SCHWEPPES F&M MAIDEN HANDICAP Tips (Race 1)
Port Macquarie Best Bet - Race 1 No. 6 Asherla
Trainer Kris Lees has a big hand with nine runners accepted for Friday's Port Macquarie meeting and he'll be looking to get it off to a flyer with this Australian Bloodstock filly who was brave on debut at Muswellbrook.
The two-year-old daughter of Astern is taking on older opposition again, but is back against her own sex following that January 7 performance where although she never let down on a Heavy 8 track, continued to box on and held off Enamour who she faces again here, but that runner has had plenty of chances now.
Magic On Ice was two lengths away and won her next outing while the winner Greenspan was runner-up on Thursday, so the form is stacking up okay and back on firmer going , Asherla can show the speed that was on display in her December trial win at Wyong.
MCGUIGAN BMW MAIDEN PLATE Tips (Race 3)
Port Macquarie Value Bet - Race 3 No. 10 Justitia
Given she was still quite raw, it was a nice debut back in March last year but was disappointing in two outings following that and as a result, was tipped out and given plenty of time to mature ahead of her return at Newcastle in November.
While the results don't necessarily reflect it, this four-year-old has improved and although a little unlucky fresh, the 1200m was a little too slick and five weeks later at Coffs Harbour, was exactly where you didn't want to be when trying to get home on the inside against the faster lanes out wider.
Considering how inferior that going was, the just over three length defeat into fourth was a reasonable effort under the circumstances and with more intent early here from an inside draw, Justitia has claims third-up in what isn't a strong Maiden.
PRIME7 LOCAL NEWS BENCHMARK 66 HANDICAP Tips (Race 5)
Port Macquarie Each-Way Bet - Race 5 No. 3 Two Up
With two winners and four seconds from eight starters at Port Macquarie this season, Newcastle trainer David Atkins does place his runners very well when they compete on the country circuit and that's the case again on Friday with this gelding.
The son of Dane Shadow is still very much a work in progress, despite being competitive in every one of his 10 starts to date with the latest outing being a first-up attempt over the 900m scamper at Scone, where he was run off his legs early but balanced up late when getting home well for a midfield finish.
Stepping up an extra furlong to the 1100m second-up is a big tick for Two Up, a galloper that is capable of settling much closer from an inside draw and in an event that's a little easier overall than that fresh tilt, he does appeal as one of the better each-way chances on this card.