Victorians make presence felt at Leeton picnics

Wangaratta trainer Dan McCarthy (left), his team, and amateur jockey Catherine Masters (second from right) after Ferlaxing (pictured) won the 1600m Open Trophy Race.
Photo: Leeton Jockey Club.

There was a particular Victorian flavour at Leeton Jockey Club’s picnic race day on Saturday, with trainers from south of the border winning half of the card. 

Wangaratta trainer Dan McCarthy only came to the races with two chances but left with two winners, as he teamed up with Catherine Masters for a winning double. 

Masters, who arrived in Leeton with just eight rides and two wins next to her name, was all class for connections. 

She booted home Don’t Hesitate ($2) to a dominant 3.93 lengths win in the 1150m Open Trophy Race, defeating the Ross Purcell-trained Beaujeen (Ricky Blewitt, $6), while in third and 4.63 lengths back was the Kelvin Southey-trained Damselfly’s Kept (Shaun Cooper, $8).

McCarthy and Masters brought up their double in the 1600m Open Trophy Race when Ferlaxing ($2) got home to win by half-a-length over fellow Victorian, the Don Dwyer-trained Dishy’s (Shaun Cooper, $3.50) and 0.6 of a length back in third was the ever-consistent Would Be King (Emily Waters, $3) from the Doug Gorrel yard. 

Dwyer didn’t leave empty-handed, with Kulina (Shaun Cooper, $3.50) proving too good in the 1150m Class B handicap, getting home by 0.91 o a length from the John Nisbet-trained Couple Days (Ricky Blewitt, $1.80) and in third and almost five lengths back was the Chris Davis-trained Creative Prophet (Chelsea Heard, $5). 

NSW and Australia’s leading picnic jockey Leandro Ribeiro wouldn’t be left without either, and he rode the remaining three races on the card when bringing up yet another winning treble. 

Ribeiro continued his good recent run with Darryl Rolfe, guiding Hamish The Swift ($2) to victory in the 1050m Class Two Handicap, defeating the Ron Hockley-trained A Good Move (Tracey Johnson, $5) by 0.15 of a length, and 0.82 of a length back in third was the Craig Weeding-trained Fighting Kayo (Shaun Cooper, $2.50).

Then riding for John Rolfe, Ribeiro booted Chez Symphony ($4) to a popular local win in the 1150m Maiden Plate, with the pair defeating the Gino D’Altorio-trained Lake Tana (Shaun Cooper, $10) by 0.11 of a length and in third and 0.42 of a length back was the Peter Kirby-trained Red Card Rosie (Ricky Blewitt, $12). 

Ribeiro rounded out his treble of wins on the Gino D’Altorio-trained Sonattack ($4) in the 1600m Class B Handicap, which boulted in by more than seven lengths from the Shane Bloomfield-trained Kohinoor Lustre (Shaun Cooper, $10) in second and Ron Hockley-trained Ambusher (Tracey Johnson, $11) in third. 

On a big day of picnic racing, Leeton boasted some of the strongest fields seen at any picnic race meeting in recent years, with ten jockeys in action, meaning big fields and competitive racing. 

Picnic racing action heads to Moree next, with the club hosting the first leg of the Golden Triangle on Saturday, May 27. 

For Leeton’s results, click here.