic Cup (1400m).

The Bathurst galloper, which first won at the picnics in an 1100m Open Trophy Race on her home track back in February, has since won a 1300m Class Three at Crookwell in March before finishing third in the 1500m Tomingley Picnic Cup earlier this month. 

On Saturday, the seven-year-old proved herself as one of the best picnic horses in the state. 

Breanna Bourke was in the saddle, and she started a $5 chance before defeating the Rob Potter-trained Madison Point (Ricky Blewitt, $3.60) by 0.87 of a length, while in third and 0.91 of a length back was the Michael Mulholland-trained Golden Eclipse (Shaun Cooper, $2.60). 

“I was confident she would run well, but she is a bit quirky, and she can miss the kick,” Mirfin said.  

“I didn’t know Breanna before the run, and when Ricky got off her, I wasn’t sure how things would play out, but she ran well.”

Mirfin was straight to the point when discussing his Picnic Champion Series ambitions for Our Blue Moon, and while it was never the initial plan, the Bathurst trainer will work her next prep around running in the rich picnic final.

“It all came by accident,” Mirfin said. 

“There was that picnic race at Bathurst that was transferred (from Condobolin), and we decided to run her in it because it was at home.

“After the race, Ricky told me she could win the final, and we had made no plans at all about getting her in the final, but it’s since worked out that we might be able to get her in.”

Our Blue Moon has gone to the paddock, and when she returns to racing, Mirfin will likely target some TAB meetings before heading to Coonamble. 

“She seems to be poorly handicapped at the picnics, but she will get 63kg set weights in the final,” Mirfin said. 

“She has gone out to spell now, and I am only going to give her three to four weeks off because if I don’t, she will be in work too long going into the final.

“I could have easily run her again, but timing-wise, it made sense to give her a break, and after the month, it will take another six weeks to get her back to the races. 

“After that, I wasn’t planning on going to the picnics too much more; I won’t be going to the picnic meetings way up north or out west; it’s too far. 

“I’ve gambled that she is on 26 points, and I think 25 will be enough, so when she’s back, she will probably go to some TAB meetings and then the final, but nothing is set in concrete.”

Mirfin went close to securing a winning double at Grenfell on Saturday, with Kimmylee (Ricky Blewitt, $1.80) going down by 0.18 of a length to the Connie Greig-trained Billy Bent Ear (Leandro Ribeiro, $2) in the Grenfell Picnic Bracelet (1000m). 

“It’s more points for Kimmylee, and I’ll see how we go with her and see if we can qualify her too,” Mirfin said. 

“Kimmylee is probably better suited to seven furlongs than these sprint races, but I’ve been trying to keep her away from Our Blue Moon.

“She ran into a good old horse the other day in Billy Bent Ear, and he only beat her by a nose, and I’ve got no doubt he’ll be heading to the final too.

“She will go to Boorowa next, and we’ll go from there.”

Saturday’s Grenfell Picnic Cup victory was not Mirfin’s first major success at the track. 

He took out the Grenfell Cup with Sovereignaire at the town’s professional meeting in 2018 and he was thrilled to continue his success at the track. 

“When you are watching a horse race of any kind, and when they hit the lead with the 50m to go, it doesn’t matter if you’re at Grenfell or Randwick; it’s a thrill,” Mirfin said. 

“I love going to Grenfell; it’s a well-run meeting, and they do a fantastic job giving away prizes all day and running a good meeting, and I want to support clubs like that.”

Mirfin will venture into the North West on Saturday in search of more Country Cup success, with Island Press taking on the Merriwa Cup (1350m), and he is confident that he is the horse to beat in the $20,000 feature race.

For Grenfell’s results, click here

For Merriwa’s nominations, click here.