On Sunday July 1, Bigga local Dennis Picker claimed his biggest victory as a driver in the Four-Year-Old Mares $100k race at Menangle.
Driving Elle Yeah, a mare that he originally broke in as a yearling, Picker said that the hard work he put in with the horse has finally begun to reap rewards.
“I’ve had her all the way through really, I’ve done everything with her,” Picker said.
“She actually had 12 starts before she won a race, but like a lot of ‘em, sometimes they take a little bit to get going.
“But once she hit her straps, we always knew she was going to be a nice mare.”
And Elle Yeah proved exactly how nice a mare she could be last Sunday, when she ran to a to a last stride head victory despite starting the race as a heavy underdog pick.
“We sort of weren’t quite expected to win it,” Picker said.
“[We were] a really short price favourite in the race, I think we were about a 12 or 13 dollar shot, so there wasn’t a lot of pressure leading into the race.
“But at the same time, myself and everyone at home thought that we had a bit of a shot, so it was a perfect way to go into a big race really.”
In fact, it was actually at a race about a month prior to last Sunday that Picker realised he and Elle Yeah had a good chance in the race, despite the bookmakers’ predictions.
“The horse that was the dollar thirty favourite or something [last weekend], about five weeks’ prior to the big race on Sunday we actually ran second to it,” Picker said.
“And we done a lot of work that day in that race, so I thought with the cushy run in behind it, rather than doing a heap of work … I thought with a good run today the tables could turn.
“So I was a bit confident.”
Following on from last weekend’s success, Picker will travel to Queensland to compete for the next few weeks.
“We’re gonna stay at Coolangatta for three weeks with a team of seven,” he said.
“The winter carnival’s on up here, for the trotters, so we’ll just be racing up here for the next three weeks.
“Elle Yeah will race in a big mare’s race on Saturday night … and we’ll do our best.
“It’s sort of an open-class mare’s race so we’ll see how she goes up here.”