Quality field assembles for Grenfell Picnic Cup

The Grenfell Picnic Race Club will host their annual meeting on Saturday, April 15. Photo: Racing Photography.

Saturday’s $10,000 Lane Cove Rugby Legends Doug Allen Memorial Grenfell Picnic Cup is shaping up to be one of, if not the best Picnic Cup this season.  

A field of seven will go around in the 1400m event, and they would all look in the right place at a full TAB meeting. 

“It is a good race,” said Ricky Blewitt, who will ride the Robb Potter-trained Madison Point. 

“They are pretty much all TAB horses when you go through them.”

Blewitt has ridden recent Bathurst and Crookwell winner Our Blue Moon (Dean Mirfin, Breanna Bourke) and last-start Tullibigeal Cup winner Broo Boss (Peter Kirby, Tamsin Gough), while 2022 Picnic Champion Series winner Hemsted (Connie Greig, Leandro Ribeiro) headlines the field as the top weight (70kg).

There is also Bobby’s Secret (Melissa Harrison, Sally Faulks), which won a full TAB race at Goulburn three starts back; recent Crookwell Cup winner Namarari (Mont Waters, Emily Waters); and potentially the Michael Mulholland-trained Golden Eclipse, which boasts good recent TAB form at Mudgee.  

“Hemsted won the Championship last year, and you’ve got Madison Point, and Our Blue Moon, and Broo Boss bobs every now and then, and he won at Tullibigeal, and he is an honest old fella. 

“Then you have Mont’s (Waters) horse Namarari, which beat Madison Point at Crookwell.”

Blewitt had his choice of at least three rides in the race, but he committed to 2023 Yass Cup winner Madison Point after their second to Namarari in last month’s Funny Hill Picnic Cup at Crookwell.

“I had already taken the ride on Madison Point; Rob told me after Crookwell he was going to Grenfell, and I took the ride,” Blewitt said. 

“Dean rang me last weekend and told me he might be going to Grenfell (with Our Blue Moon), and I told him that I already had the ride on Madison Point.”

The Canberra galloper is a proven Picnic Cup performer, and Blewitt explained there was a particular nuance to riding the eight-year-old.

“Rob has always said you can’t give him a good squeeze out because if he gets up on the bit, he can over-race,” Blewitt said. 

“You need to let him come out neutral, and he’ll be there in the second half (of the field), and from there, we’ll see how he goes, but he is definitely a good chance.”

With many of Saturday’s Grenfell Cup runners on target to contest the $50,000 Picnic Champion Series final at Coonamble on October 8, Blewitt will have his pick of runners. 

However, he was quick to reaffirm his allegiance. 

“With Madison Point, Rob asked me if I would be interested in riding him in the Championship final if he gets in, and it’s the same with Our Blue Moon with Dean Mirfin,” Blewitt said. 

“I said to be Rob and Dean, if one of Peter Sinclair’s gets into the final, I’ll ride it, as he has been one of my biggest supporters, so we’ll see what happens.”

While much attention will be on the Grenfell Picnic Cup, a solid six-race program will keep punters and racegoers entertained. 

The $7,500 Grenfell Bracelet (1000m) will see the sprinters converge, and Blewitt believes he is a big chance of winning the jump and run event, when combined with Dean Mirfin.

“It’s probably Kimmylee in the sprint,” Blewitt replied when asked about his best chance on the program. 

“I rode her a fortnight ago at Tomingley, and she goes pretty well. “She jumps and puts herself in the race and has a really nice turn of foot.”

In somewhat of a rarity at the picnics, there will be a 2000m Class One Trophy, and Blewitt is on another good chance when riding Thetis for Peter Kirby. 

“It isn’t a bad little race when you’re going through them,” Blewitt said. 

“That thing of Joe Cleary’s (Vigoureux) might take some beating, and his three that are racing there are going to the breeding barn, and they’ll be on the money.

“Thetis is a chance, and four starts ago at Bathurst, he ran a good race, and I know he will stay.”

As always, it will be a good day of racing at Grenfell, while the club will have plenty happening off-track, keeping all demographics entertained. 

For more on the race day, click here

For Grenfell’s fields, click here.