WAYNE Marsden travels vast distances from Menindee in far western New South Wales to race his small team and it was a deserved reward when he won the Nyngan Picnic Cup on Saturday with Late Return.
Hawkesbury based Michael Wade also made a long trip to take the ride, and settled his mount midfield with Jawsome racing to a big lead in the 1250 metres cup which attracted a field of handy gallopers.
Fifth around the home turn, Late Return ($8) came down the outside to win by over two lengths from I Am Dynamic (Ricky Blewitt, $4.50) and Drummed Out (Alexandre Lemarie, $6.50).
Brazilian born Leandro Ribeiro, competing at his first race meeting in Australia, rode a winning double - Eagleworks for Dubbo trainer Connie Greig and the opening event on Mendonsa Kiss for Nyngan trainer Rodney Robb.
A strong finishing third to Praline and Dawnstar at Dubbo's TAB meeting last week, Eagleworks (Ribeiro, $3 favourite) was in a handy position turning for home at Nyngan.
It was a decisive winner by over four lengths from What Diddy Say (Maddison Wright, $6) and Not Negotiating (Brent Evans, $4.40) in the 1250 metres Class B Handicap.
First leg of a Robb double was Mendonsa Kiss (Ribeiro, $8.50), which tracked the leaders in the 900 metres Maiden Plate and was able to overhaul Princess Zafirah (Ashley Boyd, $6) and Saint Rodney (Wright, $2 favourite).
Resuming from a break, the Robb trained Thermosa (Wright, $1.35 favourite) humped the 71 kilogram top weight and led all the way to score by over five lengths from Squared (Ribeiro, $9.50) and Still Undaunted (Lemarie, $3.80) in the 900 metres Open Trophy Handicap
Thermosa was awarded the Horse Of The Year title for the Western Racing Association last season.
Scone trainer Mark Scmetzer had plenty to celebrate on Saturday as he won the Highway Handicap at Royal Randwick with $41 outsider Leo and the 900 metres Class 2 Handicap at Nyngan with Military Bay.
Ashley Boyd had Military Bay ($4.40) in a good spot behind the leaders before breaking clear to beat Pullman Brown (Wayne Wheatley, $7.50) and Policy (Wright,$3.20).
Well ridden by Blewitt, the Garry Lunn, Dubbo trained Dusktilldawn ($3.20) from last early worked to second on the final turn then cleared out to beat Wilburglen (Ribeiro, $2.30 favourite) and Small Dream (Wright, $6.50) in the 1600 metres Class 1 Handicap.
Cowra to race on Saturday followed by Dubbo on Friday, July 17.