Thrills and spills at St Patrick’s
Monday, 16th March, 2020
By Michael Murphy
Punters witnessed a race and track record in the Outback Cup on Saturday, but the 55th annual St Patrick’s meeting belonged to trainer Nathan Hobson and jockey Madison Lloyd, who teamed up to win five out of the eight races.
It was a superb effort for the Swan Hill-based team Hobson, which won races two, three, five, seven and eight - the Outback Sprint.
Cranbourne jockey Rhonda Mangan rode the David Jolly-trained Fulton Street to perfection to win race six - the Outback Cup - by five lengths, clocking up the new race and track record.
The meeting wasn’t without drama.
Jockey Murray Henderson was injured just before the last race after his mount Aussie Bob reared in the mounting yard, tipping the veteran hoop over the fence and onto the track.
Aussie Bob followed Henderson over the fence, bending the metal pole supporting the fence line, kicking his back legs in the air as he straddled it.
The horse bolted across the track, smashed through the inside rail and took off into the centre of the course.
A standby ambulance took Henderson to hospital for x-rays and observation, Aussie Bob received lacerations but appeared to escape serious injury.
The race was delayed by half an hour to allow another ambulance to make its way to the course, so organisers decided to run the Leprechaun novelty footrace, originally scheduled after race eight.
The fastest Leprechauns in the Silver City lined up on the track, 100 metres from the finishing line.
Former Crow’s superstar Tony Modra started the race, and they were off. Tom McRae emerged from the green streak to claim the $1,000 in prizemoney, thanks to Vines Furniture One and the Comfort Inn.
Horses and jockeys then began to prepare for the last race, without Aussie Bob and Henderson.
Without the injured rider - it was soon realised that another record would be broken in the last. It would be the first race in St Pat’s history that featured all-female jockeys, much to the delight of club president Marg Corradini, who revved up the crowd over the PA.
It was a fitting end to proceedings when Madison Lloyd bolted home on Highway to Success, capping off her quintuple of victories for the day.