With the ability to handle heavy ground and the benefit of two strong performances at Coffs Harbour over the past month, Fior the Tiger is set to provide the testing material in the Owen and Geary Handicap at Port Macquarie on Friday.
The son of Fiorente scored a narrow victory at his home track two starts ago and was gallant in defeat over the shorter journey last week when beaten a neck by stablemate, Endangered Species.
Joanne Hardy puts the polish on the gelding and the popular trainer is having a stellar period since taking out the Country Classic with Real Time Warrior at Rosehill in November having amassed three wins and numerous placings over the past month.
The clash between For the Tiger and King Kikau looks to be one of the highlights on McGrath Estate Agents Race Day as the Joel and Wayne Wilkes trained colt has been a model of consistency since scoring at Taree in late November.
Bailey Wheeler steered the son of Scissor Kick to success at bolter's odds and recent performances at Kempsey and Taree provide plenty of confidence for his latest assignment.
It should be noted that King Kikau is backing up from a solid placing behind Rosie Impact in a blanket finish at Taree on Monday.
On a highly competitive day of racing, Alibi Dot Com was responsible for an impressive debut when a gallant third behind Don't Doubt Katie at Taree and a repeat performance should pay dividends in the second event.
It is significant that Gosford mentor, Greg McFarlane, has engaged the services of Christian Reith to partner the Your Song mare and the prominent hoop is riding with great confidence following a double during the week.
Nathan Doyle is a great supporter of the Port circuit and has plenty of strong chances peppered throughout the program headed by Impulse Control in race five.
The Exceed and Excel mare resumed from a spell with a sound placing behind Saiko at Scone just before Christmas and should derive great benefit for this assignment with the Novocastrian trainer also accepting in the race with Don't Doubt Katie.
Following victory in the New Year's Day Cup with Oh Say, the Neil Godbolt stable has strong claims in the Bates Holmes Handicap with Bay of Bengal following recent placings on the North Coast.
The Sepoy gelding has sound credentials on rain affected ground and was far from disgraced at the circuit in November behind Slice of Heaven before backing up from a recent third when defeated just under two lengths by Red Cupcake last week.
Hypertension can manage the prevailing conditions and this should prove to be an advantage in his clash with Mauricently and Pippen the McGrath Rental Management Class 1 Handicap.
The Brett Dodson trained gelding broke his maiden status with a comprehensive victory at Coffs Harbour a couple of weeks ago and was gallant when a recent sixth behind Imprinted on rain affected ground last week.
It will be interesting to see which way the stable elects to head as Hypertension is also nominated to run at Coffs Harbour on Sunday and Taree on Tuesday.
Officials are hoping for a break in the weather conditions with rain persisting since the conclusion of the New Year's Day meeting placing the track into the heavy range.
The Port complex is a COVID-19 safe venue and everyone is required to check in using the Services NSW QR Code system or manually sign in to gain admission.
General admission tickets can be pre-booked or purchased on race day with further information regarding reserved seating available by contacting the Port Macquarie Race Club office on 02 6581 1964 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are plenty of great viewing areas available with refreshment, dining and wagering facilities in full operation throughout the grounds.
Masks are mandatory for all staff and patrons inside buildings with correct hygiene and social distancing required together with the following of directions by Covid-19 Officials.
Anyone who is experiencing cold/flu-like symptoms, awaiting Covid-19 test results or has been in a high-risk area will not be admitted to the track.
The Port Macquarie Race Club is delighted to be associated with McGrath Estate Agents in the staging of Friday's meeting and hope the members of this fine organisation have an enjoyable day at the track.
The highlight of the Summer Carnival is fast approaching with the running of the $65,000 Gemlife Rainbow Beach Queen of the North Handicap, one of the blue-ribbon events on the club's calendar, scheduled for Friday 21st January.
Race 1 - 1.15pm DAVID BLANCH INVESTMENT MANAGER BM 66 HCP (1506 M)
3 Fight for Love, 1 Salsa Man, 2 Single Crown
Race 2 - 1.50pm MCGRATH PROJECTS - TODD BATES & STEVE NEWMAN MAIDEN PLATE (1006 M)
6 Alibi Dot Com, 11 Holy Tycoon, 9 Askebar
Race 3 - 2.25pm B SAFE STORAGE SOLUTIONS MAIDEN HCP (1206 M)
5 Cheketa, 8 Silica Sand, 1 Light of Boom
Race 4 - 3.05pm OWEN & GEARY BM 58 HCP (2012 M)
2 Fior the Tiger, 4 King Kikau, 5 Anatolian Charm
Race 5 - 3.40pm CORRINE CUNNINGHAM & ELIZA PRIDDIS F&M BM 58 HCP (1106 M)
6 Impulse Control, 8 La Cronica, 10 Don't Doubt Katie
Race 6 - 4.15pm BATES HOLMES CG&E BM 58 HCP (1106 M)
5 Bay of Bengal, 2 Highbury, 4 Always Written Off
Race 7 - 4.50pm MCGRATH RENTAL MANAGEMENT CL1 HCP (1506 M)
4 Hypertension, 5 Pippen, 3 Mauricently
Race 8 - 5.25pm MCGRATH "GET OUT STAKES" MAIDEN PLATE (1506 M)
6 Kingdom of Gold, 9 Millennium Jewel, 11 Sasil Esroh
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