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Camp Rifle Ready To Fire At Port Macquarie (Thursday)

By Rod Fuller

Camp Rifle ($6 on TAB) has seen plenty of the countryside in recent times, with a narrow win at Coffs Harbour a fortnight ago providing plenty of ammunition for a forward showing in the Great Northern Super Crisp Handicap (1500m) at Port Macquarie on Thursday.

Victory by a neck over Group Think in Class 2 Showcase company on Northern Rivers Championship Qualifying day followed solid placings at Dalby, Ipswich and Cowra with these performances proving the son of Shooting to Win is up to his next assignment.

Since transferring from the James Cummings stable, Tony Newing has worked hard from his Gosford base to assist the gelding in recapturing his best form, which included a decisive victory in the $40,000 Da Vinci Stakes at Wyong during the spring of 2019.

The form around the race is very strong with the Paul Perry-trained mare, She’s Independent, successful at Taree before stepping up in grade and running a useful second behind Rumpshaker a couple of weeks ago.

Other chances centre around War Cat ($2.80 favourite), who defeated Saquon at Muswellbrook recently, while Group Think ($4.60) has been racing consistently for Edward O’Rourke and does meet Camp Rifle better at the weights following the placing at Coffs Harbour.

It is significant that Samantha Clenton has been engaged to partner War Cat with the popular hoop returning to the winner’s circle on Safaris at her first ride since resuming from an injury-enforced layoff of 10 months.

Neil Godbolt has bright training prospects on the program with the prominent local trainer hopeful that Buck Pharoah ($3.40 equal fav) can break through for his maiden victory in the Schweppes Maiden Handicap (1000m).

The American Pharoah gelding has been narrowly beaten in his only two appearances at Grafton and deserves success while Flying Mojo ($8.50) has bright prospects in the Steeline Class 3 Handicap (1800m) following a recent Walcha win.

The son of Uncle Mo was narrowly defeated by Firefly Poppy ($12) at Scone last start and has a distinct weight advantage on his nemesis as the pair shape up in Thursday’s event.

Nathan Doyle is well-placed to continue the stable’s great strike rate at the Port track with strong chances peppered through the program headed by Oslo ($1.90 fav) in the opening event together with Muscadelle ($3.60 fav) and Dismissal ($2.90 fav) later in the day.

Best wishes go to connections of Charmmebaby and Subtle Grey as the pair are poised to represent the Mid North Coast Racing Association in the $500,000 Newhaven Park Country Championship Final at Randwick on April 3rd.

Charmmebaby scored a comprehensive victory for Bob Milligan in the recent district qualifier conducted at Scone following heavy rain that caused the Taree track to be unplayable while Subtle Grey’s second placing provides popular local trainer, Allan Kehoe, an opportunity to share in the rich final spoils.

Racing NSW recently announced significant prizemoney increases of some $20 million annually commencing from July 1st with the announcement highlighted by almost $9m in stakes improvement for country race meetings to be applied across all sectors of country racing including non-TAB and picnic races. Prizemoney for TAB Highway races (which are for country-domiciled horses only) will also be increased to $100,000.

With this announcement, total annual prizemoney to be paid for country racing in NSW will now be more than $91m which is an increase of $58m (176%) since 2012. This is a wonderful boost for race clubs such as Port Macquarie and continues to provide great confidence in the strength and future of country racing around the state.

The Port racetrack continues to be a COVID-19 safe venue and it is important to follow all the procedures and guidelines applicable with everyone encouraged to download the Services NSW app prior to attending to make entry easier.

General admission tickets are available on race day and further details regarding tickets and seating arrangements in the Livermore Stand and Clydesdale Room are available by contacting the club on 02 6581 1964 or email on

Races on the program are named in honour of ATM2HIRE, Carlton Dry, Steeline, Great Northern Super Crisp, TAB, De Bortoli Wines, Schweppes and John Oxley Motors with the club delighted to continue their great association with these fine brand names.

The eight-event stand-alone program commences at 1.15pm with the track recovering well following recent heavy deluges and set to provide a fair surface for all competitors. Punters who are unable to attend are still encouraged to follow all the action live from the Port meeting and supporting programs around Australia through the screens of Sky Racing and comprehensive wagering facilities continue to be provided by Tabcorp.

Race 1 – 1.15pm JOHN OXLEY MOTORS CLASS 1 HCP (1000M): 1 Oslo, 2 Lord John Grey, 5 Vallejo
Race 2 – 1.50pm SCHWEPPES MAIDEN HCP (1000M): 2 Buck Pharoah, 3 Duchess Nicci, 4 Annyidea
Race 3 – 2.25pm DE BORTOLI WINES MAIDEN PLATE (1200M): 12 Muscadelle, 7 Poseidon Ruler, 2 Star of Success
Race 4 – 3.05pm TAB LONG MAY WE PLAY MAIDEN PLATE (1500M): 10 Dismissal, 1 Em Em D’Ar, 5 Coolmeans
Race 5 – 3.40pm GREAT NORTHERN SUPER CRISP BM 66 HCP (1500M): 3 Camp Rifle, 10 She’s Independent, 6 War Cat
Race 6 – 4.15pm STEELINE CLASS 3 HCP (1800M): 5 Flying Mojo, 9 Firefly Poppy, 6 Underboss
Race 7 – 4.50pm ATM2HIRE F&M BM 58 HCP (1200M): 8 Memphis Squaw, 11 Flying Pretty, 2 Unearthed
Race 8 – 5.30pm CARLTON DRY CG&E BM 58 HCP (1200M): 3 Spiritual Power, Royal Charge, 12 Manly Hanover

View the final fields with full form & race replays for Port Macquarie here

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