By Tom McNish

THE Woolamai and District Racing Club (WDRC) put it all on show to a sold-out crowd for the first of the ‘open’ picnic races of the 2020-21 season.

WDRC president Robert Carmichael said there was a strong appreciation from local participants and spectators.

“The people are appreciating the racing today and have come down to have a bit of fun,” Carmichael said.

“This time of the year is always quite busy with racing, so we’re happy to have 34 horses on the track today,” he said.

Five out of the six races were run in beautiful sunny conditions, with rain falling, then setting in following the final race.

Around the course family parties made up a strong representation of local supporters.

But following race four, there weren’t any local winners.

“We haven’t had a local winner just yet, Kellie Hill from Drouin had a nice win in the second race,” Carmichael said.

Carmichael said preparing for the event was difficult.

“We have had some challenges around the COVID-safe procedures, it’s a lot of extra work that goes into organising this,” he said.

“Our secretary Adam Olszanski has done an excellent job making sure everything is spaced out safely.”

“We were hoping crowd numbers would be bigger for the next Picnic Race, but we’ll have to wait and see,” Carmichael said.

The Picnic Season started with a closed meeting on November 28.

“We took the punt and ran a trial meeting, it was really appreciated by the participants,” he said.

Can Get A Witness kicked off proceedings with a photo finish in Goodzo’s Bucks Trophy 2008m – with jockey Shaun Cooper enjoying the first of two wins on the day – narrowly reaching the finish line by just 0.1L ahead of Randolph.

Then, five-year-old bay gelding Copthorne took out the Castra Legal Costing Maiden 1008m followed by Viking Myth and Galaxy Rock.

Trainer Anne McCormick saw the first of two wins in Brad Gray 50th Birthday Bash Trophy 1008m as Leigh Taylor comfortably rode Kuroyume to the finish line.

The margins tightened in the fourth race with Spinrich taking victory by 0.4L in the Mickey Gordon Island Dash Trophy 1008m before McCormick recorded her second win with Change It Up in Jan Caton’s 50th Birthday Maiden 1608m.

And Cooper finished the day off with a win on Dash For Dee in the Oz-Laid Concreting Handicap 1508m.

The next picnic race is set for Saturday, January 16, with tickets available on the club’s website at woolamairaces.com.au.