Rod Fuller, Port Macquarie Review, 24 October 2021
After settling at the rear of the field and spotting the leaders many lengths down the back straight, Dalgarno stormed down the outside section of the straight to score a stunning win in the Stephen Cook Memorial Handicap at Port Macquarie.
Nathan Doyle gained access to the gelding following a recent transfer from the Victorian stables of Mick Price and Michael Kent with success on his debut run at Coffs Harbour achieved immediately.
A luckless run when seventh at Muswellbrook followed soon after before Sunday’s assignment with Dylan Gibbons content to settle the son of Dalghar near the tail of the field before commencing a move approaching the home bend.
Auvergne arrested the lead from Valley’s Sister half-way down the straight but was no match for the paralysing burst of Dalgarno who gave the leaders a tidy start before racing clear to score by two lengths.
Victory was sweet for Gibbons as the popular young hoop completed a riding double after success in the opening event aboard Wiki and this took his early season riding tally to twenty-eight wins and the same number of placings.
The David Atkins trained gelding was clearly headed by Scanlan down the home straight but fought on tenaciously along the rails to recover and score by just under a length.
It was a real family affair for the Gibbons family after Dylan’s father, Andrew, bounced back to the winner’s circle on Par Avion in the final race after an injury enforced layoff.
The premiership winning jockey has been off the scene since being injured in a racing incident at Scone and the win was his first since resuming race riding after a three-month hiatus.
Prominent Tuncurry trainer, Terry Evans, dropped the Shamus Award mare back in distance and this was the key as Par Avion settled perfectly before finishing down the outside to score a decisive victory over Clearly Regal and Apache Blue.
Evans had to be content with a minor placing earlier in the day when his mare, Not Taking It was narrowly defeated in a gripping four horse duel down the home straight.
Victory went the way of Dawnburst when Madi Derrick was able to lift the Real Impact filly over the line for a gallant win over Wokenwithakiss and Only Need Time in a finish that had the enthusiastic crowd on tenterhooks.
On a day recognising three fine local racing personalities in the shape of Athol Platt, Col Foster and Stephen Cook, it was wonderful to see a famous set of colours pass the post in first place when Louise Day drove Lucky Sham to victory in race five.
The red and white quartered silks are steeped in racing tradition for the Thompson family and have been carried by many wonderful horses over a lengthy period.
Memories came flooding back as the daughter of Shamexpress saluted by a narrow margin at her first run since transferring from Michael Freedman to the local stables of Neil Godbolt.
Alison and Simon Thompson continue the dynasty with ownership of the mare and indications are the tough win over Wardaddy and Offyarocatwo in a driving finish will not be her last.
Klopp was having his second run for the John Sprague stable and came down the centre of the track to account for Swamp Nation and American Anthem to break his maiden status while Swing the Tide continued her winning run with victory for the Paul Shailer and Ben Looker combination in the distance event.
Impact Star continued the run of success enjoyed by Wyong mentor, Damien Lane, when accounting for Zapluck and Weyonya in the Athol Platt Memorial Handicap.
A perfect ride by Darryl McLellan resulted in the son of Star Turn being prominently positioned early before racing clear in the straight and withstanding the finishing effort of Zapluck to land the prize by just under a length.
Support races on the program were named after valued sponsors including Carlton Dry, John Oxley Motors, Great Norther Super Crisp and Collins Bus Service with the club encouraging everyone to support these fine brands.
The Port Macquarie Race Club is excited to welcome the general public to their next meeting on November 11th with a requirement that all patrons must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 and be able to provide proof of vaccination or approved medical exemption.
Further race meeting details and booking requirements will be available on the club’s social media accounts or by contacting the administration office on 02 6581 1964 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Race 1 – John Oxley Motors Maiden Plate (1512 M)
Wiki was the relatively firm favourite for the event with late support for Scanlan causing Curioso to ease two points while In Hot Water was kept safe in betting operations.
Dylan Gibbons began perfectly on Wiki and allowed the David Atkins trained gelding to stride clear from Scanlan with Currency Queen driving along the rails underneath the stable mate Chilli Chilli.
Ben Looker settled Curioso back in the second half of the field on the outside of Pulitzer Prize while In Hot Water and No Respect showed no gate speed and were back at the tail of the field.
Wiki dictated terms in front and established a substantial lead before being challenged on the home turn by Scanlan with the flashy chestnut gaining a narrow lead down the home running as In Hot Water commenced a move from the rear of the pack.
With Scanlan just in front, Dylan Gibbons lifted Wiki off the canvas and the son of Sidestep kicked back along the rails to score by a narrow margin with In Hot Water making up many lengths to claim third in front of Currency Queen.
Race 2 – Great Northern Super Crisp Maiden HCP (1110 M)
Evocator was the ruling favourite over Bullinachinashop with Geewiz Jonny kept safe and some confidence around the chances of the Terry Evans trained mare, Not Taking It.
When Bullinachinashop was deemed a late scratching after failing to load into the barrier stalls, Unpunished raced to the early lead from Only Need Time with Geewiz Jonny slotting into third place in front of Dawnburst.
Not Taking It was trapped wide while Matthew McGuren positioned Evocator well off the pace on the inside of Wokenwithakiss as Couture and Gemology settled at the tail of the field.
Only Need Time gained the ascendency over Unpunished as the field headed for home before being challenged by Dawnburst with Wokenwithakiss commencing a move down the outside while Evocator could not obtain clear galloping room when checked by Unpunished and Geewiz Johnny.
Madi Derrick was able to find the lead in the shadows of the post on Dawnburst and the Kris Lees trained filly was able to withstand the finishing burst of Wokenwithakiss to score by a narrow margin with Only Need Time holding on for third in front of Not Taking It.
Evocator had a chequered run in the home straight and the effort should be forgiven.
Race 3 – Carlton Dry Maiden Handicap (1110 M)
Klopp was heavily supported and arrested the favourite position from American Anthem with Miss Statement kept safe while Swamp Nation was just under a double figure quote.
Broad Outlook and Miss Statement battled for the early lead from Tyquendo and Swamp Nation with American Anthem trapped wide as Arron Bullock able to obtain cover on Klopp.
Koby Jennings continued to travel wide on American Anthem and had no alternative but to stride the Nathan Doyle trained mare to the lead as the field headed for the judge with Klopp making a move to challenge down the centre of the track.
Klopp ranged up to American Anthem down the home running and the John Sprague trained gelding raced clear to score with Swamp Nation holding on for third in front of Lake Tana.
The run of American Anthem was full of merit after travelling wide and being taken to the lead earlier than anticipated while Miss Statement finished in the centre of the field.
Race 4 – Graham & David Wicks Class 1 & Maiden Plate (2020 M)
Swing the Tide was backed to the exclusion of all other runners and was the hot favourite from Lady Samurai with the others at double figures or longer headed by About the Moon and Jesko.
Lady Samurai began well and was able to find the rails to lead from Oso Good with Swing the Tide inclined to over race in the initial stages as the Paul Shailer trained mare obtained cover in third position on the outside of This is Serious.
Jesko became covered up in the middle of the field by Renwick with Louise Day starting to make a move aboard the David Callaughan trained filly, About the Move.
Ben Looker was able to settle Swing the Tide down and hooked the daughter of Ocean Park to the outside in the home straight and after a short battle with Lady Samurai, was able to race clear to score with About the Moon finishing on well for second in front of Lady Samurai.
This is Serious ran an even race to finish just behind the placegetters while Jesko travelled well in the run but never threatened danger over the concluding stages of the event.
Race 5 – Col Foster Memorial Class 1 HCP (1010 M)
Wardaddy was the heavily supported favourite for the race with some confidence around Offyarocatwo causing Mr Pointer to drift alarmingly.
Bilbao raced to the early lead from Mr Pointer before Dylan Gibbons elected to race towards the leading division on Wardaddy after being trapped wide with Maasai Mara continuing to make ground towards the front.
Offyarocatwo positioned just off the pace before Maid a Quid worked around him while Lucky Sham travelled in the second half of the field before obtaining a trail into the race.
Wardaddy dropped Bilbao as the field headed for the run home with Maasai Mara working into the event and Offyarocatwo mounting a challenge.
Aaron Bullock was having difficulty obtaining clear galloping room on Mr Pointer while Louise Day made her move on the former Victorian mare, Lucky Sham.
With four horses stretched across the track in the run to the post, Lucky Sham was able to finish fast on the outside to claim a narrow victory over Wardaddy, who was gallant in defeat and kicked back along the rails, with Offyarocatwo clinging on for third in front of Maasai Mara and the luckless, Mr Pointer.
Race 6 – Stephen Cook Memorial Benchmark 58 HCP (1512 M)
Dalgarno drifted a half point but remained favourite with a great deal of confidence around the chances of Valley’s Sister while Auvergne was on the third line of betting in front of Casirina.
A near perfect dispatch from the barrier stalls resulted in a contest for early supremacy before Hercules Mo and Valley’s Sister hit the lead from Veedouble and Resplendence trapped wide.
Hay There McNair camped just off the pace in front of Casirina and Auvergne while Dylan Gibbons was content to travel at the tail of the field and twelve lengths off the pace aboard Dalgarno.
After covering additional ground in the initial stages of the event, Ray Spokes allowed Resplendence to assume control over Valley’s Sister and Veedouble with Hercules Mo positioned just off the leading group and Auvergne working into the race.
Resplendence was immediately under pressure as the field headed for the judge before being challenged by Valley’s Sister with Crazeelil weaving a passage through the field while Auvergne moved to the centre of the track and Dalgarno commenced a move out wide.
Crazeelil hit the lead but was no match for the strong finishing burst of Dalgarno who motored down the extreme outside section of the track to score a comprehensive victory over Crazeelil with Auvergne clinging on for the minor prize in front of Hay There McNair.
Race 7 – Athol Platt Memorial Benchmark 58 HCP (1110 M)
Impact Star was the firm elect for the event over Duchess Nicci with Capanello an easing third pick in front of All a Lady.
All a Lady set the speed tempo in the lead from Impact Star with Capanello running third in front of Kyanite as Zapluck settling in the second half of the field around Duchess Nicci.
Georgina McDonnell maintained a handy lead approaching the home bend before Darryl McLellan made his move on Impact Star before the Damien Lane trained gelding dashed to the lead.
Impact Star was able to withstand the sharp finishing burst of Zapluck to score by just under a length with Wewonya making up good ground from near the rear of the field to grab third.
Capanello finished just behind the placegetters while Duchess Nicci ran an even race without ever threatening danger over the concluding stages.
Race 8 – Collins Bus Service Class 3 HCP (1210 M)
Schiller Bay attracted the most support in the final event and was the ruling favourite over Par Avion, who shortened one dollar, with the confidence around this pair causing Apache Blue to ease noticeably, while Clearly Regal was confidently backed at value prices.
Black Jacamar dislodged Koby Jennings prior to the start and was passed fit for the assignment before being finally scratched at the barrier stalls after failing to enter the starting gates.
The bald face of Apache Blue assumed the early lead from Schiller Bay with Rebukes travelling third in front of Clearly Regal while Admiral Ash settled in the centre of the field in front of Par Avion.
Apache Blue and Schiller Bay continued to battle for the lead approaching the home bend before Aaron Bullock angled into the clear aboard Clearly Regal while Par Avion made a move down the outside section of the track.
Clearly Regal raced to the front but was unable to withstand the finishing burst of Par Avion with Andrew Gibbons driving the Terry Evans trained mare to victory by a neck while Apache Blue claimed third prize in front of Schiller Bay.
Horses to follow
In Hot Water, Evocator, American Anthem