Bedgerabong Picnic Races vice president Russell Constable hailed last Saturday’s race meet a huge success, with around 2500 people turning out in support of the late Stuart Brown.
Mr Brown lost his battle with cancer last November. He was a Bedgerabong local, and was the tallest jockey in Australian racing history, and worked tirelessly to keep his weight in the 60 kilo range.
He was a successful jockey in his 20-year career, bagging more than 200 race wins, including three at his home Bedgerabong Cup. His first home win came in 2004. This year’s Bedgerabong Cup was renamed ‘The Stuart Brown Memorial Bedgerabong Picnic Race Club Cup’ in Mr Brown’s honour, and was solely sponsored by the Picnic Race Club instead of being offered to an independent sponsor, as it had been in the past.
A delegate of Mr Brown’s family was present in a marquee on the day to represent the late local. Mr Constable said the day was emotional, but one to remember with tight results in most of the six races. “The Bedgerabong Cup was Stuart’s favourite race, being a Bedgerabong boy, so it was for the committee and his family for him not to be there,” he said. “It was quite emotional at the Cup, but we expected it to be.”
“But each race went well. We had great horse numbers, the races were good, the track was fantastic, and the fields were good. We can only race a maximum of 10 horses per race, and we had a couple with the full ten and others with eight.”
“These numbers were very good for a little Cup meeting.” This year’s Cup winner was third favourite Financial Gain, ridden by Billy Owen and trained by Kelly Milliner. The nine-year old bay gelding came in just 0.8 seconds ahead of runner-up Two Naughty, and won it’s second successive Bedgerabong Cup.
It was also its second win in consecutive weekends, after winning in Gilgandra with previous weekend. Mr Constable said the tight racing on the day made for a great spectacle for all 2500 people at the ground, and thanked them all for braving the hot weather. “The patrons braved the heat and they stayed there. It was up by a little bit on last year’s crowd which is great. We had a lot of
people in the fashions on the field as well,” he said.
Long serving committee member Bill Brown also received a life membership to the club.