By Jeff Hanson
Connie Greig and Leandro Ribeiro created their own history at Condobolin picnics on Saturday, with the pair both winning five races.
Ribeiro rode five to victory, along with a second placing from his six race rides, teaming up with Rodney Robb in the first event to win the 1000m Maiden Plate aboard Acres Midnight ($1.80).
Following his first victory, Greig would train the remainder of the card, and Ribeiro would ride four more winners for the Dubbo trainer, only losing in the Condobolin Cup when guiding Get Up Alby to second behind the Brent Evans-ridden Valadyium.
Training the Condobolin Cup quinella was the icing on the cake for Greig, who celebrated a landmark day at Condobolin, entering six runners and training five winners and a second, while two of her gallopers registered new track records.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Greig said.
“I took six there last year and had all favourites, but I didn’t win a thing, but the stars aligned yesterday unbelievably, and it all worked out.
“It was beyond excitement at the end; it was disbelief because you never imagine one of those days can happen.”
Greig and Ribeiro did combine for a winning treble at Tullibigeal last season, but the Dubbo trainer said preparing five winners was well and truly her best result.
“I got the Tullibigeal treble and I have trained a TAB treble at Orange and a couple of doubles but never five and not even close,” Greig said.
“And to take six horses; you couldn’t have asked for a better result getting five winners and the quinella in the cup.”
Greig attributed her success to the riding of Ribeiro, who was a class above his rivals at Condobolin when demonstrating real nous and attention to detail.
“You can actually watch him jump in the first (on Call Me Trinity), and he is taking her off the fence, and everyone was going to the fence,” Greig said.
“The outside was better going, and he recognised that straight away.
“The sand was heavier on the inside, and every race you watched Leo was four or five wide and it worked.”
Ribeiro is leading the picnic jockey’s premiership with 11 wins from 24 starts in 2021/22 and Greig said the Sydney-based hoop was very professional in his approach to everything racing.
“Leo walks out to me and tells me what is happening with every horse,” Greig said.
“He watches his replays, whether he has ridden the horses or not, and yesterday he hadn’t ridden them all, but he knows what he is going to do before he goes out there.
“He did that once again yesterday and I’m not questioning him. He is the one out there riding and he knows what he is doing.
In a massive day for the stable, Call Me Trinity ($1.90) was the first of Greig’s winners when taking out the 1000m Open Trophy event; the pair beating Jawsome and Danetree Belle.
“Call Me Trinity got over the $100,000 (in prizemoney) yesterday, which was a special moment,” Greig said.
“If she was human, she would wear a straitjacket, because she is a bit insane, but you could run her at Randwick or Condo, and she would try just as hard and yes; she is a bit tapped in the head, but she tries hard and as long as she comes home on the truck that’s all that matters.”
Linden Tree ($4.60) then broke the 1100m track record in the third event when running 1:03.82 to win the Class One Open Trophy race, handing Ribeiro a hat-track of winners when beating home My Shiromi and Bold Louise.
“He was slow away and nearly ran them down over 800m (at Bedgerabong) and it was a good run,” Greig said.
“I said to Leo, ‘keep him out of trouble’, and I knew he was going to be wide, but he got home and was too good.
“He is well bred horse and cost half a million dollars as a yearling and he is doing a lot wrong, but he has the potential to win some more races.”
It was another race, and another track record-breaking win for Greig, with Gossip blitzing her rivals over the 1400m distance in the fourth event.
Giving Ribeiro his fourth consecutive win, the six-year-old won by nearly nine lengths in the Class Two Open Trophy race, running 1:23.1 for the seven furlongs, beating Boys Home and Star Express.
“Leo has won on her before at Forbes and I said, ‘ride her the same and follow them around’, and he said she was bolting at the top of the straight and she cantered to the line and still broke the track record,” Greig said.
“She is a lovely horse. She doesn’t care where she goes and you don’t even know she is in the stable but unfortunately, she turns up when she wants to, but she did yesterday.”
In the feature of the day, the 1400m Condobolin Cup, Brent Evans was the winning jockey, helping Greig to her fourth consecutive victory when winning aboard Valadyium ($3.80).
The five-year-old was too good for her stablemate, Get Up Alby, with Ribeiro consigned to a second placing, while Sipharderson finished third.
Greig joked that Valadyium wasn’t the most popular of horses either, but she was learning to find a soft spot for her NSW Picnic Champion Series leading mare.
“To tell you the truth, Valadyium is the least favourite horse in the stable,” Greig laughed.
“She is not nice to deal with and she should have been a chestnut; she acts like a typical chestnut mare and is not nice to ride but maybe we will have to start liking her now.”
Greig and Ribeiro then sealed their fifth victory of the meeting in the last race with Merdeka ($2.40) proving too strong over 1700m, winning well from Nepenthes and Bavarian Watts.
“Merdeka’s win was good,” Greig said.
“Everyone had backed Nepenthes and thought it would win and there was only four in it but there was four across the track at the finish, but she came down the widest part of the track and won well.”
Greig’s big day at Condo follows on from a winning-double at Bedgerabong only a week earlier where Valadyium won the Bedgerabong Cup and Call Me Trinity won the 800m Open Trophy sprint.
Greig is now top of the NSW picnic trainer’s premiership with eight winners and Valadyium sits on 20 points and atop the NSW Picnic Champion Series point score.