By Rod Fuller
A drop back in class and home track advantage could provide the key for Dew Drop’s chances - a $7.50 chance on TAB - in the Pure Blonde Benchmark 66 Handicap at Port Macquarie on Friday.
Prominent local trainer, John Sprague, puts the polish on the son of Eavesdropper and has elected to give his charge a slight break following an even placing behind Pirate Ben on extremely heavy ground at Taree in December.
Luke Rolls was able to work into the race on the point of the home turn and finished resolutely, despite being beaten around two lengths, with the effort confirming the gelding’s ability to handle rain effected ground.
It is significant that Rolls has been engaged to continue his association with the horse and the popular hoop has already amassed 30 victories and 54 placings in the current NSW riding season.
Dew Drop has been racing top-quality opposition in recent months including efforts in the Port Macquarie and Sawtell Cups and will relish the lower-class conditions together with the rain-affected going.
This has been further enhanced with the Jason Deamer stable electing to run Lochita in the rescheduled meeting at Muswellbrook on Thursday (finished sixth), in preference to the Port assignment, thus eliminating one of the strong chances in the race. Underboss ($3.60) and Miss Scalini ($2.80 favourite) are also considered live hopes.
Souchong ($2.50 fav) represents the best wager for the card in the Carlton Draught Benchmark 58 Handicap following a strong win at Muswellbrook when accounting for Mbappe by a length in November.
The Todd Howlett-trained mare handled a rise in grade and the increased journey well when narrowly defeated by The Equinator at Gunnedah last month with the daughter of Mosayter possessing a sound record on rain-affected ground.
Crazeelil ($5) represents sound each-way value in the sixth event while Memphis Squaw ($6) made the successful journey from Victoria to the Grafton stable of Shane Everson with an immediate victory at Coffs Harbour on heavy ground and should prove hard to beat in the final race on the program.
Heavy rain in the days leading up to the meeting has caused a Heavy 10 track rating, but officials are hoping for a break in the weather to provide a sound surface for the strong day of racing.
Please contact the Port Macquarie Race Club office for more information regarding reserved seating and access to the Livermore Stand and Clydesdale Room on 02 6581 1964 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
General admission tickets remain available on the day and there is no need to pre-purchase with all patrons required to use the QR Code system to gain entry.
Everyone is encouraged to download the Services NSW app prior to attending to make things easier and plenty of seating is available with the undercover outdoor areas in operation together with wagering, dining and bar facilities.
The Port racetrack remains a COVID-19 safe venue and it is important to follow all the procedures and guidelines applicable to any person who is a resident or recent visitor of Sydney’s northern beaches or areas around Auburn, Berala, Lidcombe North, Regent Park and Rookwood, unable to gain admission.
People who are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, are awaiting a COVID-19 test or has been in contact with an affected person, also must not enter the racetrack.
Punters unable to attend are still encouraged to follow all the action live from the Port meeting and supporting programs around Australia through the screens of Sky Racing and comprehensive wagering facilities continue to be provided by Tabcorp.
The club is grateful for the continued support provided by Carlton and United Breweries and the race names for the day are indicative of some of the fine products available from this great organisation.
The next meeting to be conducted at the Port circuit features the running of the $60,000 Queen of the North Handicap, one of the highlight events on the club’s calendar, to be conducted on Friday 22nd January.
Race 1 – 1.15pm CORONA MAIDEN HCP (1200M): 4 Impulse Control, 7 Glendor, 6 Foxy Five
Race 2 – 1.50pm PERONI MAIDEN PLATE (1000M): 3 Em Me D’ar, 5 Bay of Bengal, 10 Muscadelle
Race 3 – 2.25pm CARLTON DRAUGHT BM58 HCP (2000M): 2 Souchong, 7 Lucky for Some, 5 Tickets for Youth
Race 4 – 3.05pm ASAHI MAIDEN PLATE (1500M): 3 Telfer, 13 So Commanding, 11 Ruger Rose
Race 5 – 3.40pm PURE BLONDE BM 66 HCP (1500M): 2 Dew Drop, 6 Underboss, 7 Miss Scalini
Race 6 – 4.20pm CARLTON MID CLASS 1 HCP (1500M): 4 Crazeelil, 2 Blue Velvet, 6 Razano
Race 7 – 4.55pm CARLTON DRY CG&E BM58 HCP (1100M): 2 Devil’s Choice, 1 Elusive Eagle, 10 De Goey
Race 8 – 5.30pm GREAT NORTHERN SUPER CRISP F&M BM 58 HCP (1100M): 5 Memphis Squaw, 7 Innervoice, 2 Cool Missile