A “superb” day at the races

In one of the closest Outback Cup finishes in recent years – Kazoom came home strong to win the day’s major race over the likes of End of Day (8) and Yulong Awesome (6). PICTURE: PATRICK REINCKE
By Patrick Reincke

Fifty-seven years on and the annual St Pats Races still does not fail to entertain.

Racegoers were met with pristine weather as they rolled into the Broken Hill Race Course in their thousands.

With a strong eight-race field pencilled in and the track in excellent condition (despite some early week mayhem), the day was set to deliver, and it did.

“The entertainment value was superb,” said St Pats Race Club President Marg Corradini.

“We haven’t had so many close races in many years.”

Preparation for Saturday’s races was thrown into turmoil when a section of the track “collapsed”.

Steve Radford and the Consolidated Mining & Civil team came to the rescue. Working with organizers to do all they could to get the track back up to scratch.

“It literally collapsed over the other side,” Mrs Corradini said.

“We didn’t know whether we’d be racing.

“Their (CMC) support is always phenomenal, but in our time of need – they came to the party.

“They had excavators, huge trucks, they did an absolutely wonderful job.”

“I had trainers telling me that the track has never been in better condition, the jockeys had no problems at all, everybody was thrilled.”

With the track in good shape and the sun shining, it was time for Race One.

Swan Hill trainer Nathan Hobson, a familiar face at the races since 2016, started his afternoon with a win.

Jockey Stacey Metcalfe riding Petard to a comfortable win over Cassabella and Vegas Destiny.

Hobson and Metcalfe would taste success again in the day’s main race, the Clubs NSW/Keno Outback Cup.

Race Two was a win at home for Heidi Smith.

The Broken Hill trainer spends most of her time on the road travelling to race meets, the rare chance to race in the Silver City not wasted as Meteor’s Man broke through late to cross the line and seal a win.

Mount Compass trainer Trevor Day had a day to celebrate. Recording wins in Races Three and Six.

In Race Three it was a field of seven, but it was a two-horse race by the home straight with Bay of Angels beating Knee Slapper.

Race Six was a little bit closer, but Trevor’s Lettemgo earned him his second win of the day.

Jumping back a bit to Race Four and Paula Trenwith’s The Ladies Man had no troubles getting a victory, breezing past the field by more than two lengths.

Race Five had the closest finish of the day.

Just 0.03 of a length, not even a nose, splitting Robert Linnell’s Hurricane Jack and Kym Healy’s Real Valentia.

What was remarkable was halfway through the 1200m race; Hurricane Jack was a good five-to-six lengths off the leaders.

It wasn’t until the home straight that he blew past the field to get the win.

The big race for the day, the Outback Cup, brought another photo finish with Nathan Hobson scoring his second cup win six years after his first.

Kazoom came home strong with jockey Stacey Metcalfe biding her time to sit behind the leaders until there was an opening.

The final race of the day was the Outback Sprint.

After two photo finishes, Mildura-based trainer Kim Talent, her horse Mr Roger and jockey Michael Vassallo had no intentions of winning by a small margin, storming away to win by almost three lengths.

Despite a few close calls in the mounting yard with some temperamental horses, the day’s racing was full of thrills and, thankfully, no spills.

Looking back on the 57th meet of the St Pats Races, Mrs Corradini thanked all trainers and jockeys for their continued support of the day and is already looking forward to next year.

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