Chris Waller's training dominance in feature races continued when Quality Time scored a comprehensive victory in the $200,000 Carlton Dry Port Macquarie Cup on Friday.
Australia's leading horse mentor landed his first trophy in the club's highlight a decade ago when Old Bill saluted and now has five trophies in the cabinet after Tommy Berry steered the flashy chestnut to victory in the latest instalment.
The daughter of Amaron obtained a perfect trail behind Rousseau and moved up to challenge the leaders on the point of the home turn before racing clear over the concluding stages to score by just over a length.
Berry reported after the event the winner had some inclination to over race behind Ambridge in the early stages of the event and suggested the removal of blinkers might be the key to the continued confidence of his mount.
Quality Time completed the hattrick after success at Canterbury and Rosehill over the past month with his overall tally rising to fourteen appearances for six wins and three placings with stake earnings over $260,000.
The effort of Olympic Theatre was full of merit after checking in the home straight and cutting back to the rails while Our Candidate made up good ground over the concluding stages to cut Rousseau out of third prize.
The Port Cup win for Berry took his record to two in the feature event having teamed up with the Waller stable to score with Loving Home in 2017 and there was a touching moment at the presentation when the prominent hoop presented his trophy to a youngster in the crowd.
Success in the district highlight provides the opportunity for Quality Time to progress towards the $2 million "The Big Dance" at Randwick on Melbourne Cup day and the German import has been supported in early markets following his dominant victory.
The $80,000 Birdon Group Sprint resulted in a spine-tingling finish with Aheadofhistime scoring the narrowest of victories over Chase My Crown with Leave Me Some a breath away in third position.
Nictock lead in the home straight before being challenged by a wall of horses with Leave Me Some and Chase My Crown clearing out before Aheadofhistime worked underneath the pair to gain a narrow win.
Aheadofhistime has been a wonderful money spinner for Trevor Hardy with the master Coffs Harbour trainer deserving another big race success while the strength of Grand Bickley lifted the flashy chestnut over the line.
Liberty Son took out the feature sprint last year but had to be content with fourth prize in the latest edition while Charmmebaby made up some ground over the later stages of the race after the multi award winning horse settled in the second half of the field.
The $50,000 Fastplast Building Supplies Hastings Cup was another tremendous finish when Ben Looker stormed down the crown of the home straight on relucent to claim victory in the last bound over Kedah with At Witz End not beaten far in third position.
The exciting day of racing commenced when Tiva Bay scored a decisive win in the opening event over Edge of Reward while Margaret de Gonneville continued her great training success when Golden Breeze saluted in the following event.
Heir Apparent was able to withstand the late challenge of Honour the Crown to provide John Sprague with a popular local win in the third event while Jacenza took out the Class three Handicap and Time for Victory claimed the final event by over two lengths.
Patrons flocked to the track in great numbers and enjoyed outstanding thoroughbred action on a soft surface which provided extremely competitive racing while the Focus Magazine Fashions on the Field providing another highlight on the day.
The Port Macquarie Race Club greatly appreciates the wonderful Cup association with Carlton and United Breweries and would also like to acknowledge the race day sponsorship provided by Birdon Group, Fastplast Building Supplies, De Bortoli Wines, Flower Hotels, McGrath Estate Agents, JR Richards Sons and Peak Coffee.
Race 1 - MCGRATH ESTATE AGENTS' MAIDEN SHOWCASE PLATE (1200 M)
Edge of Reward was the ruling favourite for the opening event with Tiva Bay attracting plenty of confidence while D'arpano was the only other runner under a double figure quote.
Tiva Bay settled in the centre of the field behind the early pace set by Scotland and Poke the Bear with D'arpano keen to race just off the pace.
Pendulum was trapped wide in the early stages around Deep Return as Edge of Reward travelled well off the early speed on the outside section of the track.
Scotland led for home on the inside of Delightful Denni before Pendulum and D'arpano commenced their runs with Tiva Bay and Edge of Reward making their moves together.
Tiva Bay came with a barnstorming run down the outside to claim Edge of Reward in the shadows of the post and score with Pendulum clinging on for third in front of the finishing effort of Star of Yamba.
Star of Yamba made up many lengths along the rails over the concluding stages of the event while D'arpano battled on well down the straight.
Race 2 - JR RICHARDS AND SONS COUNTRY BOOSTED MAIDEN SHOWCASE PLATE (1000 M)
Golden Breeze halved his opening quote and was considered a strong chance to challenge the early favourite, Cenotes, with ad Astra Magic a firm third elect.
Brienno Belle raced straight to the front in the early stages before being worried by Naughty Warrior with Elite Quality tracking wide to be in a handy position in front of Gandolfini and La Cache a Vin.
Cenotes was travelling well off the pace on the outside of Moonglow Miss while Golden Breeze made up ground along the rails after a tardy start.
Brienno Belle shook off the challenge of Naughty Warrior and bounded clear in the home straight before Andrew Adkins hooked Cenotes down the crown of the track as Golden Breeze and Moonglow Miss weaved a passage through the centre of the pack.
Golden Breeze worked underneath Cenotes and raced clear over the latter stages of the race and an accomplished ride by Jeff Kehoe landed the Margaret de Gonneville trained gelding to a decisive win over Cenotes while Moonglow Miss was responsible for a strong debut run to claim third in front of Elite Quality.
Race 3 - PEAK COFFEE CLASS 2 HCP (1000 M)
Jacenza was looking to retain his unbeaten record and was dispatched a popular pick with keen form students considering Paradise Island a strong chance while Alibi Dot Com was not without supporters in front of Pendleton.
Jacenza was ridden for urgency from the barrier stalls and raced to the lead before being challenged by Pendleton with Lessing content to travel well off the rails on the outside of Paradise Island and Alibi Dot Com.
Reece Jones booted Jacenza as the field headed for home before making a move towards the centre of the track and allowing Paradise Island to dart back to the rails and make ground while Alibi Dot Com came home well down the outside section of the track.
Despite being wayward over the final stages, Jacenza was able to score by a length from Alibi Dot Com with Paradise Island holding on for the minor prize while Pendleton yielded going over the concluding stages of the race.
Race 4 - DE BORTOLI WINES COUNTRY MAGIC CLASS 1 HCP (1200 M)
Sharp Shock was a noticeable drifter due to the consistent support for Ghost Hunter but retained favouritism with Heir Apparent a solid third elect in front of Honour the Crown.
Ghost Hunter showed good speed and raced to the early lead from Parties Galore with Heir Apparent handily positioned in fourth while Honour the Crown was able to obtain cover on the outside of The Regular Show.
Sharp Shock showed no early gate speed and travelled near the tail of proceedings with Offyarocatwo and Cranach Dreaming.
Ghost Hunter maintained the lead approaching the home bend before Ray Spokes peeled around the pacemaker on Heir Apparent and dashed to the front as Parties Galore continued to battle on well and Honour the Crown commenced a move down the outside.
Heir Apparent was able to withstand the finishing burst of Honour the Crown and landed the prize by a narrow margin with Parties Galore clinging on for third in front of Onemoregriz.
Race 5 - 3.40pm BIRDON GROUP SPRINT (1200 M)
Charmmebaby was resuming from a spell and the local star was neglected in the betting ring with last year's winner, Liberty Sun, claiming the favourite mantle from Nictock and Leave Me Some while Aheadofhistime was considered a hope at value odds.
Following the late scratching at the gates of The Drake, Moon Over Alice raced to the early lead from Nictock with Liberty Sun handily positioned in front of Proverbial.
Leave Me Some travelled on the outside of Leeside while Chase My Crown and Aheadofhistime raced in the second half of the pack as Charmmebaby settled last after dwelling at the start.
Moon over Alice was quickly claimed on the point of the home bend as Nictock found the lead from Liberty Sun before Leeside and Leave Me Some commenced their runs as Aheadofhistime obtained clear galloping room close to the rails.
Chase My Crown came home strongly down the outside section of the track to join Aheadofhistime and Leave Me Some with the trio staging a grandstand finish.
Despite some tightening near the line, Aheadofhistime scrambled home to score by a nose from Chase My Crown with Leave Me Some crowded for room in third placing while Charmmebaby will derive a great deal of benefit from the outside after finishing on well.
Race 6 - FASTPLAST BUILDING SUPPLIES HASTINGS CUP (1500 METRES)
Despite yielding a point in betting operations, Kedah retained the favourite position from Relucent with money for Olympic Gaze causing Hit the Target to drift noticeably.
Hit the Target obtained a cheap lead before Tommy Berry made a move aboard Mister Smartee to allow the Tas Morton trained gelding to race clear and ensure a genuine pace.
At Witz End was in the firing line early around Kedah while La Jolie Fille ran cover for Relucent in themiddle of the field.
Mister Smartee maintained the front position as the field headed for home before At Witz End moved up to challenge with Kedah sliding along the inside of the leaders.
Last year's winner, La Jolie Fille, continued to fight on while Hit the Target was immediately under pressure down the home running.
Ben Looker made a move down the grandstand rail and raced towards Kedah and At Witz End with the trio staging a titanic struggle over the concluding stages.
Relucent gained the race by a breath from Kedah with At Witz End a nose away third in front of Mister Smartee and La Jolie Fille.
Hit the Target tired over the later stages of the race while Olympic Gaze travelled in the second half of the field before finishing behind the placegetters with Galaxy Belle.
Race 7 - 2022 CARLTON DRY PORT MACQUARIE CUP *BIG DANCE ELIGIBILITY * (2000 M)
Quality Time was prohibitive odds to salute in the cup with Our Candidate and Rousseau the only other starters under the double-figure quote.
Ambridge set the early tempo from Rousseau with Olympic Theatre camped in third place on the inside of Quality Time while Our Candidate travelled in the middle of the filed in front of Dashing Willoughby and Mydeel.
The field stayed in formation until the final bend before Ambridge was immediately pressured by Rousseau before Tommy Berry peeled around the leaders on Quality Time as Olympic Theatre stayed close to the rails.
Quality Time gained the ascendency from Rousseau down the home running and claimed the cup by just over a length from Olympic Theatre with Our Candidate working home well for third in front of Rousseau.
Race 8 - FLOWER HOTELS BENCHMARK 66 HCP (1100 M)
Strong support for Zoom Outcome resulted in the Marc Quinn trained gelding claiming favouritism from Sharkim with Don't Doubt Katie a firm third pick in front of Joey's Chance and Mussenphere.
Monte Di Fiore broke the line well and raced to the early lead from Ready to Chase with Zoom Outcome tracking wide in third position from Wine Time and Crowned Empress.
Don't Doubt Katie was trapped well of the rails in front of Sharkim while Joey's Chance positioned well off the pace on the inside with Time for Victory and Citrouille.
Monte Di Fiore was joined by Ready to Chase as the field approached the final bend with Sharkim making good ground around the leaders while Zoom Outcome obtained cover around Wine Time as Time for Victory was poised to pounce.
Citrouille was shunted back to the tail of the field with Vicky's One and Mussenphere with the trio spotting the leading division many lengths.
Ready to Chase raced to a clear lead as the field passed the two hundred metre mark as Zoom Outcome made a strong challenge before the pair were headed by Time for Victory who strode away to score a comprehensive win.
Crowned Empress finished just behind the placegetters while Prefer to be Ready was stirred up in the preliminary and was responsible for a strong fifth after being back in the second half of the field on settling down.
Horses to Follow
Pendulum, Moonglow Miss, At Witz End.