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French Marine Ready To Salute At Port (Monday)

By Rod Fuller

Following a dominant victory in a recent maiden handicap at Dubbo, French Marine ($2.30 favourite on TAB) is ready to take the next step in the John Oxley Motors Benchmark 58 Handicap at Port Macquarie on Monday.

The son of Epaulette has always shown plenty of promise and this was demonstrated with four provincial trial victories before being sent to the barriers as one of the favourite runners when debuting at Newcastle in February.

The Kris Lees-trained gelding raced ungenerously when beaten around three lengths behind Ballistic Moon on that occasion but did benefit greatly from the outing when finishing over the top of Our Cousin Al and Raised to the Max to break his maiden status in emphatic fashion at Dubbo last month.

Leading trainer Kirs Lees has six horses entered at Port Macquarie on Monday

French Marine became bottled up in the centre of the pack at his most recent effort at Dubbo a fortnight ago in a similar class event behind Patrick May and should figure prominently in this latest assignment with luck and galloping room.

It is significant that the Lees stable has engaged Aaron Bullock for the mount with the prominent rider enjoying a great run of success in recent times and has already raced to seventy wins in the current riding season.

The obvious danger in the event is Faatinaat ($2.80) who is poised to continue the great run of success enjoyed by the training establishment of Bob and Glen Milligan. The Mulaazem filly was responsible for an outstanding victory at the track two starts ago with her recent run resulting in a solid placing behind Too Good to Be Tru last week.

The Milligan family had a great day at the recent Port card with a treble and are looking to repeat the success on Monday’s card.

Essoess ($9.50) handled the heavy track conditions at Taree with distinction when the Mark Minervini-trained gelding scored narrowly a fortnight ago and the improving track conditions should provide the necessary advantage for the son of Choisir in the fifth event.

The Port racing complex 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

If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath or runny nose, even if these are mild, you will not be permitted to the course and you should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

The club is greatly appreciative of the support provided by Carlton and United Breweries, De Bortoli Wines, John Oxley Motors, Schweppes and Tabcorp in the staging of the program. Punters will be able to follow all the action of the local program together with full coverage of racing action throughout the country on the screens of Sky Racing with comprehensive trackside wagering facilities available.

Race 1 – 1.00pm TAB LONG MAY WE PLAY MAIDEN PLATE (1500M): 4 Earl of Sandwich, 3 Schoona the better, 8 Rizzoli
Race 2 – 1.40pm CARLTON DRAUGHT MAIDEN PLATE (1000M): 7 Kiani, 1 Pollard, 6 Jade's Destiny
Race 3 – 2.15pm CARLTON DRY MAIDEN HCP (1200M): 5 Sancta, 6 Nevada Smoke, 13 Miss Twenty Twenty
Race 4 – 2.50pm GREAT NORTHERN CLASS 2 HCP (1200M): 4 Glowing Red, 5 Oakfield Prince, 6 Whatyoulookingat
Race 5 – 3.25pm DE BORTOLI WINES CLASS 2 HCP (1500M): 6 Essoess, 5 Endangered Species, 3 Dutchess Marizza
Race 6 – 4.05pm JOHN OXLEY MOTORS BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1200M): 2 French Marine, 9 Faatinaat, 5 Autumn Ridge
Race 7 – 4.40pm SCHWEPPES BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1000M): 7 Free Dawn, 4 Goofy Mick, 2 Murungal

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

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