Horse racing in all its forms has long been an important part of Australian culture, and picnic horse racing is included in this. These picnic races, often simply called The Picnics, are amateur Thoroughbred horse-racing meets. They are organised by amateur clubs and ridden by amateur or retired jockeys. The competing horses are generally not of a high enough standard to compete professionally, and are often trained by hobbyists. All of this means that the races are more of a social occasion than anything else, and are often held on the same day as a major race to add to the general festivities. One of the best examples of this is the Roma Picnics, held in Roma, Queensland.
Betting on the Roma Picnics
The Roma Picnics might be an amateur event, but that doesn’t mean that the action is any less than what is seen at a professional meet! They are held by the Roma Picnic Race Club, part of the Roma Turf Club, in March each year at around the same time as the big Autumn Carnivals in Sydney, Melbourne and Australia. The Roma Picnics Purse is 15,000 Australian Dollars, which tempts many of the best non-professional enthusiasts in the country and makes for exciting betting. Speculating on these races is a great way for punters to start understanding the dynamics of the sport, which will stand them in good stead for bigger events. The same things need to be considered, whatever the size or scope of the meet – past performance history of jockey and racer, injury reports, track and weather conditions, reliable tips and anything else that can be found out. There are five races on the day, so there is plenty of opportunity to practice wagering skills.
A Social Whirl
The Roma Picnics is more than just a horseracing event, and allows guests to experience the country elegance of yesteryear. A Black Tie Ball is held on the eve of the race day, and before the night is danced away guests are treated to a three-course meal. The day of the sprint features refined events such as high tea in different areas, as well as plenty of plenty of opportunities to enjoy an eponymous picnic. The most exciting (non-racing) attraction is probably the Fashions in the Field contest which is taken very seriously, with the sophisticated coat and tied dress code being strictly maintained. Winners actually take home some serious prizes, so many fashionistas put on a great show.
Making a Real Holiday of It
For those who come to see the Picnics, there are plenty of other entertainments to complement the races. The Big Rig is a living memorial to the first oil and gas workers in Australia, and consists of an engaging self-guided walk and a thirty-minute light and sound show every night, while the impressive Sale Yards must be seen to be believed. There are several quirky attractions such as The Largest Bottle Tree, cultural landmarks like the Community Arts Centre and the Windows of St. Pauls and straight-up heritage sites including the Avenue of Heroes – a tribute to local men who fell in World War One. Easy accommodation packages put every opportunity within easy reach, so any activity is possible when in Roma!