Talmoi Picnic Races reeled in the crowds at the weekend with the second biggest meet in the club’s 101 years.
The day provided highlights on the track as well. Former club president Jock Hunter achieved his dream win with General Relativity, and Moree trainer Peter Sinclair managed to snare wins in two races including the coveted Talmoi Cup.
Hunter said winning the race was a special moment for him.
The WC&R Hunter Memorial Talmoi Cup is ran in honour of his parents.
He unfortunately missed out on having General Relativity race in last year’s centenary meet as the horse came down with a cold.
“I’m happy to have won it in the 101st year.”
Hunter said this was the first of the picnics that General Relativity had been able to race to plan.
Sinclair agreed, saying a heavy track at Mallawa had slowed General Relativity up.
“His best pattern is when he sits back a bit,” Sinclair said.
“We went to Mallawa with a bit of expectation. (Jockey) Patrick Kelly took him up the front but that’s not his style and he just got knocked-up.”
Kelly rode General Relativity again at Talmoi.
Hunter said he was worried about General Relativity’s distance from the front coming in to the final straight at Talmoi. He said the theory was to be at or near the front coming into the short 200m straight.
“It’s known to be a tricky track; not really suited to our horse.
“I was worried at the straight but he just went around outside and came around to the front. He finished strongly. He is finishing better every race.”
In second place for the Cup was Segovian, trained by Graham Shields, and in third was Peter Cleal’s Tough Habit.
Sinclair also had a good outcome in the HT Siddins Memorial Class B Handicap with Lady Cinnamon coming in first place and Ree ‘n’ Trav in second.
“Lady Cinnamon has only been with me for three starts for a win, a second and a win so she’s been very consistent,” he said.
Fellow Moree trainer Martin Fernando’s horse Kokoda Star came home in third place in the 1000m Maiden Plate.
Another of his horses, El Valiente, placed third in the HT Siddins Memorial Class B Handicap.
The 1000m Helen Boland Memorial Trophy Handicap was won by Lenny’s Lot trained by Luke Berger, followed by Suchathing in second and Dextrus in third, both trained by Thomas Popp.
With Talmoi wrapping up a successful Golden Triangle for Sinclair, he said has enjoyed each meet.
“The picnic races are so different because of the dirt tracks. You never know if they will be hard or soft but I enjoy the picnics, they are each a good day out,”
The race day was hugely successful with a very strong crowd in attendance and quite a few bookmakers as well.
Hunter said local bookmaker Terry Picone had acknowledged Talmoi as one of the “better meets” for bookies.
The big screen was a hit with the crowd playing both live races and city meetings.