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Laphroaig well placed in Port Macquarie Cup prelude (Sunday)

A great appreciation for his home circuit and the ability to manage rain affected conditions provides Laphroaig with strong prospects to take the next step in the Stowe Australia Port Macquarie Cup Prelude at the track on Sunday.

The son of Vancouver resumed from a spell at Port last month and came from well back to score a convincing victory over Mister Smartee before running a respectable third at the Gold Coast behind Avenue of Stars a fortnight ago.

The Paul Shailer trained gelding has amassed four wins and three placings in his career with two local victories being on the heavy ground and the extra distance seems suitable for the upcoming campaign.

Laphroaig is named after a fine Scottish whiskey and the engagement of Ben Looker provides further confidence for a forward showing with plenty at stake as the top two placegetters in the event progress automatically to the Port Cup in October.

Matthew Smith makes the journey from his Warwick Farm training base with Credit Crunch and the mare is set to provide the stiffest opposition after a recent win at Kembla Grange before accounting for Sky Diamonds at Goulburn a fortnight ago.

A strong performance would provide an ideal progression towards the club's premier event and the daughter of Real Impact should be suited by the distance and prevailing conditions of Sunday's assignment.

Lady Audrey is a consistent mare on the rise and comes to the track with great confidence following recent victories at Taree and Gilgandra while Onemore Sapphire has an undeniable chance despite his weight impost.

It is great to see Ashley Morgan back in Australia after an overseas venture and last year's leading state rider will partner with Bak Da Man for the Nathan Doyle stable in the event.

The flashy chestnut gelding has two recent provincial runs under his belt since resuming from a spell and it should be noted the son of Reliable Man has an unblemished record at the circuit.

It will be interesting to see whether Warren Gavenlock decides to run Ambitious Prince in the prelude after the gelding was denied a start in the Lismore Cup on Thursday when the meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather and the state of the track.

The son of Casino Prince has earned top weight in the race following a comprehensive win in the Tuncurry Cup a fortnight ago when accounting for Dragon's Shadow by just under three lengths.

The opening race presents a wonderful opportunity for Golden Button to break his maiden status with the lightly raced son of Dissident putting the writing on the wall with a powerful second behind Wonder Brahma at Taree last start.

The Natasha Hall-Antonio trained gelding came from near the tail of the field before finishing strongly and the extra two hundred metres of the weekend event should provide plenty of confidence for a strong showing.

Miss Santorini is resuming from a spell of five months and has drawn wide in the final event, but the apprentice claim allocated to Shayleigh Ingelse might be the deciding factor as to whether the well performed mare fulfils her local engagement instead of travelling to Tamworth the following day.

The $200,000 Carlton Dry Port Macquarie Cup on Friday 7th October is the next fixture scheduled at the track with the feature race meeting for the club highlighting a wonderful two-day carnival.

Massive prizemoney of half a million dollars is up for grabs for the club's premier day of racing with the cup shaping up as one of the best ever as it provides the opportunity for successful connections to contest the $2 million Big Dance at Randwick in November.

Selections:
Race 1 – 1.25pm STOWE AUSTRALIA COUNTRY BOOSTED MAIDEN PLATE (1506 M)
3 Golden Button, 10 Ocean Flyer, 6 Cherokee Cherry
Race 2 – 2.00pm STOWE ELECTRICAL COUNTRY BOOSTED CLASS 2 HCP (1006 M)
2 Honour the Crown, 4 Vilified, 1 Sir Ravanelli
Race 3 – 2.35pm FULTON INDUSTRIES CG&E MAIDEN HCP (1106 M)
5 Chain of Gold, 1 Edge of Reward, 6 De Lovely Lad
Race 4 – 3.11pm MMEM GROUP F&M MAIDEN HCP (1106 M)
3 D'arpano, 4 Queen of Elegance, 12 Topender
Race 5 – 3.47pm STOWE AUSTRALIA PORT MACQUAIRE CUP PRELUDE (1812 M)
4 Laphroaig, 6 Credit Crunch, 9 Lady Audrey
Race 6 – 4.21pm NHP ELECTRICAL BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1506 M)
7 Four Egos, 2 Beat That, 8 Into the Blue
Race 7 – 5.00pm CETNAJ BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1206 M)
7 Miss Santorini, 11 Testa Princess, 8 Rubigal


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