A sharp tactical move by astute local trainer, Tas Morton, could provide a new apprentice with first-up success at Port Macquarie on Saturday.
Morton has engaged Kyle Wilson-Taylor as pilot for the well credentialed gelding, Mister Smartee, in the Class 3 Handicap and the four-kilogram allowance should provide the necessary assistance for a strong performance in the event.
Following an impressive win at Taree on heavy ground three starts ago, the Smart Missile galloper is down in grade following even runs at Rosehill in Highway Class 3 company and should be suited by the 1516 metre journey at his home track this weekend.
Wilson-Taylor has always dreamed of this day as a race rider and has successfully fulfilled his commitments on the track and barrier trials in preparation for the assignment on Mister Smartee together with earlier engagements on Gotta Run and Supreme Willy.
Wilson-Taylor has greatly impressed his mentor and prominent Coffs Harbour trainer, Brett Dodson, with his dedication, determination and natural ability with the apprentice prepared to work hard for success.
The assignment won’t be easy as the Matthew McCudden trained gelding, Saint Denis, comes into the race well following placings at Taree and Port before a far harder assignment at Grafton during their July carnival.
McCudden is a relative newcomer to the training ranks and had a wonderful thrill on Grafton Cup day when Patriot provided his fifth overall win after saluting in the Benchmark 69 handicap.
Makarios looks the other genuine chance for the Terry Evans and Allan Chau combination following a solid third behind Light Motion at his last appearance on the track.
Racing commences with an extremely interesting maiden with Chunky Charger resuming from a spell for Ronald Broomhall following promising runs at Port Macquarie and Kempsey at his only two appearances.
With the benefit of a sound barrier trial performance behind Dimonte Girl, the son of Eavesdropper will provide the testing material in the event while Scorching and Comingle loom as obvious challengers.
Comingle is now in the Armidale stable of Stirling Osland and the following of betting activities could provide the necessary confidence for the beautifully bred Commands filly.
It is great to see former champion apprentice and now Wyong trainer, Stephen Schofield, making the journey up the highway with Mr Mile in the second event and useful provincial runs should provide the necessary groundwork for a competitive effort.
It is very rare that Benjamin Smith appears at Port without a winner and there are plenty of positives around Kristensen in the third event following a good performance behind Faustine at his last outing.
The seven-year-old Sharkbite mare, Bite the Media looks a sound wager in the Benchmark 55 after a last start fourth at Muswellbrook while Shuswaggi is a recent winner at the course and should provide Kris Lees and Louise Day with another winner.
The Port Macquarie Race Club is greatly appreciative of the continued support provided by John L Fisher Plumbing Supplies and greatly acknowledge associate sponsors, Rheem Hot Water, Fienza Bathware, Bluescope Lysaght, Dux Hot Water and Caroma Cleanflush in the staging of Saturday’s program.
A reminder that free return shuttle buses are running from the Gordon St bus station and the very best trackside viewing, wagering and catering facilities are available from the Ivan Livermore grandstand.
The first race is scheduled to commence at 12.56pm with the last on a six-event program set for decision at 4.06pm and a strong crowd of holiday makers is anticipated.
Racing continues at the track on Monday 30th July with a seven-event program featuring full TAB and SKY Racing coverage prior to the Camden Haven Cup on August 25.
The Port Cup carnival commences on September 23 with the Stowe Australia Cup Prelude before the commencement of the Carlton Draught Port Macquarie Cup carnival on October 5 featuring outstanding prizemoney and the very best horses and jockeys assembled from around the state.
Race 1: Caroma Cleanflush Maiden Hcp (1113 metres)
6 Sunday Special, 7 Scorching, 4 Comingle
Race 2: Dux Hot Water CL1 & Maiden Plate (2026 metres)
1 Mr Mile, 6 Banri De Hero, 10 Ride on Time
Race 3: John L. Fisher Maiden Plate (1516 metres)
2 Kristensen, 5 Dogoda Fury, 6 Eye Was
Race 4: Fienza Bathware CL3 (1516 metres)
1 Master Smartee, 2 Saint Dennis, 3 Makarios
Race 5: Rheem Hot Water BM 55 Hcp (1213 metres)
5 Bite the Media, 2 Stop the Fight, 9 Clever Gent
Race 6: Bluescope Lysaght CL1 (1213 metres)
1 Shuswaggi, 2 Meliboea, 4 The Free World