DE BORTOLI WINES MAIDEN PLATE Tips (Race 3)
Port Macqaurie Value Bet - Race 3 No. 7 Poseidon Ruler
As the only runner with race experience in this field that is coming back from Provincial level to a Country Maiden, he is quite a big price off a nice debut albeit does have a wide alley to overcome here.
Off a Muswellbrook trial win, Poseidon Ruler was respected when markets opened for that February 20 clash but was a big drifter late ($6.50-$11.00) where although he was run off his feet early, the 900m scampers can be quite a niche trip and despite seemingly going nowhere, managed to finish strongly when finally balancing up to grab third.
Louise Day, who was aboard for his trial victory, now takes the reins for race day and in that heat, there was intent to go forward which over a much more suitable 1200m, may be an option to help offset the barrier early.
GREAT NORTHERN SUPER CRISP BENCHMARK 66 HANDICAP Tips (Race 5)
Port Macquarie Value Bet - Race 5 No. 4 Admit It
The second-up defeat was a poor showing on the January 23 card from Kembla Grange where he was a big drifter late in the betting ($2.35-$3.10) but it was a better effort on February 18 and now comes all the way back to Country level off two Provincial outings.
With the tongue tie going on last start (possibly choked down?) along with a return to a Soft track, that went some way to explaining the failure and leaving himself with too much to do, he did appear a little more dour staying at seven furlongs, so the step up to 1500m should suit
Before being tipped out last winter, Admit It ran second to Snowfire, who has won twice in town this campaign and he did have a good margin on McGeehan (city winner in January) in that same contest, so is clearly good enough to figure at this level, especially in an event with a little more of a rolling tempo.
STEELINE CLASS 3 HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Port Macquarie Best Bet - Race 6 No. 7 Scorched Land
This is admittedly a harder event to the one he prevailed in convincingly at Taree on February 12, but it is always a great time of the year for a three-year-old to be taking on older rivals with lower ratings and he does look the one in this field with upside.
Scorched Land is still a work in progress but has shown clear ability to date, winning two of five attempts in his second preparation before a pair of unlucky efforts to start this campaign and the catalyst for the third-up victory was the step up to the mile, so it's hard to see the 1800m pulling him up, especially with a 3kg drop in the weights.
Alysha Collett sticks with the son of Sizzling for Thursday's assignment and the key will be for her to use barrier one early, as although he hasn't been excellent out of the gates recently, there has been a few occasions where he was able to take up a closer position, which could be the difference here.