By Rod Fuller
With recent victories at Wyong and Tamworth under his belt, Bluesbro looks set to continue the great run of success in the Rheem Hot Water Class 3 Handicap at Port Macquarie this Saturday.
The eight-year-old Primus gelding has been a consistent money spinner for the Kristen Buchanan stable and possesses an overall record of 15 starts for three wins and eight minor placings.
His Port track record of three placings from as many outings looks set to be taken to the next level following the recent win at Tamworth when accounting for Eureka Sky by just under a length.
Despite the step back in distance for this weekend’s assignment, Bluesbro looks well placed to salute with the engagement of leading jockey, Ben Looker, providing a further positive.
Looker has enjoyed a highly successful season and the popular north coast rider has some well-credentialed mounts throughout the card as he approaches the riding century.
Still on a high following an outstanding Grafton Cup win aboard Sacred Day, his current position is 92½ wins and 153 placings and sits behind Greg Ryan and Andrew Gibbons with the season concluding on July 31st.
The obvious dangers in the event centre around Coloane with the Henrythenavigator gelding tasting success at Cessnock and Lismore in preparation for the assignment.
Team Grisdale is the powerhouse behind Coloane with popular jockey Jon, riding for his trainer wife, Donna, as the pair continue to enjoy their fairly recent relocation from Kembla Grange to the Mid-North Coast area.
The gelding’s last start effort when beaten four lengths behind Tan Tat Nova at Coffs Harbour was better than the records would indicate and provides the necessary base for a strong performance while monitoring of betting transactions would be advantageous when assessing the chances of Red Heat.
The Kris Lees-trained mare was spelled following a third behind Confidential at Goulburn last November with recent good barrier trial performances last month providing positive ammunition in her quest for a first-up victory.
An evenly balanced six-race program kicks off at 12.52 with John Steinmetz making the journey from his Warwick Farm training base to provide He’s Elusive the chance to progress through the classes.
The Manhattan Rain gelding ran a solid third on an extremely heavy Nowra track a month ago before being defeated at Moruya behind Valley of Light.
He’s Elusive can handle the prospect of a rain-affected track and the scratching of Tainted Affair provides further confidence regarding his chances with He Zoffan Gone labelled the likely challenger.
Star Eagle looks well positioned to break her maiden status in the second race following recent placings at Lismore and Port while Brazenbrook deserves to salute for the Kris Lees stable in the Maiden Plate.
Red Cupcake resumed from a lengthy break at Wyong three weeks ago and will derive great benefit from the recent effort when beaten by a rising star in the shape of Sir Elton.
Twelfth Raj has been racing with great encouragement for prominent Tuncurry trainer, Terry Evans, with the son of Annenkov poised to send punters home on a successful note.
Club president, Greg Delaforce and the Port Macquarie Committee are delighted that Racing NSW has announced substantial prizemoney increases for eight major country cups around the state, including the Port Macquarie Cup on Friday 11th October.
The pinnacle event on the Mid-North coast calendar has been lifted to an overall figure of $200,000 with the carnival promising to be the best ever conducted at the circuit.
A strong holiday crowd is expected for Saturday’s race meeting with full TAB and Sky Racing coverage and the outstanding trackside facilities in full operation.
Punters will be able to follow all the major race meetings around the country with all eyes on Winter Stakes Day at Rosehill as local trainers, Marc Quinn and Wayne Wilkes clash with last start metropolitan winners, Gumshoe and Dulette respectively in the Class 3 Highway Handicap over 1400 metres.
The meeting is sponsored by Dux Hot Water, Caroma Industries, John L Fisher Plumbing, Rheem Hot Water, Fienza Bathware and Reliance Worldwide.
Race 1 - 12:52PM DUX HOT WATER CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1812M): 1 He’s Elusive, He Zoffan Gone, 5 Follow Our Dream
Race 2 - 1:27PM CAROMA INDUSTRIES MAIDEN HANDICAP (1106M): 1 Star Eagle, 6 Fantasy Midnight, 8 Let Me Guess
Race 3 - 2:06PM JOHN L. FISHER PLUMBING SUPPLIES MAIDEN PLATE (1512M): 5 Brazenbrook, 7 Miss Piper Rose, 8 Sensational Girl
Race 4 - 2:46PM RHEEM HOT WATER CLASS 3 HANDICAP (1512M): 1 Bluesbro, 3 Red Heat, 2 Coloane
Race 5 - 3:26PM FIENZA BATHWARE CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1006M): 2 Red Cupcake, 1 Jest Magic, 4 Can’t Catch Her
Race 6 - 4:06PM RELIANCE WORLDWIDE BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP (1212M): 1 Twelfth Raj, 2 Empathy, 3 Redwolf