Red Cupcake, a six-year-old mare once given up as a possible racing prospect after suffering leg injuries as a yearling, will provide Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan and her family with another thrilling result if she can put back-to-back Port Macquarie wins together on Tuesday.
The Snippetson mare was regarded more of a family pet at Buchanan's property for several years after she sustained suspensory and sesamoid injuries as a youngster. She is owned by Kristen's mum Lauraine and was named by the trainer's five-year-old daughter Mackenzie.
Red Cupcake finally made her first public appearance when she won a Muswellbrook barrier trial over 880m on November 4 clocking 50.93, the fastest of the three heats that day.
She then made her long-awaited racing debut in a 1000m Maiden at Port Macquarie on November 15. Starting an easing $17 chance, Red Cupcake finished well from back in the field to score by just under a length.
The mare returns to Port Macquarie on Tuesday to run in the Class 1 Hcp over 1006m.
"After she was injured as a yearling we just kept her here on the property and she became more of a family pet because the vet's advice was that she would probably never race," said Buchanan.
"But time is a great healer and when she was a four-year-old she became a bit of project to see if we could slowly get her to the track.
Red Cupcake's debut win at Port Macquarie on November 15
"We nicknamed her 'cupcake' because she was bit tubby and my daughter Mackenzie came up with her race name, Red Cupcake.
"My mum has been an integral part of my stables, so it was great to see the mare win on debut for her after so long. And Mackenzie was obviously so excited as well."
Buchanan said she expected Red Cupcake to run well on debut after impressing in her Muswellbrook trial.
"She has a nice turn of foot and I thought her trial win was very good," she said. "And Jeff (Kehoe) rode her superbly on debut at Port Macquarie.
"Obviously she now has to step up from her Maiden win to the Class 1 on Tuesday, which isn't always easy. But she will have improved with that experience and she is back at Port Macquarie."
Red Cupcake's task on Tuesday has been made a little easier with the scratching of the Kris Lees-trained Silver Melody who looked hard to beat, but she does take on a couple of other last-start winners in Ortega Lane and Complete Faith.
Former Victorian galloper Ortega Lane scored at her first start for Casino trainer Larry Fairhall when he won a Muswellbrook Maiden over 900m on October 23.
Complete Faith, trained at Coffs Harbour by Brett Dodson, broke through last time at his eighth start to score over 1100m at Grafton on November 19.
Locally-trained galloper O'Driscoll looks a great chance to maintain his outstanding record over the 1500m on his home track when he steps out in the Panther Open Hcp, the main race on Tuesday's eight-race program.
Trained by Tas Morton, O'Driscoll boasts three wins from four starts over the 1500m at Port Macquarie. He has won at his past three appearances at the track - a Benchmark 55 on May 18, a Benchmark 58 three runs back on October 28 and a Benchmark 66 at his most recent outing on November 15.
Consistent Tamworth gelding Try'N'Run A Muck looks one of the toughest to beat. Try'N'Run A Muck is coming off a last-start second in the Kempsey Cup (1450m) on November 9 when he just couldn't hold off the finishing burst of the former Singapore galloper Zip A Dee Do Dah, now with Newcastle trainer Kris Lees.
Zip A Dee Do Dah added strength to that form by subsequently running a slashing third to Organza in a Benchmark 78 at Rosehill last Saturday.