By Rod Fuller
Following strong recent victories on the North Coast, Danzibar Dancer looks well placed to continue her great run of success in the $60,000 Great Northern Queen of the North at the outstanding Port Macquarie program on Friday.
The Mint Lane galloper was responsible for a solid victory over St Hillary at Tuncurry before breaking the 1300 metre manual track record at Taree in accounting for Eyebea Danser.
With a strong record over the distance and possessing a style of racing relatively close to the speed, the Jim Louizos trained mare could be advantaged in the feature race assignment.
Success will result in Danzibar Dancer tipping over the $100,000 prizemoney milestone with many keen racing judges expecting the daughter of Fantastic Dream to break through after sound seconds at the track earlier in her career.
It is also significant that respected jockey Grant Buckley has been engaged for the ride with the popular hoop currently sitting fifth in the latest season riding statistics with 59 victories.
The key to the race revolves around Shelley Beach Road following an eye catching third in a recent Port trial behind Crazeelil and Deep Dream with the latter responsible for a comprehensive Taree victory a week later.
Despite being allocated top weight status, the Shellscrape mare possesses an imposing first-up record together with a distinct liking for her home track and has scored in open company during her previous campaign.
Danzibar Dancer wins at Taree on January 2
Other chances include Northern Wilderose, who is a horse on the rise and was responsible for an outstanding win at Coffs Harbour recently while Ellie’s Encore won this event in 2018 and would be considered a good chance together with Bedtime Stories and Bellastar.
Heavenly Glow heads the honours list for the Queen of the North after winning the race in 2008 and then progressing to victories in the Group 1 Storm Queen Stakes, the Group 1 Australian Oaks followed by the Group 3 Doomben Roses in succession.
Heavenly Glow’s earned overall prizemoney of just under $800,000 and was ridden by evergreen jockey Robert Thompson, who also piloted Leviosa to victory in 2012.
Al Nova has the honour of winning the race on two occasions for the popular Neil Godbolt and Alison Threadwell combination following success in 2013 and a repetition the following year.
Last year’s winner Lucciola Belle progressed to victory in the district Country Championship Qualifier before finishing a gallant second to Noble Boy in the Final at Randwick.
The club was delighted with the massive 221 nominations received for the program resulting in an extremely competitive nine event card with capacity fields the order of the day.
The popular Jenny Graham stable look to have solid chances throughout the program with Wandzel poised to break his maiden status in the opening event following recent Taree placings while Sebago and Firefly Poppy have claims later in the day.
The Nathan Doyle stable has an imposing recent record at the course with Pride of Adelaide, Café Royal and Gironde providing their best chances of success while the horses under the care of Tracey Bartley should also be considered.
The Port Macquarie Race Club is proud to be associated with The Great Northern Brewing Company for the presentation of such a prestigious day of racing and is greatly appreciative of the continued sponsorship of Balmoor Distributors, Hastings Fresh Meats, The Providores, Hire Port, John Oxley Motors, Programmed property Maintenance, Woodbridge Glass and B-Safe Storage Solutions.
There will be excellent catering, wagering and bar facilities available on the day to cater for the anticipated large crowd of holiday makers with plenty of spacious lawns for families.
Race 1: 9 Wandzel, 11 Schengen, 7 Major Heist
Race 2: 4 Exotic Pearl, 3 Sabeaux, 12 She’s Smart
Race 3: 3 Pride of Adelaide, 2 Sebago, 4 Money Travels
Race 4: 4 Café Royal, 3 Firefly Poppy, 2 Dark Secret
Race 5: 2 Animate, 4 Brazen Gypsy, 1 Rioli
Race 6: 8 Gironde, 10 Red Light Dancer, 4 Thiswilldous
Race 7: Alternative Facts, 5 Fair Dinkum, 10 Xiaoli’s Ying
Race 8: 3 Danzibar Dancer, 1 Shelley Beach Road, 9 Northern Wilderose
Race 9: 13 Delchuzy, 15 Longchamp Lass, 6 Damit