By Rod Fuller
The Marc Quinn-trained filly, Imposition, landed some large wagers when she scored an emphatic victory at Port Macquarie on Sunday.
On a track that provided advantage to horses ridden on the speed, jockey Matthew Paget had no hesitation to take the Commands filly straight to the lead for an impressive win. The day’s feature race was the Athol Platt Memorial won by Knight Templar, ridden by Kirk Matheson and trained by Jason Reilly, who led throughout from the fast finishing Jonny Ge.
In, arguably, a first for Australian racing, leading jockey Peter Graham was joined in race riding on the program by his son, Jesse and daughter Cejay, making her riding debut. Peter landed a winner on Cheljoe, while Jesse was placed third on Harnova in the first race and Cejay, who tried to lead on Jemily in race 4, was run down in the shadows of the post.
Race 1 (Carlton Mid 2YO Hcp,
1206m): The Paul Perry-trained youngster Ellie’s Encore produced a tough performance to lead all the way in the opening race. Under strong riding by jockey Paul King, the Choisir filly was challenged all the way down the straight, but found plenty to hold off the challenge from Aqua Chamira. Ellie’s Encore has now had 3 starts for 2 wins and the horse is one to follow for the future, with the Neil Godbolt gelding, Harnova, working home solidly over the concluding stages.
Race 2 (Settlers Inn Hotel Maiden, 1206m): Imposition met with solid support, backed in from $6 to start $4, and didn’t let supporters down with an all-the-way success. At her second run from a spell, the Marc Quinn-trained filly was taken straight to the lead by jockey Matt Paget and extended over the concluding stages for a comprehensive victory. My Lucky Eagle’s first-up run was full of merit after being up near the lead throughout and the Ticket’s filly, Enhances, made up good ground over the last 100m.
Race 3 (Tab.com.au Maiden Plate, 1506m): Zar Gold provided promising apprentice, Kelly Holding, with her fifth overall riding success when breaking through for Wyong part owner and trainer, Ken Tynan. The Zariz mare found conditions to her liking with an all-the-way victory over Miss Fortuitous and Great Grats. The favourite Cadeyrn was always handy in running and battled on well, despite being no match for the ultimate winner.
Race 4 (Stephen Cook Memorial BM 55, 1506m): At her first day of race riding, Cejay Graham had no hesitation but to take Jemily straight to the front, considering the pattern of early events, and try to lead all the way. The idea was meritorious, but the Ready’s Image mare trained by Cejay’s master, John Sprague, found the final furlong a tough assignment and weakened over the concluding stages. The Neil Godbolt-trained Morning Fare was beautifully positioned by Ben Looker just off the speed and finished strongly out wide for an impressive victory. Star Fest, Thundering Heart and Rainbow River made up good ground late in a blanket finish for the minor placings, but found Morning Fare the better horse on the day.
Race 5 (Col Foster Memorial CL 2, 1206m): The Grant Prosser-trained Cheljoe challenged Flinders Beach all the way down the Port Macquarie straight and finally gained the ascendancy in the shadows of the post. Owned by prominent Wauchope racing identity, Debbie Prosser, the Magic Winner gelding was well supported favourite and settled 4th for the majority of the trip before a strong ride by Peter Graham proved successful. Flinders Beach was beaten, but not disgraced in running second and Ginger Snap and Gone Roman filled the minor placings, despite being beaten a fair way. The Tracy Bartley-trained mare, Sophie’s Image, was up on the speed, but wilted over the concluding stages.
Race 6 (Athol Platt Memorial BM 64, 1106m): The feature race named in honour of the man instrumental in the reconstruction of the Port Macquarie complex in the 1970s was won by the speedy, Knight Templar. Jockey Kirk Matheson took the Lion Heart gelding straight to the lead from barrier rise and the opposition had no chance to run him down. The Jason Reilly-trained topweight survived the fast finish of Jonny Ge, who came with a solid run along the rails to be beaten by a neck when the judge called a halt. Johnny Ge provided the run of the race and Va Va Voom was second throughout and battled on well for a good third
Race 7 (Bob Graham Memorial CL 1, 1006m): Leading trainer Kris Lees seems to have an above average horse in the shape of Look and Listen, who saluted in the final race on the program. The Hinchinbrook filly is undefeated after two appearances and provided favourite backers with no cause for fear as Andrew Gibbons made his move four wide on the turn and motored to the post an impressive winner. Lightning Hugh led for the majority of the race but was no match for Look and Listen, while Going Grey battled on for third.
Horses to Follow: Ellie’s Encore, Look and Listen