By Rod Fuller
Following an outstanding debut performance during the recent cup carnival, Jumper Leads looks set to stamp his name as a horse on the rise for the Port Macquarie program this Sunday.
The audacious first-up victory for the Direct Charge gelding by over five lengths in accounting for Last Ace, places the Colt Prosser-trained galloper at the head of discussions for the Class 1 Handicap over the 1006 metre journey.
Belinda Hodder has been engaged for the mount to continue her association with Jumper Leads in a race that possesses plenty of genuine chances.
The Ross Stitt-trained mare, She Clangs, contests the event following strong recent placings at Port and Grafton while Jamaican Dream is looking to improve from his last start second at Cessnock.
The interesting runner in the race is the locally-trained mare, Sylvie, from the Lisa Sheppard stable who is resuming from a year-long break from racing.
The Time Thief mare was responsible for a narrow victory in a Coffs Harbour barrier trial in preparation for the event and previous form suggests a strong performance is a distinct possibility.
It is extremely rare for Brett Cavanough to make the journey from Scone without success and Mick the Hat has been entered for the race following a sound victory at his home track last month.
Grant Buckley takes the ride on the flashy Snippetson chestnut gelding, who has not finished out of the placings at his three career performances.
The stable also has an excellent prospect in the second event with Magpie engaged after two solid barrier trials following the More Than Ready colt’s only official run at Canterbury in early February. After representing the district proudly with Victorem in the recent $1.3 million Kosciusko at Randwick, Jenny Graham has Veganza’s engagement in the fourth event as her only runner on the program.
Ben Looker was presented with the highly coveted award for the state’s Country Jockey of the Year at the recent Racing NSW Awards night and has been engaged to ride the Lope de Vega mare, who is looking to break through following strong placings at Taree and Port Macquarie.
The meeting perpetuates the memory of four fine local racing personalities with the feature race being the Athol Platt Memorial, named in honour of the former trust president and spearhead for the reconstruction of the new Port Macquarie track and facilities in 1967.
Other races on the program pay tribute to former champion local jockey, Col Foster, outstanding trainer and racing official, Bob Graham and a man who dedicated his life to racing in the Port Macquarie and Wauchope districts, Stephen Cook.
The race meeting is sponsored by De Bortoli Wines, The Great Northern Brewing Company and John Oxley Motors and the outstanding facilities of the Ivan Livermore Stand will be in full operation. Prizemoney for the program totals $1540,000 with the first of seven races scheduled to commence at 1.55pm.
The program is the first conducted by the club since the outstanding cup carnival earlier in the month with the recognition of the flagship event further enhanced with Exoteric saluting in the City Tattersalls Club Cup at Randwick following his Port Cup success.
Race 1 (Great Northern Super Crisp Maiden Plate, 1506m): 12 Kalahari, 3 Monument, 10 Trefranian
Race 2 (John Oxley Motors 3YO Maiden Hcp, 1206m): 2 Magpie, 7 Wisama, 4 Sunny Afternoon
Race 3 (De Bortoli Wines 4YO+ Mdn Hcp, 1106m): 3 Run All Night, 12 Stars Galawe, 6 Bubbles De Beer
Race 4 (Bob Graham Memorial Class 1 & Maiden Plate, 2012m): 5 Vision and Prayer, 2 Diamond Deluxe, 1 Delacroix
Race 5 (Col Foster Memorial Class 1 Hcp, 1006m): 7 Jumper Leads, 6 Mick the Hat, 12 She Clangs
Race 6 (Athol Platt Memorial BM 58 Hcp, 1106m): 4 Typhoon Bonny, 7 Golden Comet, Ilia
Race 7 (Stephen Cook Memorial BM 58 Hcp, 1506m): 7 Lucciola Belle, 1 Shadow Prince, 5 Light Motion