By Rod Fuller
With a dominant recent victory under his belt and an ability to handle rain affected track conditions, Tower Road is poised for success in the Wauchope Cup at Port Macquarie on Sunday.
The son of Savabeel was prominent in running at Casino last start before accounting for In Ya Skyrocket by around a length with the win following a solid fourth in Class 3 Highway company at Rosehill behind Perfect Pitch.
The lightly raced gelding has been a great money spinner for the Coffs Harbour stable of Graham Payne since relocating from Danny O’Brien’s Melbourne base with a forward showing set to continue his progression through the ranks.
Tower Road has a fifty percent strike rate on soft ground and an adaptable racing pattern of positioning close to the speed in recent times together with the engagement of accomplished rider, Leah Kilner, provides further confidence.
Melted Moments is a seasoned veteran with recent placings at Tamworth and Murwillumbah resulting in the David Campbell trained gelding being allocated with top weight for the event.
This impost will be alleviated by the claim for promising apprentice Jacob Golden, with the son of Any Given Sunday having a strong record on soft and heavy ground indicating he will be considered a live chance.
Other hopes centre around Prima Stella following a narrow second in the Beef Week Cup at Casino a couple of weeks ago while Dew Drop is set to fly the local training flag for John Sprague.
The M&S Print Wauchope Sprint complements the $29,000 Wauchope RSL Club Cup with Gold Rhapsody, The Drake and Patriot considered the main chances by keen form students.
The Margaret de Gonneville trained mare Gold Rhapsody is well weighted and has an imposing record at the track together with an ability to race on the pace and handle rain affected conditions.
Tower Road wins at Casino on May 29
This could provide a real advantage in the feature sprint for the daughter of Strategic Maneuver with The Drake coming into the race well following recent placings in strong company at Grafton and Muswellbrook.
Patriot has been disappointing in most recent performances at Walcha and Casino but would be considered a genuine chance with home track advantage and on his best form.
The Wauchope Cup is a race steeped in tradition with leading local trainer Neil Godbolt, the most successful over the last half century with victory to Royal Décor in 1985 and 1987 enhanced by success in the following years with Zanoletti, Window and Never Doubt Me.
The stable will be represented in Sunday’s feature with the former Victorian trained gelding Condover Hall.
Debbie Prosser and the late, great, Bob Graham enjoyed a solid strike rate in the event while Peter Graham is on the injured list at the moment but the former Wauchope local holds the jockey honours with six victories including the two most recent aboard Brazen and O’Driscoll.
After being a strong performer for the local stable of Tas Morton over the past three years, O’Driscoll has since finished unplaced in the Wingham Cup at Taree under the guidance of Jessica McCusker with the O’Reilly gelding drawing barrier five in this year’s event.
Following the deluge of rain during the week, officials are hoping for the fine weather conditions predicted to improve the track conditions for Sunday’s feature race meeting.
Coronavirus restrictions remain an evolving scenario with action continuing at the Port Macquarie track under strict protocols set in place by Racing NSW together with Government and Health officials.
Trainers, strappers, jockeys, officials, track staff and mostly essential personnel continue as the only persons admitted, which will prevent owners and members of the public from attending.
The Wauchope Jockey Club are greatly indebted to the Wauchope RSL Club for their continued support of this feature race day and would also like to acknowledge the sponsorship of M & S Print, Wauchope Real Estate, Port City Glass, Construction and Cladding, Wauchope Motel, Inland 4WD & Tractor and Craig Chapman Building in staging their feature meeting for the season.
The first event on an eight-race card is scheduled for 11.50am with the barriers rising for the Wauchope RSL Club Cup at 3.30pm.
Race 1 – 5 Always Hot, 7 Mesmer, 1 Amore Moderno
Race 2 – 6 Pure Rubick, 14 Zanshin, 2 Fior the Tiger
Race 3 – 6 Honovi, 1 Flying Mojo, 3 Resplendence
Race 4 – 10 Gold Rhapsody, 7 The Drake, 2 Patriot
Race 5 – 2 Sebago, 5 Ceremonial Prince, 4 Sylvia’s Memory
Race 6 – 8 Nicconi Lass, 10 Za Za Zena, 7 Serene Beauty
Race 7 – 9 Tower Road, 1 Melted Moments, 5 Prima Stella
Race 8 – 2 Laughs Loudest, 7 Men in Tights, 3 Good Excuse.