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Evergreen 10yo Ready For Return To Winner's Circle At Port

Father Time still hasn't caught up with veteran Wyong galloper I'm Danny and trainer Ken Tynan believes the 10-year-old's rivals might have the same trouble when the gelding returns to his favourite track at Port Macquarie on Friday.

I'm Danny chases the 11th win of his racing career - which began way back in November 2010 - when he lines up in Friday's Panther Port Macquarie Benchmark 73 Handicap (1506m). I'm Danny excels at Port Macquarie, winning four times and finishing second twice from his seven appearances at the track.

"He has a real affinity with the Port Macquarie track, that's for sure," said Tynan. "I don't know exactly what it is, but we take him there and he just relaxes in the tie-ups and always runs his best races there. Hopefully, he can do it again on Friday.

Veteran I'm Danny (Jeff Penza) returns following a Gosford win. Image by Bradley Photographers

"His form this season is probably the best he's ever raced. He's a happy horse who still enjoys being a racehorse - he's 10 but, as they say, he doesn't know that."

I'm Danny, bred by Tynan and his father Noel, lines up for his 78th race start on Friday.

He has won 10 races, been placed another 22 times and has so far collected just under $210,000 in prizemoney.

I'm Danny was the product of the Tynans sending their mare Danse Pas to the well-bred stallion Techrico (an unraced son of champion sire Zabeel out of the former outstanding Jack Denham-trained filly Vaindarra) who went on to produce polocrosse horses.

"Danse Pas was by Danehill Dancer and won a couple of races for us before we retired her and sent her to Techrico, who at the time stood at Ilala Stud at Scone for a $1000 service fee," said Tynan. "He was a beautifully-bred stallion but unfortunately didn't have much success as a sire.

"We've also still got I'm Danny's half-brother Eye Stryker (by Marwina). He's even older, he's an 11-year-old and he's getting ready for another prep."

Tynan said I'm Danny's form this preparation has been as good as ever and includes two of his best wins at Port Macquarie - a $40,000 Open Hcp (1500m) on Port Macquarie Cup day on October 6 and $30,000 Schweppes Showcase Hcp (1200m) four starts back on November 16. He has posted three wins and two seconds from his last five runs at Port Macquarie.

I'm Danny's most recent run was at Canterbury last Friday when he ran last of eight runners in a Benchmark 80, but Tynan is confident he can back-up and post another win at Port Macquarie.

"He's not up to Sydney class and at his age he tends to resent the firm tracks which he struck last start," said Tynan. "The Port Macquarie track was a soft 6 this morning and that will be ideal for him. He's jumping out of his skin this week and I don't think the quick back-up will be any concern and he'll also appreciate the step up to 1500m."

Apprentice Olivia Pickering, who has ridden the gelding in six of his last seven starts, continues the association on Friday: "Olivia has built a real affinity with this horse this preparation and he'll now have to carry 59kg on Friday after she takes her three-kilo claim, which is important as he's not a big, strong horse," said the trainer.

"He's had a long preparation but, looking at him and the way he's come through last week's run, I don't think he's coming to the end of his prep yet. And he's got a bit in his favour on Friday - his great record at the track, ideal track conditions and just the five rivals. I think he'll be very hard to beat."

Port Maquarie-trained galloper Hippy High Ho looks one of the hardest for I'm Danny to beat in the race. The Neil Godbolt-trained five-year-old has discovered his best form in recent months after a few previous lacklustre efforts and has won two of his past four starts.

Like I'm Danny, Hippy High Ho also boasts a strong record at Port Macquarie, especially over the 1500m trip, winning three of his five starts at the track and distance.

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

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