By Rod Fuller
With the Newhaven Park Country Championship trophy and the spoils of Victorem’s outstanding Randwick victory in her possession, recognition for Jenny Graham and Ben Looker is assured as Panthers Raceday is conducted at Port Macquarie this Friday.
The Graham-trained Victorem was perfectly ridden by Ben Looker to extricate into the clear and land the $500,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick last Saturday. And the celebrations could well continue for Jenny with Let’s Rebelle looking to break her maiden status in the fourth event and I Wanna Be a Jeep a live chance in the Open Handicap.
Let’s Rebelle has faced the starter on two occasions at her home track and has been responsible for sound performances when narrowly beaten by above average horses, Kaillis Pearl and Waruna.
The Rebel Raider filly again faces strong opposition in the shape of the Kim Waugh-trained gelding, Gold Code, the unraced Keemon, Enhances, the locally-trained Secret Lago and the consistent Wauchope galloper, Salty Rain.
I Wanna be a Jeep has been freshened up since finishing down the track at Gosford around a month ago and with the benefit of a recent barrier trial second, should be extremely competitive in the Open Handicap.
With all-conquering local jockey Ben Looker riding in such fabulous fashion, it is significant the local hoop has been engaged by the Graham yard to continue the run of success for the two stable runners.
In a race with plenty of chances, Egyptian Ruler from the Newcastle stable of Ken Lantry will provide the testing material despite the allocation of topweight. Following a luckless placing in the Quirindi Cup and a narrow second at Warwick Farm behind Augustus, the Henny Hughes gelding is better placed than the last start disappointment at Rosehill.
Youwaitandsee has been racing well for the Trevor Hardy stable in open company recently while Zuccherina, Loud Enough and Fuel will have plenty of supporters. Fuel is well weighted for trainer Wayne Wilkes, and continues to show a great deal of promise with at Port win followed by a strong fifth at Gosford recently in the race won by Dalmatia Prince.
No Refund looks a promising youngster for former jockey and prominent Grafton trainer Morgan Butler and looks hard to beat in the two-year-old event following a strong debut win at his home track a fortnight ago.
The race provides a great deal of interest with the last start Coffs Harbour winner Star of Theharbour from the Neil Godbolt establishment together with multiple runners facing the starter for the first occasion. With the prospect of perfect weather conditions and the outstanding facilities on offer from the Ivan Livermore grandstand, the club is anticipating a bumper crowd for Friday’s program.
It is great to see the continuation of the wonderful partnership enjoyed with Port Macquarie Panthers and all members and guests are welcome to attend the eight-race program with the first event at 12.30pm and the last set for 4.50pm. Racing continues at Port with the next meeting on Monday 23rd April to coincide with school holidays and full Tab and Sky coverage on offer.
Race 1 (Celebrate Mother’s Day at Port Panthers Maiden Hcp, 1506m): 1 Wild About Her, 12 Wolfgram, 10 Observed
Race 2 (Jamie Williams 2YO Hcp, 1006m): 1 No Refund, 2 Star of Theharbour, 8 Leica Kite
Race 3 (Anzac Day at Port Panthers Benchmark 67 Hcp, 1206m): 5 Subtle Winner, 1 Golly Miss Solly, 2 Sleepwalker
Race 4 (Panthers Mega Kids Playground-Coming Soon Maiden Plate, 1206m): 8 Let’s Rebelle, 1 Gold Codes, 3 Salty Rain
Race 5 (Kove Kitchen at Port Panthers Class 3 Hcp, 1506m): 2 In Good Time, 4 Typhoon Bonny, 1 The Wasp
Race 6 (Panthers-Home of the Port Macquarie RSL Sub-Branch Open Hcp, 1506m): 1 Egyptian Ruler, 5 Youwaitandsee, Zuccherina
Race 7 (The Tapp at Port Panthers-Beer/Wine/Eats Class 1 Hcp, 1506m): 1 Cisco Bay, 2 Tres, 4 Mis Kyeema
Race 8 (Panthers $10 Members Daily Lunch Class 2 Hcp, 1206m): 4 Penny Fling, 5 All About Charlie, 1 Classy Anna