Trainer Jenny Graham has split her two dual acceptors at Port Macquarie on Friday with Portatorio to line up in the Class 3 Hcp over 1200m and She's Invincible to tackle the Benchmark 65 Hcp over 1100m.
Graham, who is based at Port Macquarie, accepted with the two horses in both races but after carefully weighing up her options has decided to drop She's Invincible back in distance to the 1100m and save Portatorio for the 1200m.
Graham believes She's Invincible is best suited by the drop back in distance in the Grahame Timbrell Benchmark 65 Hcp. The mare's most recent victory, back in January, came over the 1006m at Port Macquarie when she resumed to win a Benchmark 65, beating Neretva and Jemily. Her four subsequent runs have been over 1208m (4th at Port Macquarie), 1450m (6th at Kempsey), 1300m (7th at Armidale on a heavy 8) and 1200m (4th at Tamworth).
"The drop back to the 1100m should suit her and she's also drawn well (the rails) in that race," said Graham. "She won well first-up over the same trip at Port Macquarie and getting her back on her home track on Friday is a big plus."
Andrew Gibbons takes the ride on She's Invincible while Matthew McGuren partners Portatorio, who carries the 61kg topweight in the Barrier Signs Class 3 Hcp (1200m).
Portatorio indicated another win was not far away at his latest outing when he stormed home to finish a close second to Bonita over 1007m at Taree on 18 April.
Portatorio's last effort was his third run back since he resumed racing in February after being sidelined for eight months with a back injury and a serious fetlock infection which almost killed him.
Portatorio won three of his first four starts in 2015-16 before his injury problems and Graham hopes he is getting back to his best form.
"I think it's just taken a bit of time for him to get his confidence back," said Graham. "His last run was very good and hopefully he's getting back to his best form.
"That's one of the reasons I booked Matt for the ride instead of using an apprentice. I want to get a good guide on just where the horse is at the moment and want the opinion of an experienced senior rider."
Graham's only other runner at Port Macquarie on Friday is the in-form Art Attack in the Trackside Photography Benchmark 57 Hcp (1500m).
"He's one horse who has really relished the recent wet tracks and has been racing very well," she said.
The Port Macquarie track is rated soft 5. The rail will be in the true position for Friday's eight-race program.