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Nathan Doyle’s day at Port Macquarie

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Nathan Doyle
Nathan Doyle. Photo: contributed

Port Macquarie review – Thursday 4 March 2021

Rod Fuller

With a strong book of chances peppered throughout the program, supporters of Nathan Day stable were not disappointed as the Novocastrian trainer left the Port Macquarie circuit with a winning treble on Thursday.

Oslo wins at Port Macquarie
Oslo wins Race 1 at Port Macquarie on 4 March 2021

The day commenced well when Oslo sat on the outside of the early pacemaker, Bay of Bengal, before Dylan Gibbons raced clear on the son of Pierro to score an impressive victory.

It was a strong training feat by Doyle who backed the gelding up from a Newcastle outing last Saturday and the performance will be extremely beneficial as Oslo is learning with every start.

The stable completed an early double when Alysha Collett came down the outside aboard Muscadelle to round up Poseidon Ruler and Nicci Knee Knack with the daughter of Street Boss scoring an impressive victory.

The third winner occurred in the Steeline Class 3 Handicap when Ben Looker took advantage of a slow mid-race pace to charge Ready by Design right around the outside of the field down the side of the track.

The Master of Design gelding sustained the run approaching the home bend before drifting to the centre of the track and racing away to score by around two lengths over Continuation and Reposition.

The treble continues Nathan Doyle’s impeccable strike rate and takes his NSW season training figures to eighteen wins and fourteen placings with stakes earnings of just over $400,000.

The Port Macquarie track has been a wonderful hunting ground for Allan Denham and this success continued when Admit It came down the outside to score a resounding victory in the Great Northern Benchmark 66 Handicap.

The evergreen Wyong mentor has yet to leave the track this year without tasting success following wins by Elusive Eagle and Go Gadget over the past two months and his small stable continues to produce the goods around the provincial and country circuits.

The performance of Admit It was outstanding after the Zaha gelding was planted wide for the majority of the event before Andrew Gibbons raced to the front in the straight and was able to withstand the finishing burst of War Cat to score.

Buck Pharoah staged a brilliant effort for Neil Godbolt when the American Pharoah youngster was able to salute in the Schweppes Maiden after travelling wide in the early stages of the event.

Louise Day came with a well-timed run down the outside in the home straight to overhaul the early pacemaker, Emporia, and dash clear for a deserved victory with the popular hoop reporting the gelding is still learning but does possess natural ability.

Day made it a riding double when the Kris Lees trained filly, Dunara, came down the outside to claim Em Me D’ar in the shadows of the post for a decisive win at lengthy odds.

Wayne Seelin was responsible for a strong training effort when Apache Belle resumed from a spell of nine months and stormed down the crown of the track from near the rear to land the seventh event with Grant Buckley aboard.

The day concluded well for followers of Andrew Gibbons and Kris Lees with the prominent riding and training combination completing a double on the program when Spiritual Power landed the final event after an incident at the barrier forced Royal Charge and Gogh Fox to be withdrawn.

Racing action was delayed by around two hours following the late arrival of the ambulance service required to conduct the program with officials doing a magnificent job to complete the card in the available daylight time.

The circuit was assessed as heavy on the morning of the meeting, but improved under the sunny weather conditions prevailing throughout the afternoon and tended to race well with horses successful when racing on the speed or coming from behind and down the outside section of the track in the home straight.

The club would like to acknowledge the support of ATM2HIRE, Carlton Dry, Steeline, Great Northern Super Crisp, TAB, Debortoli Wines, Schweppes and John Oxley Motors in the successful staging of the program.
Racing continues with an eight-event program highlighted by a Benchmark 66 Handicap scheduled for Friday 19th March with the action coinciding with the second day of the Albury Gold Cup carnival.



Punters tended to take early risks with Oslo before the big players stepped in and backed the Nathan Doyle trained gelding into a firm elect with Lord John Grey attracting solid late support while Maasai Mara and Bay of Bengal were considered chances.

Bay of Bengal began well and Georgina McDonnell allowed the Sepoy gelding to attain the early lead before being attacked by Oslo with Maasai Mara and Lord John Grey settling in a prominent position just behind the leaders.

Secret Lago was in the centre of the pack in front of Vallejo while the former Victorian mare, Midnight Magic, showed no gate speed and was back at the tail of the field.

Bay of Bengal and Oslo rounded the home bend together before Dylan Gibbons popped the question to the latter and the Nathan Doyle trained gelding bounded to a clear lead.

Oslo is still learning, but the son of Pierro backed up from a recent fifth at Newcastle last weekend to score a strong victory from Midnight Magic, who made up good ground at the mare’s second run for the John Bannister stable, with Bay of Bengal holding on for third in front of Vallejo.


Buck Pharoah was the solidly supported favourite with Excelness considered a live chance on debut following a strong barrier trial win at Gosford while Boncassie was a drifting third elect.

Andrew Gibbons utilised the early speed of Excelness and allowed the Exceed and Excel filly to stride clear from Pollard with Boncassie prominently positioned in third on the inside of City Kid.

Lively Lad settled just off the pace in the centre of the field while Buck Pharoah was covering plenty of additional early ground after being trapped wide in the middle stages of the event.

Excelness was giving plenty of cheek in the lead as the field rounded the home bend with Pollard in hot pursuit while Boncassie continued to make ground close to the rails and Louise Day commenced her run on the outside aboard Buck Pharoah.

Excelness tried to lift at the distance marker but was no match for the finishing burst of Buck Pharoah with the flashy chestnut gelding racing clear to provide Neil Godbolt with an encouraging victory following two solid placings.

The run of Excelness to land second placing on debut will provide plenty of confidence for the Kris Lees stable while Boncassie claimed third in front of Pollard.


A spirited betting move for Cartography resulted in the Kris Lees trained gelding being backed into favouritism in a wide market over Muscadelle with Nicci Knee Knack and Poseidon Ruler also attracting support.

Following the scratching of Gift of Time at the barrier, Nicci Knee Knack showed early gate speed and raced to the front from Poseidon Ruler with Another Super camped just off the pace in third position.

Muscadelle began well before Alysha Collett positioned the daughter of Street Boss in a perfect position just behind the leading group with Cartography right behind it and The Lookdown trapped wide.

Nicci Knee Knack still had a commanding break as the field headed for home with Poseidon Ruler making ground in the centre as Muscadelle commenced a move down the outside while Andrew Gibbons was caught in traffic aboard Cartography.

Muscadelle quickly ranged up to Nicci Knee Knack and Poseidon Ruler over the concluding stages with the Nathan Doyle trained filly rewarded for consistency with a strong win by a half-length margin.

Poseidon Ruler held on for second in front of Nicci Knee Knack and Cheketa while Cartography only found clear galloping room over the concluding stages and worked to the line well.


Dismissal was the solidly supported favourite in betting operations with Em Em D’ar attracting plenty of confidence while Coolmeans was a drifting third pick.

After the late scratching of Crackalacka just prior to the start, Em Em D’ar used the inside barrier draw to race to the front from Olympic Time and Sir Angus with Coolmeans over racing in fourth placing before being allowed more reign to move towards the lead.

The stewards were advised that Dismissal would be ridden quietly and Alysha Collett followed those instructions to the letter when settling the favourite back at the tail of the field with Dinara and You’ll Think of Me.

Coolmeans sustained the run and raced clear down the back straight from Sir Angus with Em Em D’ar steadied in third place over Olympic Time while Dismissal was still at the rear of the field.

Ashley Morgan went for home on Coolmeans before being challenged by Olympic Time and Sir Angus with Ray Spokes probing along the rails aboard Em Em D’ar as Dinara commenced a move down the centre of the course.

Em Em D’ar saved ground along the fence to claim the front, but was no match for Dinara with the Kris Lees trained filly flashing down the outside to land the prize and give Louise Day a riding double.

Coolmeans battled on well for third placing after being used up early while Dismissal made up good ground from near the rear of the field to finish just behind the placegetters.


War Cat was the firm elect for the feature with the Allan Denham trained gelding, Admit It, attracting plenty of confident wagering while Group Think had some supporters on the third line of betting as Camp Rifle drifted noticeably.

She’s Independent showed good gate speed and Mikayla Weir allowed the Paul Perry trained mare to take the early lead from Misterzee and Condover Hall with Group Think angling for the trail behind the leaders.

Camp Rifle travelled in the centre of the field along the rails with Admit It covering plenty of additional ground after being planted deep while War Cat only had one horse behind him in the shape of Wewonya.

Misterzee sustained the run and raced clear down the back straight from She’s Independent with Group Think handily positioned on the inside of Condover Hall.

Camp Rifle was given a cosy run by Matt McGuren in the middle of the field with Admit It continuing to travel wide as War Cat remained near the tail of the field.

Misterzee swung the home turn with a narrow lead as Group Think continued to challenge along the rails while Camp Rifle was having difficulty obtaining a clear run and hooked back towards the fence.

She’s Independent tried to make ground down the centre of the track as Admit It and War Cat commenced their runs together.

Group Think used the inside advantage to find the front before being claimed by Andrew Gibbons on Admit It with the Allan Denham trained gelding able to repel the finishing burst of War Cat to claim a narrow victory.

Group Think held on for third in front of She’s Independent while Camp Rifle had an extremely chequered passage down the home straight and it might be wise to dismiss the run as the Shooting to Win gelding had absolutely no luck.

Race 6 – STEELINE CLASS 3 HCP (1800 M)

Scorched Land continued to ease in betting prior to post time caused by a significant move in the market for Arabolini with some support at longer odds for the Kris Lees trained gelding, Continuation.

Underboss raced to the early lead from Flying Mojo with Grant Buckley tracking a little wide aboard Arabolini as the John Cooper trained gelding worked into third on the outside of Reposition and Scorched Land.

Continuation was travelling in the centre of the field and covering additional ground out wide around Our Tax Return and More to Come while Ready by Design was back towards the rear of the field with Firefly Poppy.

Underboss set the mid race tempo from Arabolini with Scorched Land on the inside and Razano making ground around the field while Continuation was still planted deep on the track.

The tempo tapered off down the side of the course and Ben Looker made a move on Ready by Design to dash the son of Master of Design around the field and straight to the front.

Underboss went with Ready by Design and the pair swung the home bend together as Scorched Land angled into the clear while Arabolini and Continuation commenced their runs down the centre of the track.

Ready by Design sustained the effort and dashed clear over the concluding stages for victory and provided Nathan Doyle with a training treble from Continuation, who raced on well despite being wide throughout, with Reposition sneaking along the rails to claim third prize.  

Race 7 – ATM2HIRE F&M BM 58 HCP (1200 M)

Flying Pretty was a relatively firm elect in a wide market from Unearthed and Maid Marilyn with a long-priced move for Can I Rock, who tightened sixteen points to be just into a double figure quote.

Following a real charge for early supremacy, First Sight assumed control over Little Wonder with the pair setting a genuine speed as Atlantic Lite slotted third on the outside of Memphis Squaw.

Flying Pretty and Maid Marilyn travelled in the centre of the field as Unearthed became cluttered up in traffic with Apache Belle commencing a run on the outside of the pack.

Little Wonder raced to the front as the field headed for home over First Sight and Memphis Squaw with Unearthed saving ground along the rails as Flying Pretty and Apache Belle made their moves down the crown of the track.

With Unearthed sneaking along the rails and Flying Pretty finishing resolutely down the centre of the course, the pair were no match for Apache Belle as the Wayne Seelin trained mare came from well back to score a barnstorming victory.

Can I Rock was specked in the market and made good ground over the concluding stages after being well back early to finish in sixth position.

Race 8 – CARLTON DRY CG&E BM 58 HCP (1200 M)

Royal Charge was the easing favourite over Spiritual Power and Manly Hanover before there were major problems in the barrier loading process resulting in the late scratching of Royal Charge and Gogh Fox.

Grand Acheeva showed good gate speed and raced to the early lead before being clearly headed by Ray Spokes aboard Supreme Prince with Hurricane Max prominent in the early stages over Lord Jaysea.

I’m Jacko was handily positioned on the inside of the field as the grey gelding was being covered up by Nombuso with Andrew Gibbons content to travel around the pair aboard Spiritual Power while the balance of the field was headed by Manly Hanover.

Supreme Prince was under siege approaching the home as the challenges came from Hurricane Max and Lord Jaysea with Nombuso and Spiritual Power commencing their runs and Manly Hanover warming up to his task.

Spiritual Power gained the ascendency over Hurricane Max down the home running and the son of Invincible Spirit was able to withstand the finishing effort of Manly Hanover to score by just under a length with Hurricane Max holding third in front of Supreme Prince.

Horses to Follow

Midnight Magic, Excelness, Underboss


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