By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Sunday’s Port Macquarie meeting. Selections based on a good to soft track.
|Race 1 – 1.40PM PORT CITY BREAKERS RLFC HANDICAP (1206 METRES)|
3. Par Avion has been hitting the line well in two starts at 1000m and should be able to get into the race earlier up in trip from an inside gate. Made plenty of ground at this track last time on heavy ground and in a very winnable race has a big chance.
Dangers: 2. Time To Target doesn’t need to improve a lot to break through after three placings on end. Worked a bit in the early stages and was rounded up late at Lismore last time. Again drawn out but goes forward and can give a sight. Read comments from trainer Jim Jarvis here. 1. Poet’s Performer is a mare on debut and only had the one trial for a very handy second at this track a couple of weeks ago. Has the outside but bears close watching. 4. Wanna Tweet has been thereabouts in all four starts and just looked to battle a bit late at the 1106m here before a break. Yet to try this sort of trip but drawn well and should be respected.
How to play it: Par Avion WIN ($3.60 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Par Avion runs third at Port Macquarie on January 8
|Race 2 - 2:15PM PORT MACQUARIE SHARKS RLFC HANDICAP (1206 METRES)|
2. Endangered Species looks close to a win after seconds at both starts to date. Liked the way he closed the race off at Grafton last time and should relish the extra distance. Maps well here and is entitled to go close.
Dangers: 4. Emporia bumped into what might be a promising type when he debuted at Tuncurry last month on a heavy track. Tried to serve it up to the winner but cracked late. Will be better for it and is a likely improver. 5. Poet’s Prophecy trialled in the same heat as his stablemate, who debuts in race one, and wasn’t overly pressured either in running third. Has the inside alley and watch the market for a pointer. 1. Zaru is starting to get costly but he is a competitive type with five placings from seven starts. A bit weak last time but has been racing on heavy tracks so no surprise to see him improve on top of the ground.
How to play it: Endangered Species WIN ($4.00 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Endangered Species runs second at Grafton on January 24
|Race 3 – 2.50PM JOHN OXLEY MOTORS PLATE (1506 METRES)|
7. Justitia might have found a suitable race after finishing behind the placings at her last couple. Not a bad run at Coffs on a heavy track then found herself well back on the fence before working into fourth over this course. Not much depth in this and has a good chance.
Dangers: 9. Single Charge hasn’t raced on a good track for a while and has been thereabouts in her last couple in the wet. A little weak late at Taree so coming back slightly in trip a plus. Each-way. 2. Flying Euros is a 16 start maiden but has placed in seven of those so maybe his time isn’t far off. Beaten favourite at his last two where he’s drawn wide, as he is here. Will need luck but can’t leave out. 3. Dragon Dream was $151 on debut at this track over 1100m and while beaten eight lengths did hit the line. Straight up in trip and drawn a soft gate. No shock if he found his way into the placings.
How to play it: Justitia E/W ($3.60 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Justitia runs fourth at Port Macquarie on January 22
|Race 4 – 3.25PM 4 PINES PACIFIC ALE ON TAP HANDICAP (1006 METRES)|
3. Chillie Cod had her chance here last time but that was at 1200m and all her good form prior was over shorter trips. So back to the short course suits and with any luck early can take catching.
Dangers: 5. Quite Neat just went down at Coffs when resuming on a heavy track then even effort, as a drifter in betting, over this course a couple of weeks ago. Strike rate is a concern but if she holds form she’s in the mix. 1. Married broke his maiden status over this course in October in good style. Recent trial at Gosford was fair in good company. If he returns to the form he showed here then he’s capable of running a big race fresh. 7. Honey Elysees put together a couple of solid seconds on heavy tracks before a battling effort at Muswellbrook last time. Any give in the track and advantage to her.
How to play it: Chillie Cod WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Chillie Cod runs third at Coffs Harbour on December 30
|Race 5 – 4.00PM CARLTON DRY ON TAP HANDICAP (1006 METRES)|
2. Slice Of Heaven has struck form at her last couple over the short course and she attacked the line nicely at this track recently after conceding a big start. Kinder draw is in her favour and doesn’t need to improve a lot to go close.
Dangers: 7. Zapluck resumed with a handy performance to run third in the same race as Slice Of Heaven though that horse did run past him. Fitter for that, draw a concern as are the bar plates but has to be considered. 5. Enigami won at big odds here three starts back and was beaten less than a length in fourth at Nowra five weeks ago. Freshened back up and usually runs well at this track. 4. I'm Jacko wasn't comfortable in the heavy ground at Lismore last time but managed a placing. Could be an improver on firmer going.
How to play it: Slice Of Heaven WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Slice Of Heaven runs second at Port Macquarie on January 22
|Race 6 - 4:35PM MNCRA COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW (1206 METRES)|
4. Elusive Eagle is in superb form with three wins from his last four and all at this track. This doesn’t look any harder and gets in well with 1kg less than last time. Sure to take plenty of holding out.
Dangers: 3. Charmmebaby found herself back last when resuming in the Queen Of The North and was only fair late. Will be much fitter for this and imagine the Country Championships Qualifier will be her next task so expect an improved showing. 2. Bellastar made some ground fresh in the same race to be close up in fifith. Second-up record isn’t great but she’d also be on the way to the Taree Qualifier and will likely run very well. 7. Dr Demon was no match for Elusive Eagle when they met two weeks ago but still ran an honest race. Meets that horse better at the weights by 1.5kg with Matthew Bennett riding 0.5kg over. Must include.
How to play it: Elusive Eagle WIN ($4.00 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Elusive Eagle wins at Port Macquarie on January 22
|Race 7 – 5.10PM GREAT NORTHERN ON TAP HANDICAP (1506 METRES)|
8. Firefly Poppy couldn’t have impressed more with a dominant win at Grafton after drawing wide and getting back, she put a clear margin on her rivals despite starting $14. No harder here and while back in trip slightly she has a good chance to consolidate her form.
Dangers: 3. Maid Marilyn hasn’t won for a while but she is generally not too far away and finds a race lacking some depth. She ran on without threatening over this course two weeks ago beaten a couple of lengths and drops in grade on it so she can be in the finish. 7. Crazeelil is another that has been around the mark in similar sorts of races since a maiden win back in December. A wet track would be a plus to her chances but each-way claims anyway. 1. Salsa Dreaming comes back in class on an ordinary second-up effort at this track where he was never in the hunt. Best form is good enough to make an impact so now he’s fitter he should be able to show something in this field.
How to play it: Firefly Poppy E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Firefly Poppy wins at Grafton on January 24