By Rod Fuller
Following a narrow victory at the track recently, Hippy High Ho looks the testing material in the Prime7 Local News Benchmark 64 feature at the Port Macquarie race meeting on Tuesday.
The Neil Godbolt trained gelding fought on tenaciously when saluting last start after being challenged all the way down the straight by Spinning Gold and Capital Magic and looks well placed in this event.
Creditable runs at Taree in the Krambach Cup and at Kempsey have earned top weight status with Belinda Hodder being engaged for the ride following the Port success.
On the strength of a decisive last start win at Grafton, Bright Lights Baby looks a great opportunity to continue the success currently being enjoyed by Coffs Harbour trainer, Joanne Hardy.
Other chances in an open race look to be the improving galloper, Blinkin Artie and Bakslap from the Allan Denham stable.
After a comprehensive last start victory by four lengths at Grafton recently, The Skrill should provide the toughest obstacle for contestants in the tab.com.au Benchmark 55 Handicap.
With previous form including success in Class 1 company at Moree, astute Armidale trainer, Paul Grills will again venture over the mountains in search of further glory.
The locally trained mare, Penny Fling and the consistent Thorn Park gelding, Whakatane, look to be the anchor bets for multiple players.
Popular Coffs Harbour trainer, Brett Bellamy has a couple of interesting runners engaged including Spanish Steps in the opening event on the program.
After a narrow placing at Grafton recently, the Lope De Vega filly looks well placed with other strong stable hopes appearing later in the day include Firing Line and Tiaconi.
The closing race on the card poses many questions with last start winners, Typhoon Bonny, Gripped and Dual Escape resuming from spells against horses with very good form.
An added highlight to racing action is the appearance of some of the states most talented apprentice riders in the Schweppes Class 3 Handicap, which is a heat of the Racing NSW Rising Star series.
Following recent success at Hawkesbury aboard Stradazzle, Claire Nutman travels to Port Macquarie to ride the well credentialed mare, Polskie Lady.
After wins at Ballina and Coffs Harbour in October, trainer Jim Jarvis ventured to Randwick with the Denman galloper for a creditable run in a Class 3 Highway behind She Knows.
Polskie Lady looks well suited in this event following a last start third behind Art’s Got A Gun when sent out favourite at Kempsey on cup day.
Dangers look to be the Bob Milligan trained gelding, Wongur, who is a Tuncurry winner following a spell resumption and the consistent Grafton trained mare, Ilia.
Racing action commences at 1.15pm on a good surface with first class on course catering and bar facilities available throughout the afternoon.
Comprehensive wagering services on the local program together with corresponding interstate meetings at Ballarat and Rockhampton will also be facilitated.
The club would like to acknowledge the continued support and assistance of Stowe Australia, Panthers Port Macquarie, John Oxley Motors, Schweppes, Carlton Draught, TAB, Prime7, and De Bortoli Wines
Race 1: Stowe Australia Maiden Plate (1506 Metres)
10 Spanish Steps, 2 Galaxy Jak, 9 Cinque Stella
Race 2: Panthers Port Macquarie Maiden Plate (1006 Metres)
11 Our Trolley Dolly, 3 Firing Line, 4 Swamp Monster
Race 3: John Oxley Motors Maiden Hcp (1206 Metres)
3 One Invincible Cat, 3 Saint Helena, 4 Real Son of a Gun
Race 4: Schweppes Class 3 Hcp – Rising Star Heat (1206 Metres)
1 Polskie Lady, 3 Wongur, 7 Ilia
Race 5: Carlton Draught Benchmark 57 Hcp (1006 Metres)
2 Akamin, 6 Kelsha Begs, 8 Tiaconi
Race 6: TAB.COM.AU Benchmark 55 Hcp (2012 Metres)
5 The Skrill, 7 Penny Fling, 2 Whakatane
Race 7: Prime7 Local News Benchmark 64 Hcp (1506 Metres)
1 Hippy High Ho, 5 Bright Lights Baby, 3 Blinkin Artie
Race 8: De Bortoli Wines Class 1 Hcp (1006 Metres)
8 Typhoon Bonny, 2 Gripped, 3 General Nelson