By Rod Fuller
With the world’s greatest horse on turf, Winx, representing the stable at Flemington on Saturday, leading trainer Chris Waller has thrown his support behind Friday’s Carlton Draught Country Showcase Port Macquarie Cup.
Waller has six horses nominated for the $150,000 classic spearheaded by the well-performed gallopers, Alward and Up ‘N’ Rolling.
Alward is a winner of three from his last four starts with success at Flemington and Rosehill before accounting for stablemate Up ‘N’ Rolling in town by three quarters of a length just over a week ago.
Other stable entries include Estikhraaj, the last start Ipswich winner Loving Home and the Group-placed campaigner, Veladero.
It is significant to note that the Waterhouse and Bott stable have entered the rising star, Social Element, who is yet to be unplaced after five career starts. The Savabeel gelding has been racing well over middle-distance events and with a staying pedigree, looks well suited by the 2000 metre journey of the cup.
Local representation is headed by the John Sprague-trained, Glitra, who fought out an exciting finish in the cup prelude behind Miss Tickles and last year’s winner Sofin from the Coffs Harbour stable of Shannon Fry.
They are joined by the Dubbo Cup winner, Brazen, the well-performed, Kincaple Chief, the Lismore Cup victor, Skytrek and the Tuncurry Cup holder, Who Is Game.
The Carlton Draught Port Macquarie Cup is steeped in tradition having provided so many wonderful performances over the years with wins by champion jockeys, Robert Thompson, Allan Robinson, Zac Purton, Cory Brown and Wayne Harris.
The prolific Ross Stitt-trained galloper, Precise Timing, took out the cup in 2004 and 2005 while the other horse to salute in consecutive years was the Tim Martin trained, Johnny Reb, in 2001 and 2002.
Race Club President, Greg Delaforce, is delighted with the nominations for the club’s flagship race and the significant support provided by Racing NSW had ensured an outstanding entry for the entire program.
By the governing body’s granting of showcase status, minimum prizemoney for support races have been increased to $30,000 per race and total prizemoney for the day has climbed to a massive $390,000.
The other highlight of the card is the $50,000 De Bortoli Wines Sprint with leading candidates Anecdote, Bonne Cheval, Escebee, Just Dreaming, Neptune Palace and Oxford Poet engaged.
The Cup Calcutta will be conducted at 6.30pm on Thursday night at the Settlers Inn Hotel, 101 Hastings River Drive Port Macquarie, hosted by former champion jockey and now Sky Racing host, Gary Kliese.
All roads lead to Port Macquarie for an outstanding day of cup action on Friday with the carnival concluding on Saturday with the Steeline Raceday on Saturday.