By Rod Fuller
Despite resuming from a winter spell, Shoreditch heads the strong final acceptances for the Camden Haven Cup feature as racing returns to Port Macquarie this Saturday.
The last appearance for the son of Pierro was a solid third behind Bedivere at Taree in May with previous performances including victories at Lismore and Port Macquarie.
With a good first-up record, strong statistics at his home track, the engagement of Matthew Bennett for the ride and the in-form status of the John Sprague training establishment, there are plenty of positives around Shoreditch for the weekend assignment.
The stable also has Dew Drop entered for the event as the chestnut gelding resumes from a three-month break with sound form when previously in work while other chances look to centre around Chateauroux, Dixie Lad, Jest Magic and Metre Eater.
Peter Evans puts the polish on Chateauroux with the gelding responsible for an encouraging second at Coffs Harbour on heavy ground last start while Metre Eater is a last start winner on the same day.
The Matthew Robinson trained gelding, Jest Magic, has an excellent record at Port while many astute punters are stating a case for Dixie Lad from the astute Neil Godbolt yard.
Norma’s Joy looks set to start the day well for punters in the opening event following the mare’s successful maiden win at Lismore a couple of weeks ago while Brian Walker makes the journey from Cessnock with the Your Song mare, Sing us a Song, in an attempt to secure the Class 1 Handicap over 1000 metres.
Despite being labelled as top weights in the final race on the program, Kris Lees has the decision as to whether Fashion Icon and Airlie Avenue compete at Port Macquarie in preference to running at Muswellbrook the following day.
The club is delighted to continue their great association with the Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce with the day providing a major fundraiser for the Camden Haven Schools to Schools Shared Pathway project.
Schools to Schools spokesperson Jason Koenig said their goal is to achieve safe off-road walkable pathways to Laurieton Public School, St Joseph's Primary School, Camden Haven High School and Kendall Public School.
A day of this nature made possible through the sponsorship of Club North Haven, Laurieton Hotel, Lake Cathie Tavern, Royal Hotel Kew, Camden Haven Courier Service with the Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce greatly appreciative of their support,
The meeting commences at 1.27pm with the Cup feature scheduled for 4.10pm and the outstanding trackside facilities will be in full operation catering for the local program as well as providing full betting coverage of the black type races from Randwick.
As preparations continue for Victorem’s campaign towards the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko at Randwick on October 19, the Jenny Graham trained gelding was recently announced as the Mid North Coast Racing Association Horse of the Year.
After attaining the prestigious title last season, the son of I am Invincible provided another stellar series of performances highlighted by wins in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes and Hinkler Handicap in Brisbane together with strong placings in group and listed company.
With a 2018-2019 record of nine starts for two wins and three placings amassing prizemoney of just under $300,000, the star of Port Macquarie looks well placed to improve upon his fifth behind Belflyer on very heavy ground in last year’s inaugural The Kosciuszko.
Graham has provided a patient and positive preparation for Victorem following a solid fourth behind Brave Song in the Group 3 Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm in June with the recent spell providing the key for the current race favourite.
Leading trainer for the season was leviathan Newcastle mentor, Kris Lees, who saddled up 40 district victories as well as winning the NSW Country title and finishing a narrow third in the overall tally while stable jockey, Andrew Gibbons landed the local riding prize with 42 wins.
Well done to local rider, Cejay Graham, who landed the prestigious apprentice award for the recent season with the popular local rider now under the mentorship of Snowden Racing in Sydney.
These awards will be presented at the Wauchope Jockey Club race meeting to be conducted at Kempsey on Monday September 2nd and will provide a wonderful introduction to the Port Macquarie Racing Carnival with Cup Prelude day on Sunday 29th September.
The stage will then be set for a fantastic day of racing on Friday 11th October with the Cup carrying prizemoney of $200,000 and showcase status providing a minimum purse of $30,000 for all minor events.
Race 1 - 1:27pm Camden Haven Courier Class 1 & Maiden Plate (2000 m): 4 Norma’s Joy, 6 He Zoffan Gone, 5 Havazac
Race 2 - 2:02pm Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce Maiden Plate (1500 m): 7 Olena, 4 Amplified, 5 Dogoda Fury
Race 3 - 2:41pm Royal Hotel Kew Class 1 Handicap (1000 m): 6 Sing Us a Song, 4 Nicconi Lass, 8 Ms Wicked Nicci
Race 4 - 3:21pm Lake Cathie Tavern Maiden Handicap (1100 m): 12 Sweet Kiara, 11 Snippets of Rain, 4 Bonne Voleur
Race 5 - 4:01pm Club North Haven 2019 Camden Haven Cup BM 58 Handicap (1200 m): 5 Shoreditch, 9 Chateauroux, 2 Dixie Lad
Race 6 - 4:41pm Laurieton Hotel BM 50 Handicap (1500 m): 2* Airlie Avenue, 7 Bon Bon, 1* Fashion Icon
*Denotes Dual Acceptor (Muswellbrook Sunday)