By Rod Fuller
With a recent Taree victory in similar company under his belt and the benefit of a maximum apprentice claim, Bangalley Lad looks to have bright prospects in the Camden Haven Cup at Port Macquarie on Saturday.
The Allan Kehoe-trained gelding possesses a solid record of nineteen starts for four wins and three placings with many keen form students noting his most recent performance at Coffs Harbour.
The Star Witness gelding came from a fair way back and made up many lengths to be beaten under three lengths in the Benchmark 58 Handicap won by Fair Dinkum. The added distance of the weekend feature is certain to provide a positive and the engagement of rising apprentice jockey, Dylan Gibbons, adds further confidence.
Dylan has certainly impressed since commencing official race riding duties last month and has already piloted at double at Taree following debut success in the Bonville Cup aboard Ocean Ruler.
With the benefit of two years working at the Kris Lees stable and the experience provided by multiple premiership-winning father, Andrew, the future of Dylan Gibbons looks particularly promising.
And his four-kilogram weight relief aboard Bangalley Lad could be the critical point when assessing the main chances in the feature event on the program with Wolfgram and Secrets No More set to provide the stiffest opposition.
Wolfgram was far from disgraced when fourth behind Gold Bracelet at his recent track appearance and the Michael O’Neil trained gelding has been very consistent in starts prior. Secrets No More scored impressively at Coffs three weeks ago and it would be wise to dismiss her latest performance at Grafton when down the track behind Boseman.
The John Sprague stable is well-placed for victory in the opening event with Machali as the former Victorian-trained mare looks to improve upon a recent fourth at Port behind Man and Superman.
Fused Magic has been placed at three from her previous four outings and is set to provide the testing material in following event while Dangerous Dan is prominent in the Benchmark 50 Handicap.
The track surface has benefited from recent positive weather conditions and the promise of fine skies should provide a good four surface for Saturday’s racing action.
Port Macquarie Race Club is pleased to acknowledge the Mid North Coast Racing Association premiership award winners for the recently concluded racing season.
Kris Lees earned the crown of leading trainer in the association with 39 victories and capped off a stellar season by acquiring the title for the most successful trainer in the state with 193 wins and 333½ placings.
Andrew Gibbons is the leading rider for the Lees stable and it was no surprise that the popular Novocastrian hoop landed the local jockey trophy on 35 wins with this effort assisting in his springboard to the overall state prize of 124 victories.
The leading apprentice award went to Samantha Clenton on 22 wins with the popular rider enjoying a wonderful season before aggravating a back injury after scoring on The Bopper in the Inglis Challenge at Scone in May.
Despite being unable to complete the entire riding season, Clenton finished a gallant second behind Tom Sherry in the overall NSW apprentice title and all in racing wish her a successful return to the saddle sometime in October.
Victorem continues to maintain his grasp on the district’s leading horse award when the Jenny Graham-trained gelding was awarded the title for the third year running. The son of I am Invincible raced four times during the season with highlights including a gallant second in last year’s The Kosciuszko behind Handle the Truth and comprehensive success in the Group 2 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm in May.
Coronavirus restrictions have been varied to allow a limited number of patrons to attend the race meeting with a requirement that attendance intentions are registered with the Port Macquarie Race Club at firstname.lastname@example.org or 6581 1964.
Names and contact details are required upon entry and restrictions remain in place for people who are unwell, are in one of the risk categories or have travelled from a hot spot area without following the required guidelines.
Both the Ivan Livermore Stand and Clydesdale Rooms will be in operation providing catering and wagering facilities and strict protocols and social distancing will be enforced. Punters unable to attend will be able to follow all the action live from the Port meeting and major programs around Australia through the screens of Sky Racing and comprehensive wagering facilities continue to be provided by Tabcorp.
Race 1 – 1.26pm GREAT NORTHERN BREWING COMPANY MDN PLATE (1512M):
7 Machali, 6 Anamagic, 5 The Juke
Race 2 – 2.06pm SAMANTHA CLENTON - MNCRA LEADING APPRENTICE MDN HCP (1008M):
7 Fused Magic, 6 Delavigne, 9 Kate Lea
Race 3 – 2.46pm KRIS LEES - MNCRA LEADING TRAINER CLASS 1 HCP (1008M):
6 Great Excitement, 1 Qadira Star, 7 Red Cupcake
Race 4 – 3.26pm ANDREW GIBBONS - MNCRA LEADING JOCKEY CL1 & MDN PLATE (2018M): 4 More to Come, 2 Havazac, 1 Cosmic Energy
Race 5 – 4.06pm VICTOREM - MNCRA HORSE OF THE YEAR BM 50 HCP (1512M):
1 Dangerous Dan, 4 Lucky for Some, 3 Mbappe
Race 6 – 4.42pm 2020 CAMDEN HAVEN CUP BM 58 HCP (1208M):
1 Bangalley Lad, 10 Wolfgram, 2 Secrets No More