THOUSANDS flocked to the Woolamai picnic races on Saturday to enjoy the six-race meet in fine conditions after the early morning smoke cleared.
Locals and holidaymakers drove or took the convenient bus down to Woolamai and soaked up the country atmosphere trackside.
It was the second year running of the Mickey Gordon Island Dash (1008m) – named after the late Michael Gordon.
“It will continue to be run and so well supported by friends and family,” said Woolamai and District Racing Club secretary Adam Olszanski.
“I’m sure that Michael will be absolutely chuffed at the turnout and the racing.”
The track’s just down the road from his house he used to love going to, Adam said, in an area he loved coming to – especially Phillip Island.
“He would’ve loved to have seen the competition of this race,” he said, before handing the microphone over to Michael’s son, Scott, to say a few words.
Mornington trainer Nicole Dickson’s Elusive Shine narrowly took out the race by 0.2L, followed by Udyta Clarke’s It’s A Shame Billy and then by a margin of 1.45L, Reg Manning’s Warrigal Mac.
Adam welcomed Saturday’s crowd and said they’re constantly trying to improve comfortability, while opening up new areas.
“We’re trying to think of new things; and it’s still a happy, festive crowd,” Adam said.
“We’re trying to encourage the younger generation,” he said.
The club’s done a lot of advertising on Facebook this year. And it looks like it’s been working with an increase in young families attending the picnic races.
And, of course, thanks must go to everyone who supported the Bushfire Appeal fundraiser.
In partnership with the Woodleigh Vale Unit of the Australian Red Cross, the club’s pleased to announce that $3778.75 was raised.
The next race meet is on Saturday, January 18; followed by the Alex Scott & Staff Woolamai Cup on Saturday, February 8, the Community Clubs Race Day on February 22, and
St Pat’s Races on Sunday, March 15.
Pakenham trainer Adele Garraway’s Erotic (NZ) took out the first race of the day – the HMR Heritage Trophy (1708m) – after a starting price of $5.
Rachael Cunningham’s Step On It came first in the Cavallo Reigns Handicap (2008m).
Trainer Nicole Dickson’s Elusive Shine narrowly took out the Mickey Gordon Island Dash (1008m) by 0.2L in the three-horse race following a late scratching.
In the Thompson’s Woolamai Park Cup (1508m), Sale trainer Troy Kilgower’s Riohsei went home with an easy win by 2.25L.
In the TJ Memorial Maiden (1508m), Glenn Thornell’s Evening Spice came first.
And in the Grantville & District Community Bank Trophy (1008m), the punters’ favourite – Mornington trainer Rebecca Waymouth’s Nankervis – soared to victory by 11L.
More photos in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
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