Peter Sinclair kicked off the Golden Triangle of racing in fine style at Moree Picnics on Saturday, preparing three winners on the six-race-program.
In yet another successful day at his home track, Sinclair trained the winner of the feature event on the program, with Liberty Head taking out the 1400m Boolooroo Moree Picnic Cup for jockey Michael Johnston.
Sinclair also combined with legendary picnic hoop, Ricky Blewitt, winning the 950m Vanderfield Bracelet with Scout and the 1600m Class Two Trophy with Ajay’s Ace.
“It was great and nice to get a few winners, it’s hard enough to get a winner anywhere these days,” Sinclair laughed.
Liberty Head only just won the Moree Cup, beating home the Connie Greig trained Equilibrium by 0.07 of a length, while Sinclair’s second runner and race favourite Solar Panel finished third, only 0.72 of a length behind Liberty Head.
“I thought I had a good chance in the cup, Liberty Head was going well, and Solar Panel looked suited,” Sinclair said.
“Liberty Head was going to the Gunnedah Cup, but he got balloted out, so we reverted back to Moree, which worked out well.
“It was hard to split them. Liberty Head had a bit more weight and a younger jockey, and Solar Panel is a bush button to ride type of horse and he had Ricky on board, but If you asked me to have a bet, I would have said to stay out.”
Sinclair praised his young hoop for a good ride on his four-year-old in the $5,000 feature race.
“It was the perfect ride for Liberty Head,” Sinclair explained.
“He is one of those horses that he will be cruising at the 600m, and he can lead jockeys into a false sense of security.
“He usually hits a flat spot and because he (Johnston) got him going early, he didn’t hit that flat spot because he had his momentum and he won well.”
While happy to have won the three races, Scout’s win in the Moree Bracelet surprised Sinclair.
“To be honest, I didn’t think we could win the bracelet, I thought Folkstone was too fast,” Sinclair said.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to beat Folkstone three times, but I thought he would get too far back, but it was a nice win.”
Sinclair explained that he had particular owners who wanted runners set for the picnics, and although the prizemoney didn’t compare to TAB racing, the Moree-based trainer and his connections enjoyed the atmosphere of picnic racing.
“I love it. We have two lots of owners in particular who only race at the picnics,” Sinclair said.
“They don’t care about the rest of the year, but they want to race as the picnics and we even purchase horses just for the picnics.
“They all want their bragging rights, and they wear their coloured ties. Obviously the prizemoney is a bit inferior, but it’s not about the prizemoney with those fellas, they enjoy the races.”
“We only really go to Moree, Talmoi, Mallawa and Wean, so we don’t get much of a chance to race at the picnics,” Sinclair said.
The veteran trainer praised the Moree Picnic Racing Club, and he believed the club boasted one of the best tracks for picnic racing in the state.
“It was a good day. They pretty much have a new, young committee and it’s a good club and one of the better tracks for picnic racing,” Sinclair said.
In other winners on the day, Dubbo duo Brett Robb and Maddy Wright combined to win two races, with Combogolong emerging victorious in the 950m Class B Handicap and Skullharderson proving too good in the 1200m Class Three Trophy.
Leading NSW picnic trainer and jockey duo, Connie Greig and Leandro Ribeiro, also tasted success with Lishades taking out the 950m Maiden Plate.