By Rod Fuller
After a comprehensive victory at the recent Mid North Coast Racing Association Country Championships qualifying day, Wewonya looks set to provide the testing material in the Benchmark 65 at Port Macquarie this Friday.
The Hilary Dew-trained gelding came from the rear of the field with a lightning burst down the outside to claim victory and continue an unbeaten record over the track and distance. Louise Day has been riding with great success in recent times and her apprentice claim should be a distinct advantage for the son of Minardi.
The Brett Bellamy-trained galloper, Zuccherina, looks set to provide the toughest opposition following a solid second behind Flaming Aces in the Trevor Hardy feature at Coffs Harbour last Sunday. The Host mare is the graded runner in the event, but has been weighted to her best with a 6.5kg increase on the last start effort.
Forever Alone has been a model of consistency during recent runs in the district and deserves success for the Neil Godbolt stable, having been sent out favourite when run down by Wewonya a fortnight ago.
Jenny Graham looks set to continue her recent success when training the trifecta in the local Country Championships heat with two interesting runners engaged early in the day. The Rebel Raider filly, Let’s Rebelle, looks nicely placed in the opening event following a barrier trial win at Taree recently.
Despite being the most inexperienced runner in the field, Let’s Rebelle comes into the race well with the consistent Ross Stitt-trained galloper, Natural Image, providing the stiffest opposition. I’m a Rebel is entered for the Maiden Plate and hasn’t raced since August 2016 when a disappointing last at Taree, with a veterinary examination revealing an abrasion to the near hind stifle and the horse was subsequently spelled.
It is significant that all-conquering jockey Ben Looker has been engaged for both rides and betting markets should be analysed closely prior to the respective events.
Jemily has been recently transferred to the local stable of Glen Hodge and will be aided by the claim for Leah Kilner in the Fillies and Mares Benchmark 55 while Dreamy Belle is down in grade when contesting the Class 2 Handicap following a first-up Warwick Farm run recently. The Hodge stable has the key runners in the Colts and Geldings Maiden Plate earlier in the day with Saint Denis and Shoreditch engaged.
Despite being soundly beaten by Newsfan last start, Saint Denis looks well placed while Shoreditch is lightly raced and ran an encouraging third at his home track recently.
Full bar, catering and wagering operations will be available throughout the day and the outstanding facilities of the Ivan Livermore Grandstand will be available for the program. Port Macquarie Race Club greatly appreciates the support provided by McGuigan BMW and encourages everyone to visit the showroom at 140 Hastings River Drive as part of the magnificent John Oxley Motors complex. Racing commences at 1.43pm with the last of eight events on the program scheduled for 5.50pm.
Race 1 (The Ultimate Driving Machine F&M Maiden Hcp, 1206m): 3 Let’s Rebelle, 1 Natural Image, 5 Sepoised
Race 2 (John Oxley Motors CG&E Maiden Hcp, 1206m): 2 Shoreditch, 4 Septango, 1 Saint Denis
Race 3 (The New BMW X3 Maiden Plate, 1006m): 3 Magic Melman, 51’m A Rebel, Ten Carat
Race 4 (McGuigan BMW Since 1978 CL1 Hcp, 1506m): 2 Mahervellous, 1 So You Merge, 7 Shake Her Bon Bon
Race 5 (McGuigan BMW Port Macquarie BM 65 Hcp, 1506m): 1 Wewonya, 3 Zuccherina, 8 Forever Alone
Race 6 (BMW Premium Selection CL2 Hcp, 1006m): 4 Dreamy Belle, 2 Serious Star, 6 Magic Era
Race 7 (The All New BMW X2 F&M BM 55 Hcp, 1206m): 1 Jemily, 2 Latitude, 4 Take the Mountain
Race 8 (BMW M CG&E BM 55 Hcp, 1206m): 11 Hidden Rock, 3 Mister Smartee, 9 Budawang