Racehorse Black Caviar still has a way to go to equal country racehorse legend Picnic in the Park.
Racehorse Black Caviar still has a way to go to equal country racehorse legend Picnic in the Park. JOE CASTRO

Country champ's picnic of Caviar

THE deeds of the incomparable Black Caviar and her 19 successive wins serve to revive memories of the country champ, Picnic in the Park who set an Australian record - at the time - of 21 successive wins.

Trained at Murgon by colourful character Malcolm Raabe, Picnic in the Park broke down badly at Rockhampton, when leading, whilst attempting a 22nd successive win.

A well-bred and well-related galloper, by Lunchtime from the Todman mare Tod Lass, Picnic in the Park was obtained from Sydney by Raabe after he had only a few starts.

Picnic in the Park claimed victory in Gympie early in the winning sequence and later became the last horse to win two races in one day at a TAB meeting at the Gold Coast.

He also started at 80/1 in one of the wins at Townsville and was just nudged out of being the Queensland Horse of the Year by one point.

Picnic in the Park also got caught up in the great caffeine saga after a win at Mackay.

At the time there was a string of caffeine positives across the state including one from Picnic in the Park at Mackay.

It was subsequently found that some disposable implements used in the testing laboratories where impregnated with caffeine.

Two horses in country racing have bettered the record of Picnic in the Park, with Sava Jet and Miss Petty winning 22 races in a row.

Quarter horse Sava Jet won 22 sprint races in North Queensland in the early '80s before being exported to race in the USA.

Miss Petty began her winning sequence in a Goondiwindi maiden in 1985, and won her 22nd race when she broke the track record in an 1100m open at Longreach in '89.

Planet Ruler holds the record in Brisbane for the most consecutive wins with 10 successes in the '87-'88 season.

Heavyweight jockey Chris Smith, who rode Picnic in the Park to 18 successive wins, has the jockeys' record for the most consecutive victories.

Cyril Small rode the great Vo Rogue to 22 wins, which is a record for the number of wins by a Brisbane horse.

These stats are courtesy of a great little book A Guide to Qld Thoroughbred Racing edited by Mark Oberhardt.

It is currently advertised for $4.95 on the Racing Queensland website and deserves to be in the possession of all racing enthusiasts.


Lady wins maiden

HIDDEN Dragon filly Lady Rutherford provided her owners and breeders, Fred and Mrs Brooks, with a change in fortunes when she won the QTIS maiden at Wondai last Saturday. As QTIS eligible, Lady Rutherford collected the $6100 first prize for her all-the-way win over the 1100m.

Her dam, Miss Rutherford, had triumphed over the same distant when she scored her final race win in a Wondai Diggers Cup in 2004, the eighth win of the Celestial Dancer mare's career.

The Brooks have had some bad luck with the progeny of Miss Rutherford with a Sequalo gelding having broken a leg.


Bookie packs up

THIS Saturday sees the final betting meeting at the Gympie Racecourse.

Bookmaker Noel Nelson recently ceased fielding at betting meetings at the racecourse and the GTC Committee decided to end the meetings this Saturday.


Craigleas' still winning

CRAIGLEA Fighter and Craiglea Gee Tee continued the winning roll for the Johnstons at Townsville last Tuesday.

Craiglea Fighter, trained in Bundaberg by Darryl Gardiner, won the 1000m open for his fifth win from eight starts this preparation.

The well-travelled Falvelon galloper has won two at Bundaberg, two at Townsville and at Thangool since resuming.

Craiglea Gee Tee, trained in Gympie by Peter Fleming, is also by Falvelon and has won two on end in Townsville.


Marquees booked up

THE St Patrick's race meeting, scheduled for next Saturday, is the first in Gympie for this year and is sure to attract a large and enthusiastic crowd after a break of three months from racing action at the Southside racecourse.

All available marquees have been booked and summer fashions will take centre stage in the Fashions of the Field.