By Rod Fuller
With a solid placing at Tamworth and a recent second in a Cessnock barrier trial under his belt, Dead Calm seems poised to return to the winner’s stall in the ITW Buildex Class 3 Handicap as the curtain falls on the cup carnival at Port Macquarie on Saturday.
The lightly raced Choisir gelding has appeared on only nine occasions in an injury marred career and was off the scene for over two years following a third at Randwick in 2017 when beaten under two lengths by Pumpkin Pie.
The Kris Lees stable has done everything possible during this recovery period and patience and perseverance looks set to be rewarded as Dead Calm appears for the weekend assignment.
The obvious danger is the Terry Evans trained former Victorian gelding, Up the Stairs, who presents for the race following victory at his home track of Tuncurry last start and, despite having his debut run at Port, has a strong record over the distance.
The Barry Ratcliff stable has entered First Time Lucky for the race and it would be wise to study betting transactions following the son of Hinchinbrook’s previous win in Class 1 company at Grafton.
Dead Calm runs second in a Cessnock trial on September 30
Punters look set to commence the day well with the Colt Prosser trained gelding Tallis providing the testing material in the opening race following a good second behind Belflyer in a recent Grafton barrier trial.
The son of Direct Charge raced very consistently when last in work including placings at Taree and Coffs Harbour in May with indications the trial effort will provide a springboard for Tallis to break his maiden status.
The key challenger from the Kris Lees stable is Elegant Grace, who is debuting for the event with the Fastnet Rock filly showing above average ability in a recent Cessnock trial success.
The maiden plate is looming as a clash between the Arcadian Shores and Dawn Thunder with both having claims following recent norther rivers placings.
One of the safer investments on the card is Bandjin Rain in the third event with the Hinchinbrook gelding working up to a win following placings at Moree, Armidale and Scone and it is significant that Brett Cavanough has engaged Robert Thompson as the pilot.
On a difficult day of racing action, Divisadero seems a safe wager in the final event following a narrow second behind Bombasay at her first look at the track a couple of weeks ago.
The Port Macquarie Race Club greatly appreciates the continued support of Steeline and welcome all their staff and associates as special guests to the track with the hope everyone has a great day.
The outstanding trackside amenities will be in full operation with full bar and catering service and punters provided with full betting operations on the local program and all the action from Spring Champion Day at Randwick.
Race 1 - 1 Tallis, 4 Elegant Grace, 6 Xiaoli’s Ying
Race 2 - 5 Dawn Thunder, 1 Arcadian Shores, 4 Constanzia
Race 3 - 3 Bandjin Rain, 1 Arabolini, 2 Bandahara
Race 4 - 2 Publican’s Choice, 5 Dr Mayhem, 4 Our Girl Babs
Race 5 - 6 Eerised, 10 Showada, 1 Oakfield Monarch
Race 6 – 1 Dead Calm, 5 Up the Stairs, 8 First Time Lucky
Race 7 - 9 Divisadero, 7 Metre Eater, 5 Zizania.