By Rod Fuller
With an encouraging fourth in the recent Country Championships Wild Card at Muswellbrook under his belt, Cosmic Engine looks set to salute in the McGuigan BMW Open Handicap at Port Macquarie this Friday.
The performance behind ultimate series winner, Noble Boy, was the More Than Ready gelding’s first start for the Brett Cavanough stable following a transfer from Chris Waller and proceeded the run with a barrier trial success at Scone after a break of around seven months.
Despite earning topweight and drawing in the centre of the pack, Cosmic Engine will derive a great deal of benefit from the Muswellbrook outing and quality jockey, Mitchell Bell, has been engaged for the ride.
With any luck in running, Cosmic Engine will be attracting plenty of attention in the feature with Evopex, New Endeavour and Good Excuse looking to provide the strongest opposition.
The Jim Jarvis-trained gelding, Evopex, was successful in Highway company at Randwick during the spring carnival and won a barrier trial at Grafton before a first-up sixth behind La Scopa in the recent Northern Rivers Country Championships Qualifier.
On the other hand, New Endeavour has been racing consistently for in-form Armidale trainer, Stirling Osland, and deserves to break through following recent placings at Muswellbrook, Tamworth and Coffs Harbour.
The Wayne Wilkes stable is on a high following the exceptional run of Mid North Coast representative, Lucciola Belle, in the $500,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships Final at Randwick last weekend.
The Casino Prince mare’s second behind Noble Boy was an outstanding effort and continues her performances since resuming from a spell which has resulted in victories in the Port Macquarie Queen of the North and the district Country Championships qualifier.
Wilkes has four horses entered for the program on Friday with Good Excuse looking the best option for the stable in the Open Handicap.
With a record of eight starts for two wins and three placings, the Strada filly comes into the race well following a narrow second at Taree two runs ago behind Salad Dodger.
Full of Spirit seems well-placed for Neil Godbolt to break through in the opening event, following the Spirit of Boom gelding’s recent placings at Coffs Harbour and Port while the former Victorian, Snitzel Reign, heads discussions in the Maiden Plate.
Following the triumphant return to riding from injury at Port recently by Samantha Clenton, the popular apprentice has enjoyed a successful period with victories at Muswellbrook, Wyong and Kensington before scoring a narrow victory in last week’s Wellington Cup aboard Potent Force.
Sam and partner, Tim McIntosh, look to hold the key in the Class 3 Handicap with the Eavesdropper galloper, I Wear Prada, looking to improve from a fifth at Muswellbrook back in September last year.
With prior victories at Quirindi and Tamworth under her belt, it might be wise to follow market operations as the mare is resuming without a trial run, but is renowned for coming to hand relatively quickly.
Other strong chances on the card look to be the Jim Jarvis-trained gelding, Guest, in the middle-distance maiden while Cavanough stable could have a successful day when Rosarina Caterina attempts the hat-trick in the Class 2.
The eight-event program commences at 12.50pm with the program concluding at 4.55pm with the excellent facilities of the Ivan Livermore grandstand and surrounds in full operation.
McGuigan BMW has been wonderful supporters of racing action at Port and the club is delighted to continue their long association.
All are welcome to head down to Hastings River Drive to see some of the fine range of BMW’s on display while John Oxley Motors.
Race 1 (John Oxley Motors 2YO Hcp, 1000m): 1 Full of Spirit, 4 Henschel, 10 City Jet
Race 2 (The All New BMW X7 Maiden Plate, 1200m): 2 Snitzel Reign, 8 Smokin’ Quartz, 6 Amberle
Race 3 (BMW Premium Selection Maiden Hcp, 1500m): 1 Guest, 4 Mr Piquet, 2 Chamisal
Race 4 (The All New BMW Z4 BM 66 Hcp, 1200m): 1 Rogue Runner, 6 Through the Cracks, 2 Neretva
Race 5 (The All New BMW X5 Class 2 Hcp-Rising Star Heat, 1200m): 4 Rosaria Caterina, 6 Enseguida, 1 Lethal Dream
Race 6 (BMW M Power Class 3 Hcp, 1000m): 4 I Wear Prada, 1 The Drake, 3 Thiswilldous
Race 7 (The All New BMW 3 Series Class 1 Hcp, 1500m): 3 Trust in Cash, 9 Eye Was, 1 Continuation
Race 8 (The McGuigan BMW Open Hcp, 1500m): 1 Cosmic Engine, 3 Evopex, 5 New Endeavour