By Rod Fuller
After 700mls (or 28 inches) of rain falling on the Port Macquarie Racecourse over the last three months, the re-built track is ready to host a solid race meeting on Friday.
The course proper is improving all the time from the Soft 5 conditions earlier in the week and the abundance of nominations has resulted in capacity final fields, which is certain to provide keenly competitive racing.
Popular local trainers, Jenny Graham, Neil Godbolt, John Sprague and Marc Quinn are competing with some of the best district and provincial trainers to provide an action packed day of keen racing and good value for those successful finding a winner.
The locally trained dual acceptor, Portatorio looks the testing material in the Class 3 after working home well for a solid 2nd to Bonita in a similar race at Taree 10 days ago. The lightly raced Oratorio gelding from the Jenny Graham stable is back in distance after performances in Country Championships Previews and Qualifiers when last in work. A winner of 3 from 10 outings and with the improving track seems well placed.
The Ross Stitt trained Blinkin Awesome, a winner of two from his last three at Taree, and the consistent Brett Dodson gelding, Guided, look to be the obvious dangers. Our Meteor, now in the safe hands of Wyong trainer Kim Waugh after transferring from the Greg Bennett stable, ran a solid 4th at Scone at its most recent outing and the mare could provide the testing material in the Benchmark 65 Handicap.
Italian Son raced without luck last start at Taree and with form prior including a good 3rd beaten under 2 lengths at Scone, could prove to be a strong each way hope. Oakfield Time, from the Terry Evans stable, is resuming from a spell and if the mare is anywhere near right for a first up performance, will be hard to beat in the Class 2 final race on the program. Previous performances include a strong maiden win at Scone and very competitive performances in Highway races at Rosehill against strong opposition.
The meeting recognises the contribution provided to the club by highly respected journalist, Grahame Timbrell together with Grant Peters and his team from Trackside Photography. Major sponsors, Prime 7, Schweppes, Carlton and United, John Oxley Motors, Barrier Signs and De Bortoli Wines are also honoured for their continued support.
The Mid North Coast Racing Association Jockey’s Premiership 2016-2017 is led by Peter Graham on 24 wins from Andrew Gibbons with 19 and Ben Looker on 18. The Trainer’s board shows Kris Lees leading with 28 wins, followed by Neil Godbolt on 12 and Ross Still 11.
Selections 1 – JOHN OXLEY MOTERS 3YO MAIDEN PLATE, 1000M: 11 Westover, 8 Laureole, 5 Dubai Rose 2 – DE BORTOLI WINES CG&E MAIDEN HCP, 1100M: 5 First Family, 1 Kool Vinnie, 10 Zarco 3 – SCHWEPPES F&M MAIDEN HCP, 1100M:
8 Chastity Strikes, 2 Silver Gums, 10 Miss Glamorhuss 4 – GRAHAME TIMBRELL BM 65 HCP, 1100M: 6 Our Meteor, 3 Italian Son, 7 French Command 5 – BARRIER SIGNS CLASS 3 HCP, 1200M; 1 Portatorio, 7 Blinkin Awesome, 13 Guided, 6 – PRIME7 CLASS 1 HCP, 1500M:
2 Dizzy Success, 3 Swingahinch, 8 Morning Fare, 7 – TRACKSIDE PHOTOGRAPHY BM 57 HCP, 1500M: 10 Lady Evelyn, 7 Art Attack, 4 Jemily 8 – CARLTON MID CLASS 2 HCP, 1000M:
4 Oakfield Time, 6 Dreamalina, 3 Portland Place Best Bets: Portatorio, Oakfield Time