By Rod Fuller
With an imposing recent record of success under her belt, Belinda Hodder is poised to continue her stellar riding achievements at the Port Macquarie race meeting on Tuesday.
The prominent hoop has enjoyed an outstanding strike rate over the previous three weeks including trebles at Grafton, Lismore and Murwillumbah with a strong of rides in her possession for the home track appearance.
Her main chances include Stylish Pattern in the John Oxley Motors Handicap with the John Sprague-trained gelding far from disgraced when a solid placing behind Hurricane Max in Class 2 company at Coffs last week.
The son of Canford Cliffs will be greatly improved by two runs under his belt since resuming from a spell and should provide the testing material in the event with Joy for Us and O’Driscoll providing the toughest opposition.
The Kim Waugh-trained mare, Joy for Us, has been competitive around the provincial circuit in recent times and wasn’t beaten far by Golwen at Kembla Grange last week while O’Driscoll loomed as a chance before weakening late at his previous track appearance in open company.
Hodder looks to have a definite chance in the fillies and mares maiden when she partners Our Girl Wanda for leading NSW trainer, Matthew Dunn. The Wandjina filly ran a solid second behind Frivolosophy at the course two runs ago before being camped on the speed when a fading sixth at Coffs Harbour behind Nanakorobi Yaoki.
Her mount in the following event is aboard the Alan Hayden-trained gelding, Another Option with the former Victorian indicating a win was approaching following a recent fourth at Coffs Harbour behind Warburton in a similar class event.
With other chances peppered throughout the day including Secret Lago, Little Funny Bunny, and Danger Woman, Belinda Hodder looks set to improve on her current seasonal record of 46 victories and over 100 placings with 12 winning rides in her last 50 appearances.
Over 170 horses were entered for the card resulting in the program being extended to eight events following the division of the 1500m maiden plate to form the opening two races.
The training and riding combination of Kris Lees and Samantha Clenton have strong claims in the second division of the race with Our Tito putting the writing on the wall after an even third behind Bravio at the second official start for the Uncle Mo colt.
Clenton links up with fellow Newcastle trainer, Paul Perry, later in the program with Divisadero providing the testing material following a strong second behind Yulong Monoceros at Quirindi recently.
Garry Neale makes the journey from his Warwick Farm base with Revenire and strong recent runs in the metropolitan area having the Lonho gelding poised for victory in the De Bortoli Wines Benchmark 66 Handicap.
The prospect of fine weather conditions should provide a good surface for racing with the rail being placed in the normal position.
The club is indebted to the continued support provided by the raceday sponsorship of Tabcorp, Settlers Inn, Prime7, Schweppes, De Bortoli Wines, John Oxley Motors and Great Northern Brewing and thank them for assisting in the staging of the program.
The action continues at Port Macquarie under the strict Coronavirus protocols with trainers, strappers, jockeys, officials, track staff and essential personnel the only persons admitted, which will prevent Club members, owners and members of the public from attending.
No on-course wagering facilities will be available and essential personnel will be required to leave the racecourse after their horses have run. Punters will be able to follow all the action live through the screens of Sky Racing and comprehensive wagering facilities will be provided by Tabcorp.
Race 1 – 12:00PM TAB.COM.AU MAIDEN PLATE (1500M): 1 Balboa, 4 Phylave, 8 Cristal Caz
Race 2 – 12:35PM TAB – LONG MAY WE PLAY MAIDEN PLATE (1500M): 5 Our Tito, 4 Nightmare, 9 Dawn Thunder
Race 3 – 1:10PM SETTLERS INN F&M MAIDEN HCP (1200M): 7 Ciao Uno, 11 Our Girl Wanda, 8 Crazeelil
Race 4 – 1:45PM PRIME7 LOCAL NEWS CG&E MAIDEN HCP (1200M): 2 Fantasy Eagle, 3 Surmise, 5 Pure Rubick
Race 5 – 2:25PM SCHWEPPES CLASS 1 HCP (1000M: 8 Ceremonial Prince, 6 Spirit in the Sky, 2 Manly Hanover
Race 6 – 3:05PM DE BORTOLI WINES BENCHMARK 66 HCP (1100M): 3 Revenire, 8 Crackneck, 7 New Major
Race 7 – 3:40PM JOHN OXLEY MOTORS BENCHMARK 66 HCP (1500M): 3 Stylish Pattern, 7 Joy for Us, 2 O’Driscoll
Race 8 – 4:15PM GREAT NORTHERN BREWING COMPANY CLASS 2 HCP (1200M): 3 Thunderous Strike, 5 Bravio, 6 Perfect Peace