On January 26 this year, Balnarring Picnics hosted their traditional Australia Day meeting in front of an enormous crowd at Emu Plains Reserve.
Over the past decade, this meeting has become not so much a highlight on the picnic racing calendar, but a highlight on the Victorian sporting calendar. Thousands attended the event, filling the front lawn and lining the inside of the track; commandeering marquees and hundreds of shady spots in between.
Highlights on the track: The Balnarring Cup was won by the favourite, Bolshoi Belle, trained by Cliff Murray and ridden by Reece Goodwin. Earn A Quid (trained by John Rattle) made it four wins in a row and jockeys Courtney Pace and Reece Goodwin both rode doubles.
Congratulations must go to Peter Spyker (president), Richard Daly (secretary) and their hard working volunteer committee on successfully managing one of Victoria’s “must attend” annual events.
Balnarring Picnics will race next on the Labour Day Weekend, Sunday March 12, and our last meeting for the year will be Easter Saturday, April 15. BYO drinks and picnic and relax, as the kids can buy a ‘ride pass’ to all attractions to keep them amused all day. Entry $10 adults, free for those under 18. Gates open at 10am with ample parking, so make your plans now.
If you haven’t experienced racing at Balnarring before, it is a must and only one hour’s drive from Melbourne. A competitive six-race card will draw plenty of runners and you won’t miss any of the racing action, with on-course bookmakers, Tote, punters’ club and plenty of room by the mounting yard to get a good view of the horses. There will be a selection of tasty local food stalls and wines and a well-stocked public bar to choose from when enjoying a celebratory drink between races.
Tickets for our meetings can be purchased online through the website (balnarringraces.com) using your credit card. See you at the races!
By Bernie Dobson, for Balnarring Picnic Racing Club