Walker’s winning ways at Woolamai
IN a day of thrilling finishes among a highly charged atmosphere of competitive racing, Woolamai and District Race Club hosted its third meeting of the season on Saturday afternoon.
The camera in the judge’s box had to work overtime to separate the winners; however Cranbourne jockey Dani Walker took it all in her stride as she chalked up a double to snare riding honours on the six race programme.
Riding with tenacity, patience and vigour, Walker was able to bring her horses into the race at just the right time to gain the ascendancy over adversaries and find the finishing line when it mattered most.
The first race on the card saw local Woolamai jockey Sophie Logan pick up where she left off, guiding the Cranbourne trained Mystyko home for win number two at the Woolamai circuit this season.
After being slowly into stride, Logan didn’t panic and was able to guide Mystyko into clear air around the home turn and put a gap on its rivals in the straight.
The young Woolamai jockey, who rides regularly for the strong Shae Eden stable, continues to build an impressive record and is starting to show a particular affinity for her home track.
Race two saw the first of Walker’s wins, aboard the Seymour trained Mirrabilly.
The nine year old horse was positioned just off the leaders till the home turn and then presented for its run down the centre of the track before clinging on to victory in a driving three way finish.
The third event on the card would have seen backers of the Sale trained Dreams Do Come True nervous as the gates opened, with the horse missing the start by several lengths.
Jockey Grant Seccombe, showing steely nerves and a calm demeanour, calculated that the shortest way home was along the rails.
Grant’s grandfather Ron Keddie was on track and would no doubt be proud of the way his grandson rode, as it was the first time he had been there to witness Grant cross the finishing line in first place.
Race four went to last start Woolamai winner Mr Gogarty, bringing up the second of Walker’s wins.
In a race of tactics that saw the action heat up a fair way out, Mr Gogarty strode up with purpose to the leaders with around 500 metres to run and after a stirring battle up the home straight, again proved his staying prowess to prevail in the shadows of the winning post.
The fifth event was a good result for Pakenham trainer Di Clover, whose horse Shes A Head Turner cruised to a comfortable win.
Veteran jockey “Razor” Ray Douglas took full advantage of the inside gate, with the horse never headed from the start and eased down over the concluding stages to score by three lengths.
The final event was another ripper finish, which saw the Cranbourne trained Barley Mo make it two wins in a row.
Trainer Rachel Cunningham and rider Max Keenan have combined to give the horse two confidence boosting wins and Keenan’s experience was evident in the final 100 metres as he steered the mare home to score narrowly.
However, the day belonged to Walker, courtesy of her two dashing winning rides and this brought up her first winning double since daughter Zoey was born two years prior.
Once again a good sized crowd was in attendance and the race club appears destined for another successful season.
An entertaining sight throughout the afternoon was the 50 friends and family who had dressed as super heroes, sponsoring race 4 as a gesture for their friend’s birthday.
Club vice president and top race broadcaster Adam Olszanski commented; “the club can tick off another terrific day at Woolamai and it was a wonderful afternoon both on and off track. We now look forward to our showcase race, the Woolamai Cup, to be run at the next meeting here on February 10.”
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