Racing behind close doors

Liam Durkin

RACING was held behind closed gates at Sale Turf Club on Tuesday, as the industry operates under strict biosecurity measures because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fittingly, the names of all eight races carried a COVID-19 theme, with Sale Turf Club showing its appreciation to those fighting the virus by having the names of the first three races at Greenwattle starting with ‘Thank you’ and ending in ‘Doctors and Nurses’ (race one), ‘Health Providers’ (race two) and ‘Essential Services’ (race three).

Other race names included the Stay Home If You Can Plate, Social Distancing Please, Wash Your Hands Handicap, Get Your Flu Shot Handicap and the Stay Well Handicap.

Pleasant conditions greeted trainers and jockeys, and the track was rated a ‘soft six’ for the afternoon.

Some high profile figures in the racing industry tasted success , with three time Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver riding home two winners, along with young gun Jye McNeil who did likewise.

Trainer Patrick Payne also had a good day out, seeing two of his horses salute at the finishing post.

McNeil began the day riding Show Some Decorum to victory in the two-year-old Maiden Plate, before Oliver steered Ameliaranne home in the next race – the three-year-old Fillies Maiden Plate.

McNeil and trainer Luke Oliver combined to win race three, with McNiel seeing It’s A Rah home in the Maiden Plate.

Damien Oliver rode appropriately-named Sign Seal Deliver to victory in the race four Maiden Plate.

Race five was won by Sierra Sue in the Benchmark 64 handicap, before Payne got his first winner on the board in race six with Analytica running well.

The final two races saw wins to the Jamie Edwards trained Humzz, and another win to Payne with Ididitforlove rounding out the day.

Racing will be held next at Greenwattle Racecourse on Tuesday, April 28