There will be a tense mood around Kylie Kennedy’s place at Narromine leading into Sunday’s inaugural $50,000 Showcase Picnic Championships Final (1400m) at Dubbo Turf Club.
Kennedy has three hopefuls set to go around in the feature event but her partner Ricky Blewitt, winner of last season’s picnic jockey premiership, won’t ride any of them.
“Ricky has accepted the ride on one from the stable of Gilgandra trainer Bruce Parker – I’m not impressed,” Kennedy joked.
Ricky has accepted the ride on one from the stable of Gilgandra trainer Bruce Parker – I’m not impressed.Kylie Kennedy
Kennedy rates The Real McCoy as her strongest chance of the trio with the seven-year-old having only made two appearances for the stable, finishing third in a class three (1700m) at Louth before runner-up in the Cobar Picnic Cup (1700m).
“He is building up nicely for the Picnic Championships Final at Dubbo. He just hit the front a bit early at Cobar and Ricky was kicking himself that he should have just waited a little longer and would have won.
“He’s the type of horse that you have to time his run. Victorian rider Reece Goodwin will be coming up to ride him at Dubbo.”
Kennedy’s other pair, Zaphod, to be ridden by Daniel Stanley, and Maximoo, with Shannon Fogg in the saddle, will also be primed for the Picnic Championships Final.
“Zaphod is first-up but that’s how he likes to race – nice and fresh,” Kennedy said.
“He’s had a month out in the paddock and hasn’t raced since June but he has the class to win.
“He led all the way to win a TAB race at Parkes in May over 1600m and is a lean horse as he’s always on the move. He’s a real stickybeak and likes to look at everything going on around him.
“Maximoo has never been over the 1400m but he has been settling well in his races lately so we thought we’d give him a crack.
“He was beaten less than a length at Cobar over the 1200m last time out and has only been out of the placings once from his past seven starts.”
Blewitt will ride veteran Double Halo for Parkes from out in barrier 10.
Competing more at TAB meetings recently, Blewitt guided him to his last win back in May of this year at Mudgee.
Double Halo heads into Sunday’s event with 15 wins from 96 career starts.
Dubbo trainer Michael Lunn will have Didyahearme going from barrier five in the event. The six-year-old is coming off back-to-back seconds at Mendooran and Collarenebri.