By Rod Fuller
Four trainers who tasted success at the recent Grafton Carnival became an integral part of a successful Saturday meeting a Port Macquarie. With wins from John Sprague with Glitra, the Joanne Hardy-trained Chilli Zaim and her father’s horse, Eddy Would Go, Sports Tycoon from the Kristen Buchanan stable, and Damien Lane with Mr McBat and Johnny Be Good, the stage was set for a most interesting day of racing.
Despite inclement weather conditions downgrading the track to a Slow 7, the enthusiasm of a good holiday crowd could not be dampened and the racing was keen, despite horses on the speed being seen to advantage. The biggest betting move for the day saw the Duporth filly, Komanchi Force from the astute Tas Morton establishment salute with Ben Looker in the saddle.
Race 1 - RMC Class 1 & Maiden Plate, 2000 metres Two late scratchings of Our Boy Ted and Solid North at the barrier delayed the start with the Kristen Buchanan trained gelding Sakhumzi sent out the odds-on favourite. The race had Weaveded and Mosh Pit jostling for the front with an early speed battle before the pace became muddling mid race. The Weald, backed in just over a point to $3.20, sat 3rd in the run with Sakhumzi perfectly positioned behind him. On straightening, Ray Spokes made his move on the Neil Godbolt trained galloper, The Weald, but was no match for Sakhumzi, who opened up over the concluding stages for a comprehensive victory.
Race 2 - John L Fisher Plumbing Supplies Maiden Plate, 1500 metres The biggest tip on track was the Tas Morton trained filly, Komanchi Force and this was assisted when the pre-post favourite, Bluesbro missed the start. Promising young apprentice, Cejay Graham, had no hesitation in taking the Danewin filly, Doorawin to a large length lead down the side of the track with Komanchi Force setting mid field and Dorawin at the tail. Joannne Hardy supporters of her filly, Dorawin, were on good terms with themselves after straightening four lengths in front, but Ben Looker made his move down the outside on Komanchi Force for a long neck victory. Others in the race such as Chui and Ahern were not seen to advantage in the rain affected conditions and were beaten a fair way when the judge called a halt.
Race 3 - Pipe King Maiden Handicap, 1100 metres The John Sprague trained, Unique Miss was sent the odds-on favourite after a strong last start third at Taree just over a month ago, but could not run down the pacemaker, Typhoon Bonny. Belinda Hodder took the red Dazzler filly, Typhoon Bonny to the lead and was able to open up the field from Wiccan Rede and Ayla’s Angel with Unique Miss settling mid field. Typhoon Bonny straightened up with a solid lead and allowing for the fact that Unique Miss was making up valuable ground along the rails and finishing resolutely, the mare was no match for the Neil Godbolt trained winner.
Race 4 - Rheem Class 1 Handicap,
1200 metres Popular Coffs Harbour trainer, Joanne Hardy, placed Written Song to advantage for a tough victory over On My Terms and Baradine Bound. Under strong riding from Ray Spokes, the Written Tycoon mare was able to claim On My Terms in the shadow of the post for a gritty and determined victory. In a race where being on the speed was a distinct advantage, Written Song is now unbeaten at the Port Macquarie track after scoring a maiden success in June. The run of the Matthew Robinson trained runner up, On My Terms, full of merit first up and the horse will derive a great deal of benefit from the outing. The Starcraft gelding, Baradine Bound from the Grant Prosser stable, made up good ground over the concluding stages after racing wide.
Race 5 - Caroma Benchmark 59 Handicap, 1200 metres The disappointment for the John Sprague stable following the narrow defeat of Unique Miss in an earlier race was brightened by a perfect ride from Matthew Paget aboard the well supported, Drummed Out. After sitting just off the pace behind Spartan Warrior and I’m Danny, Paget made his move in the straight along the rails on Drummed Out for a strong victory. The Wyong trained gelding, I’m Danny’s first up run in over seven months was full of merit and Spartan Warrior battled on well for third.
Race 6 - Dux Class 3 Handicap,
1500 metres Another stable enjoying success at Grafton during the carnival was the Damien Lane establishment at Wyong and it was his gelding, Mosaytion, who came right down the outside for a strong victory in the last. On a day where being on the speed was an advantage, the Mosayter gelding was able to hook to the outside in the straight and finish all the early pacemakers, Fired Up and Spun Dry. The run of the Terry Evans trained, Svavarsson, was full of merit after being involved in the speed battle and Spun Dry and Fired Up battled on well
Horses to Follow: Bluesbro, I’m Danny, Mosaytion