The victory by Mr Grumpy in the final event on the program capped the most successful day of riding ever for Newcastle jockey Samantha Clenton at Port Macquarie on Tuesday.
The four winners on the card provided the popular hoop with a significant milestone and continued her outstanding comeback since major injury concerns emanating from a horrific race accident at Scone in October 2016.
Many experts feared the former leading apprentice would be lucky to ride again, but with great determination, courage and the undying support of partner, Tim McIntosh, former boss and leading NSW trainer, Kris Lees and the love and of son Isaac, Sam is back riding with great confidence and expertise.
Clenton started the day when leading for the majority of the event aboard the Neil Godbolt trained gelding, Condover Hall, before peeling around the leaders and bursting clear when saluting on Firefly Poppy in the third event for local trainer, Jenny Graham.
There was an air of confidence around the chances of Mr Polar in the Class 1 Handicap as the Charlie Porter trained gelding finished over the top of Full of Spirit before Clenton's successful day was completed when Mr Grumpy ran his rivals off their legs in the last.
The Hill St Store and Deli Open Handicap feature went to Mister Smartee, who finished with a well-timed run to account for Up the Stairs and Casino Mondial in scoring by just under two lengths and continuing his great winning strike rate at the track.
The son of Smart Missile needed all the expertise of Luke Rolls to settle the gelding before racing clear from early leader, High Rush, down the home running for a strong victory.
The win would have provided a welcome tonic to prominent local trainer, Tas Morton, who is on the injured list at the moment with Margaret De Gonneville another trainer forced to watch from hospital as her charge, Gold Rhapsody, held on to score in the Rising Star Apprentices heat.
Victory was sweet for Georgina McDonnell as Gold Rhapsody provided her first victory since resuming from a lay off when the Strategic Maneuver mare was able to gain the ascendancy from Blevio and withstand the finishing burst of Triage.
The Kim Waugh stable travelled up the highway with one runner and the judgement was fully vindicated when Brookwyn raced on the speed and provided a tough performance in accounting for Spirit in the Sky and Marcee at double figure odds.
Following recent disappointments for his home track at Kempsey due to fire activity, the training skills of Barry Ratcliff were seen to advantage when the flashy chestnut filly, Bear the Crown and Ray Spokes crossed the line first in middle distance maiden at only her third start.
The race meeting provided a great deal of encouragement for the many people in the district affected so greatly by the tragic bushfire events of recent weeks and strong winds were responsible for some clearing of the smoke conditions.
An enthusiastic crowd attended with the track racing relatively well despite providing an advantage to horses travelling on the speed and close to the inside section of the track.
Racing takes a break over the festive season before the traditional New Year's Day fixture, which is always a great day featuring top class racing before a sizeable holiday attendance.
As an added bonus, this program has been allocated full TAB and Sky Racing coverage and will be followed by the time-honoured Queen of the Turf meeting on January 24 2020.
The Port Macquarie Race Club would like to wish everyone the very best for Christmas and a safe, happy and successful 2020.
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