Two promising Port Macquarie gallopers, both impressive last start winners, hold the key to the outcome of a dashing sprint race at Taree Wingham Race Club's big nine-race TAB meeting at Bushland Drive Racecourse tomorrow.
They are three-year-old filly Nuclear Class, trained by Tas Morton, which resumed with a track record breaking win at Kempsey last Tuesday, and four-year-old gelding Rock 'N' Rich, trained by Neil Godbolt, which scored easily at its last start at this track.Nuclear Class broke a seven-year-old record for 1000m with an easy length win when resuming from a spell whereas the gelding left its rivals standing with an explosive turn of foot at the end of 1007m.
There are a few other well-performed rivals coming from Gosford, Wyong, Broadmeadow, Cessnock to mix it with the locals in what should be a great Wedding At The WPFC Class 3 Handicap over 1000m.
Morton doesn't like backing up his horses so quickly but Nuclear Class has been kicking her brand off since her record win.
"She has pulled up enormous - besides there are no other suitable races for her," he said.
The filly cost $24,000 at the Scone Sales despite being a sister to Sydney winning galloper First Class Flyer but her price was probably reflected in her having a twisted fetlock.
Morton was willing to take the gamble an operation would fix the problem and after it, the rest has been clear sailing.
She has had five starts for three wins and two seconds for nearly $45,000 prizemoney and will be ridden by former Sydney jockey Neil Payne who was on her at Kempsey and had a winning double there last week.
Godbolt also reported his gelding has pulled up well after the win and should it win here, then he knows he has a pretty handy galloper.
"This field is tougher and if he wins, then he should go on with it."
Gosford trainer Kristen Buchanan has a good strike rate with her gallopers travelling to Taree and has four-year-old mare Eight Skirts resuming in this race after wins last campaign at Newcastle, Wyong and Bathurst before a handy sixth at Canterbury. Even though only placed at the distance, the mare has a good fresh record and could be the one descending late with so much speed up front.Taree gallopers Slick Cookie and Blinkin Speedy have been thereabouts in recent runs, Coffs Harbour galloper Can't Find Him is capable and is resuming whereas Wyong trainer Tony Newing's Timeless Prince is resuming and Broadmeadow trainer Kris Lees' Excellent Style should be fitter after a resuming third at Taree.
Then there is Cessnock jockey Robert Thompson's mount Commentz,second at Gilgandra last start for Cessnock trainer Todd Howlett, in what should be one terrific race.
One of the better bets on the card could be four-year-old Taree mare Decompression, trained by Michael Byers, which can improve on its second behind big winner Belle Express (in last race Tuesday) at Coffs in the Can Assist Fund Raising On April 5 Maiden over 1250m.
"It was a good run at Coffs and she should go well on her home track," said Byers."In her first campaign she was flattened by wet tracks and she likes it better on top of the ground.
Dangers appear to be Wyong gelding Golden Perch, which is drawn wide, and Broadmeadow gelding Tofindaway, another mount for Thompson, both of which have been close up in recent starts at Port and Taree.
Morton is hoping his consistent Overshadows can finally win in the Winning Post Function Centre Benchmark 55 Handicap over 1400m where other chances are Godbolt's Long Journey Home and Can't Be Doubted, another for Byers which is coming back in distance.
DOUG RYAN'S SELECTIONS
RACE 1: Revealing 1, Bold Features 2, Hot Topic 3.
RACE 2: Nuclear Class 1, Rock 'N' Rich 2, Eight Skirts 3.
RACE 3: Chiliad 1, Sir Lottie 2, When You're Smilin 3.
RACE 4: The Hulk 1, Butane 2, French Rules 3.
RACE 5: Destiny's Daughter 1, Pestadeem 2, Our Evolution 3.
RACE 6: Decompression 1, Golden Perch 2, Tofindaway 3.
RACE 7: Long Journey Home 1, Overshadows 2, Can't Be Doubted 3.
RACE 8: Belle Express 1, Who Is Game 2, You Gotta Love It 3.