Friday, September 22, 2023

Prospero claims dramatic Easter Cup win at Port

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Port Macquarie Racing Review, weekend of 3-4 April 2021

Rod Fuller

A dashing ride from the tail of the field by Dylan Gibbons resulted in victory to Prospero in an action-packed Easter Cup at the Port Macquarie race meeting on Saturday.

Trainer Nathan Doyle
Trainer Nathan Doyle. Source : Rod Fuller

Gibbons was content to settle the Nathan Doyle trained gelding well behind the early leaders, Bay of Bengal and Za Za Zena, before making a move around the field down the side of the track.

The Pierro gelding sustained the run in the straight before claiming the leaders and withstanding the finishing effort of Raptures to score by just under two lengths with The Borough holding on for the minor prize.

Prospero was resuming from a spell since winning at Hawkesbury in November, but the benefit of two barrier trial performances at the provincials together with the apprentice claim allocated to Gibbons proved to be the master stroke in the gelding’s success.

Bay of Bengal and Midnight Rambler were last start winners at the circuit, but the questions raised in pre-race discussions regarding their ability to handle the rise in distance soon materialised with the pair yielding ground over the concluding stages.

The event was marred when Grand Acheeva was attempting a run in the home straight before clipping heels and dislodging Luke Cumberland with the popular hoop quickly attended to the ambulance officials.

After regaining consciousness and being able to provide movement in both arms and legs, Cumberland was taken to Port Macquarie Base Hospital for observation and assessment.

He has sustained concussion with CT scans identifying some small bleeding to the brain and he continues to be monitored before a decision is made regarding a transfer to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.

Luke is a highly accomplished and well-liked rider and all in racing wish him a speedy recovery with the hope that it is not too long before he is back at the track.

Paul Perry was the most successful trainer on the program with victories to Mon Amore in the opening event followed by a dominant win by Sister Ellie in the final event on the program.

Both horses were ridden by Mikayla Weir with the promising jockey enjoying an outstanding season with fifty-two wins and really making a name for herself since recently graduating from her apprenticeship.

Robert Thompson proved he has lost none of the class and ability when Australia’s most winning jockey was seen to advantage in scoring on Contributingfactor in the 4 Pines Ale Maiden Plate.

The young gelding benefited from a recent debut at Scone and Thompson rode the son of The Factor on the speed kicking clear down the home running to score by a length over Ferlaxing.

David Atkins has a gelding with plenty of ability and many old racegoers were thrilled when Contributingfactor stormed down the outside to land the prize carrying the colours sported to so many black type victories in the 1970’s by the champion grey entire, Gunsynd.

Faatinaat. Source : Rod Fuller

Faatinaat was recently transferred to Glen Milligan from the Waterhouse and Bott stable and the flashy chestnut filly provided a real family affair when storming down the outside to claim victory over Two Gems and Oh Say in race three.

Oh Say and Shootforthestar set a strong pace in the lead but were no match for the finishing effort of Ashley Morgan on Faatinaat with the daughter of Mulaazem storming down the outside for a dominant victory.

A decision by John Sprague to scratch Whatyoulookingat from an engagement at Coffs on Thursday proved correct when Ray Spokes led throughout on the daughter of Wandjina while Supreme Streak scored at bolter’s odds in the following event.

Racing was conducted under fine conditions in front of a healthy holiday crowd with the track continuing to play well following the deluge over the previous couple of weeks.

Races on the program are named in honour of Great Northern Super Crisp, John Oxley Motors, De Bortoli Wines, Carlton Dry, Schweppes, 4 Pines Pacific Ale and Tabcorp with the club encouraging everyone to support these fine brands.

Racing continues on Friday 16th April with an eight-event program scheduled and all classes catered for with the meeting coinciding with Orange Showcase Cup day in the central west of the state.

The Port Macquarie Race Club continues to provide a Covid 19 safe environment with all regulations strictly enforced and patrons strongly encouraged to utilise the Services NSW app.

General admission tickets are available on race day and further details regarding tickets and seating arrangements in the Livermore Stand and Clydesdale Room are available by contacting the club on 02 6581 1964 or email on



Unwavering Faith was the heavily supported favourite with the weight on money causing Mon Amore and Em Em D’Ar to drift while Olympic Time was just into a double figure quote.

Following the late scratching of The Lookdown at the barrier stalls, Dr Mayhem began well before being immediately challenged for the lead by Mon Amore with Olympic Time and Renwick working into prominent positions.

Em Em D’Ar settled off the pace while Ashley Morgan was content to settle Unwavering Faith in third last position around the Joel and Wayne Wilkes trained filly, My Gem.

Mon Amore maintained the front from Renwick and Olympic Time and the Sebring filly increased her lead to two lengths down the side of the track with Em Em D’ar saving ground along the rails.

Unwavering Faith commenced a move on the outside as the field approached the home turn but was still giving Mon Amore, Olympic Time and Dr Mayhem a tidy start.

Mikayla Weir bounded Mon Amore clear down the home running and the Paul Perry trained filly was able to withstand the late move of Unwavering Faith to score by over two lengths with Queen of War making up good ground from the back of the field to claim the minor prize.


Contributingfactor gained the run as an emergency following the scratching of Sportsman and punters backed the gelding into favouritism over Tupou and Being Naughty with Ferlaxing attracting some money on debut.

Contributingfactor began well and took the early lead before Ferlaxing used the inside barrier to work along the rails and assume control while McGrady scouted wide to be in a prominent early position.

Tupou was handily positioned just behind the leaders on the rails and was being tracked along by Schoona the Better while Being Naughty was travelling in the middle of the pack and one horse off the rails.

Ferlaxing straightened with a narrow lead before being challenged by Contributingfactor with Mikayla Weir trying to extricate into the clear aboard Tupou while the others were headed by Schoona the Better.

Robert Thompson bounded the David Atkins trained youngster, Contributingfactor, to the lead and the youngster bounded away to score by a length over Ferlaxing with Tupou holding on for the minor placing.


Keen form students fancied the chances of Shootforthestar and backed the Kris Lees trained filly into a firm elect with the weight of money causing Oh Say to drift alarmingly while Two Gems was on the third line of betting.

Dylan Gibbons drove Shootforthestar to the early lead from Oh Say with Girls Get Paid charging into the firing line as Ayva’s Reward positioned just behind the leaders around Two Gems.

Ashley Morgan positioned Faatinaat in the centre of the field around Luck Aplenty while Rizzoli and Inspiration couldn’t compete with the early pace and were a long last.

The pace was on down the side of the track and Jeff Kehoe was able to assume control on Oh Say as the Neil Godbolt trained filly raced clear from Shootforthestar with Girls Get Paid battling on well for third.

Two Gems was travelling along the rails as Ashley Morgan commenced a move on the outside aboard the Glen Milligan trained filly, Faatinaat, as the field faced the run to the judge.

Oh Say still had a commanding lead down the home running, but was unable to repel the late effort of Faatinaat with the daughter of Mulaazem claiming the lead in the shadows of the post and surviving the late challenge of Two Gems to score by a narrow margin.

Oh Say held on well for third while Shootforastar capitulating badly in the straight after showing speed and working hard in the early stages of the race.


Despite easing a half point, Berruti was dispatched as favourite over Whatyoulookingat and Foxy Xenia with a sprinkling of money at longer odds for the Tracey Bartley trained mare, Enamour.

Whatyoulookingat anticipated the start and Ray Spokes had no hesitation in allowing the John Sprague trained filly to lead from Enamour with Foxy Xenia in third place on the outside of Man and Superman.

Berruti showed no early gate field and Aaron Bullock placed the Kris Lees trained gelding at the tail of the field on the outside of Manno.

Whatyoulookingat maintained the front position approaching the home bend from Enamour with Foxy Xenia making ground on the outside and Zapluck obtaining clover while Berruti was last and ridden for luck along the fence.

Whatyoulookingat straightened for the run home with a narrow lead from Enamour and Foxy Xenia as Greenskeeper commenced a run as Bullock continued to save ground along the rails aboard Berruti.

Whatyoulookingat was able to withstand the late challenge of Enamour with the daughter of Wandjina scoring by a length while Berruti made up ground along the rails to claim third in front of Foxy Xenia.

Race 5 – JOHN OXLEY MOTORS BM 50 HCP (1206 M)

Tawfiq Lass was the ruling elect for the race with Lobban Leroy a noticeable shortener while Stormy Pluck had support and there was a sprinkling of money late for Charlie’s Law.

Tawfiq Lass bounced to the early lead before being headed by Ben Looker aboard Lobban Leroy with Charlies Law travelling third on the outside of Nombuso and New York Nick trapped wide.

Supreme Streak was travelling just off the pace in the middle of the pack while Stormy Pluck was worse than midfield around Fightforyourright.

Lobban Leroy dictated terms in front as the field approached the home bend from New York Nick with Amelia Denby making a move around the field aboard Supreme Streak with Tawfiq Lass warming up to her task close to the rails.

Lobban Leroy still had a good lead down the home running before being claimed by Supreme Streak with Tawfiq Lass angling into the clear with the others headed by Charlie’s Law, Nombuso and Stormy Pluck.

Supreme Streak claimed the front in the shadows of the post and the Jeremy Smith trained gelding was able to score by a neck from Tawfiq Lass with Lobban Leroy holding on for the minor placing.


Midnight Rambler was the very solid favourite from Bay of Bengal, who continued to ease in betting operations with The Borough attracting some confidence over What’s Onemore and Raptures.

Bay of Bengal used the inside barrier and the Neil Godbolt trained gelding raced to the early lead from Prince of Troy and Za Za Zena with Midnight Rambler well positioned on the outside of What’s Onemore.

The Borough slotted along the fence in the centre of the field on the inside of Raptures while Dylan Gibbons was content to position Prospero at the tail of the field some ten lengths away from the leading division.

Georgina McDonnell dictated terms in the lead down the back straight aboard Bay of Bengal before Za Za Zena moved up to apply pressure as Prince of Troy probed through in the centre with the trio kicking well clear of the rest of the field headed by Midnight Rambler.

The tempo tapered off down the side of the track with Bay of Bengal using the inside advantage to hold the lead from Za Za Zena before Dylan Gibbons made a lightning run from the rear aboard Prospero with the Nathan Doyle trained gelding sweeping towards the leading division.

Bay of Bengal straightened with a length lead before there was trouble in the second half of the field when Grand Acheeva knuckled over when attempting a run and dislodged Luke Cumberland.

Prospero sustained the effort down the centre of the track and was able to surge to the front with the son of Pierro repelling the finishing burst of Raptures and The Borough to score by just under two lengths.

Midnight Rambler and Bay of Bengal were unable to handle the rise in distance and weakened over the concluding stages while What’s Onemore made up good ground over the concluding stages to finish just behind the placegetters.


Flash Palace was backed sensationally and claimed the popular elect position from Sister Ellie and Mosh Vain with keen form students taking risks with Bilbao, who eased over four points in wagering transactions.

Bilbao was attempting to take his customary role in the lead but Jayden Barrie was unable to take the running as Mosh Vain drove along the rails to lead with At the Glenburn prominently positioned on the inside of Sister Ellie.

Flash Palace was trapped wide in the early stages of the event and jagged the son of More than Ready back to the tail of the field in front of Temptations.

Bilbao straightened with a narrow lead, but was immediately under pressure with Mosh Vain railing up underneath him to claim the front before Sister Ellie came with a timely run down the outside and Haunting Spirit commenced a move.

Sister Ellie raced to the front and gave the Paul Perry and Mikayla Weir combination a double on the program as the Choisir mare scored by just under two lengths from Mosh Vain with Haunting Spirit finishing on well for third while Flash Palace made up enormous ground to be just behind the placegetters.

Horses to follow

Two Gems, Berruti, Flash Palace


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