Sunday's planned Parkes Gold Cup had to be relocated after our sodden shire received yet more rain in the lead-up, but in a happy result the Gold Cup has been presented to Parkes' very own Warwick Wheeldon.
The well-known local is a member of the syndicate that owns Gold Cup winner Foodie King, that took out the feature race on Sunday at Gilgandra, where the TAB meeting was transferred.
Parkes Jockey Club president Mark Ross, with CEO Mike Phillips from sponsor Parkes Services Club, was delighted to present the Cup to Wheeldon on behalf of connections.
Ross said the track received about 45mm of rain last week, and was unfortunately deemed unsafe by stewards on Friday.
They weren't alone either: our race caller and columnist Colin Hodges reported many meetings were abandoned on the weekend.
Wheeldon made the trip to Gilgandra on Sunday and it was well worth his while with the syndicate, which does have other local Parkes and Forbes connections, winning a treble thanks to trainer Michael Mulholland from Wellington and jockey Serg Lisnyy.
Wheeldon extended his thanks to them and added that the Gilgandra Jockey Club looked after the Parkes guests well.
Parkes Jockey Club now shifts its focus to one of the annual highlights' of Parkes' social calendar, the Parkes Picnic Races on the June long weekend.
Make your plans, we'll see you there!
On the racing: Colin Hodges reported Foodie King, the $2.80 favourite, had a nice run behind the leader Milamoo in the 2022 Parkes Services Club Gold Cup, run at Gilgandra, before hitting the front to win the Cup by a long neck.
His report on the day follows:
Already regarded as an outstanding trainer, Michael Mulholland from Wellington further enhanced his reputation with a winning treble which included Foodie King in the feature event on Sunday at Gilgandra.
Gilgandra hosted the meeting due to a waterlogged track at Parkes and Serg Lisnyy made the most of his trip from Wyong to ride the three winners, Cheptegei, Foodie King and Radegast for Mulholland.
Foodie King ($2.80 favourite) had a nice run behind the leader Milamoo before hitting the front to win the 1400 metres Parkes Services Club Parkes Cup by a long neck from Weather Channel (Ronald Simpson,4.20) with Milamoo (Michael Heagney, $5) battling on for third.
Earlier, Cheptegei (Serg Lisnyy) landed a $14 to $3.90 favourite betting plunge when coming with a late rush to beat The Pres (Amira Kajiya, $4.60) and Harley Fat Boy (James Rogers, $20) in a very close finish to the 1600 metres Class 2 Handicap.
Completing the Mulholland/Lisynn treble, Radegast ( $10 to $8 ) from well back flashed home to win the 1200 metres Benchmark 58 Handicap in a three way photo finish from the Sharon Jeffries, Parkes trained pair Zoey Lass (Andrew Banks, $41) and Jin Chi Phantom (Tiffany Jeffries, $14).
A great ride by local apprentice Zara Lewis played an important role in the Bryan Dixon, Gilgandra trained Ecker Road beating a field of smart sprinters in the 1200 metres Telescope Tyres & Batteries Satellite Handicap.
Parked behind the leaders, Ecker Road ($4.20) secured a rails run to dart clear for a convincing win over Jailbreak (Ronald Simpson, $3.40 fav.) and Rogue Runner (Elissa Meredith, $14).
Bryan Dixon also won the 1000 metres Hankook Tyres Benchmark 58 Handicap with the well performed mare Rebecca's Quest (Jake Barrett, $14) which from the back of the field stormed home to beat Extra Flash (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $6) by a nose with No Debt (Clayton Gallagher, $2.60 fav.) a short neck away third.
The 1000 metres Maiden Handicap was delayed when apprentice Ashleigh Stanley received treatment after being struck in the face by her mount Arctic Rover in the mounting yard.
Patched up by the ambulance officers, Ashleigh Stanley bravely climbed back in the saddle and led all the way on the Dean Mirfin, Bathurst trained Arctic Rover ($21) to beat Rhythmic Song (Jackson Searle, $3.70 ) and the Victorian visitor Riverside Special (Michael Heagney, $2.30 fav.).
Dean Mirfin then won the following race with Astrolith ( Tony Cavallo,$1.85 fav.) which overcame an outside barrier to race near the lead and score a photo finish win over Zoisite (James Rogers, $26) and Stunning Sunrise (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $10) in the 1000 metres Bugman Maiden Handicap.
The other races were won by the Clint Lundholm trained Starlink (Elissa Meredith, $3.50) and the Brett Robb trained Morgenstern (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $5).
Gilgandra is rated the best wet weather track in the region and with so many abandonments around the State it was good to see the Gilgandra Jockey Club stage the meeting at such short notice.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.