By Rod Fuller
Local trainers look to have solid claims as racing returns to Port Macquarie this Saturday for an evenly balanced six race program.
After a major track reconstruction, affected by poor recent weather conditions, the course proper continues to consolidate and will provide a good surface for racing with strong fields the order of the day.
After a successful Grafton carnival highlighted by Glitra’s impressive win on Ramornie day, popular local trainer John Sprague has a couple of strong chances throughout the program.
The Commands gelding, Drummed Out, looks the testing material in the Benchmark 59 Handicap following a narrow win at Taree just over a month ago.
Despite being beaten just under 4 lengths recently at Taree, his record indicates an ability to handle both rain affected ground and firmer surfaces.
The Matthew Robinson trained galloper, Corey, made an encouraging return from a spell when 9th at Taree a fortnight ago and will provide the testing material, particularly on an improving track.
The Elvstrom mare, Va Va Voom, could provide the anchor bet for multiple players from the astute Peter Ball stable following a recent 3rd at the track.
The other main chance from the Sprague stable is Unique Miss in the Maiden Handicap, following a strong run two weeks ago at Taree when beaten 1 ¼ lengths behind Jawdaa.
Prominent local trainer, Neil Godbolt, has the debutant Typhoon Bonny accepting for the race and markets could be the best guide following the Red Dazzler filly’s recent Taree trial.
A strong first up performance is anticipated from the Matthew Robinson trained, On My Terms, in the Class 1 Handicap following a promising 2nd in an open trial at Taree in early July.
Form for the Dubai’s Choice filly was solid when last in work and leading local jockey, Ben Looker has been engaged for the weekend assignment.
The hardest to beat looks to be the Joanne Hardy trained mare, Written Song, following success on the track last month and a respectable 7th at Grafton in the event won by Eddy Would Go.
Another solid chance from the Godbolt stable looks to be the well performed gelding, Chui, placed at two of his past three runs and entered in the Maiden Plate.
Other trainers with chances on the program include prominent Wyong mentors, Kristen Buchanan and Damien Lane together with Mark Quinn, Jenny Graham, Michael Byers and Tas Morton.
Andrew Gibbons currently leads the Mid North Coast Racing Association Jockeys Premiership for season 2016-2017 with 30 wins followed by Peter Graham 27, Ben Looker 23 and Robert Thompson 22.
After a very successful season, Kris Lees heads the Trainers Premiership for the Mid North Coast with 42 wins from Neil Godbolt 19, Ross Stitt 13 and Paul Perry on 12. A large crowd of holiday makers is anticipated and the meeting is supported by Caroma, Dux, Rheem, RMC, Pipe King and John L. Fisher Plumbing.
Full bar and catering facilities will be available at the track together with betting on the local and metropolitan racing from around Australia, with the highlight being Winter Stakes day at Rosehill Gardens.
Saturday’s meeting commences a very busy period for the club, culminating in the Port Macquarie Cup day on 6th October 2017.
Selections Race 1 RMC CL1 & MDN PLATE
3. Sakhumzi, 4 The Weald, 1 Anghiari
Race 2 JOHN L FISHER PLUMBING SUPPLIES MDN PLATE
3 Chui, 7 Dorawin, 2 Bluesbro
Race 3 PIPE KING MDN HCP
3 Typhoon Bonny, 5 Wiccan Rede, 12 Unique Miss
Race 4 RHEEM CL1 HCP
1 On My Terms, 2 Written Song, 7 Cream Of Oz
Race 5 CAROMA BM 59
2 Drummed Out, 9 Corey, 5 Va Va Voom
Race 6 DUX CL3
2 Mosaytion, 4 Santorini Miss, 6 Fired Up