• apg mixed strip 22
    garrards 2020
  • Racing Tips
    Farmer Dennis back in the hotseat Farmer Dennis back in the hotseat

    BACK IN THE BIKE: Dennis Picker will drive at Bathurst tonight.

    MANY harness racing enthusiasts across New South Wales have been asking the question – what has happened to prominent Bigga trainer-driver Dennis Picker? During... Farmer Dennis back in the hotseat

    MANY harness racing enthusiasts across New South Wales have been asking the question – what has happened to prominent Bigga trainer-driver Dennis Picker?

    During the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Picker-trained pacers found their way into the stables of his uncle, Bernie Hewitt, which sent the rumour mill into a spin.

    So, to settle the concerns, it is pleasing to learn that Picker is alive and well and life could not be better for the hard-working horseman.

    The dedicated farmer and part-time shearer became even busier than he would normally be when he and his brother purchased a large property in the Crookwell area, about four months ago.

    With 7,000 head of sheep included in the deal, it left Picker with no alternate but to transfer most of his horses to the stables of ‘Uncle Bernie’.

    With the regionalisation of racing restricting him to racing only at Bathurst and the fact that he was already time-poor, it made absolute sense that Picker transfer his horses, a decision that has proven to be fruitful, as they have been performing well.

    “I have been away shearing on the new property and I just couldn’t put the time into the horses,” explained Picker.

    “I would have also struggled to find the time to make the frequent trips to Bathurst, so everything has turned out perfectly.

    “Bern has my horses going well.

    “There is no doubt that it helps that they only need to travel 10 minutes up the road to race . . . that is a real bonus.”

    Four of Picker’s pacers are engaged at Bathurst tonight and on paper, all appear to have strong winning chances.

    “I am pleased to be driving a couple of Dennis’ horses tonight,” said Picker’s cousin Doug Hewitt.

    “They came to us in good shape and we only had to top them off with a few trials.

    “I am driving Bella Ball Terror (Race 2) and should get a good trip from the pole and in Race 5 where I am aboard Cala Jane, a filly I won on a few weeks back.”

    Tom Pay will drive Smooth Sailor (Race 4), a horse that has performed well for the Picker stable, winning 17 races for connections.

    Bernie will take the reins behind two-year-old filly Ballerini (Race 8), which found strife when running fourth on debut.

     – MICHAEL DUMESNY

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