THE first meeting of the Port Lincoln Racing Club’s 2016/17 season kicks off tomorrow with a host of big name Adelaide trainers set to battle it out with the locals on the seven-race card.
Lining up the form early in the season has always been a tough proposition but with so many visiting horses the task has been magnified.
Benchmark 80 1000m
Heavens Flight was most consistent last season with his two wins and five seconds.
The only occasion the Shylie Williams-trained five-year-old didn’t finish in the money from his dozen outings was when he took on Geordies Second in front, which generally brings most horses undone.
The Williams stable is one to follow early this season.
Tintagel Rocker certainly knows his way around here (six wins from 14 starts). He suprisingly took a while to get warm in his first up run at Murray Bridge and had to spend to much petrol mid race. Could be a different story here if he finds the front.
Benchmark 64 1390m
The dually nominated Point Drummond finished last season well with back-to-back wins over the 1390 metres for local premiership winning trainer Darryl Carrison while stablemate Bossa Nova found his niche over this trip here last season and won when fresh.
Holy Fire is the first runner for recently licenced Morphetville trainer Shayne Cahill and Valik is never far from the action.
Benchmark 64 1000m
Punter's Lass is a speedy mare from the Richard Jolly stables.
She has won her only look at the track and looks hard to beat first-up on her recent Morphetville trial.
Dazzling Lilly rarely puts in a bad race here and has to be rated an each-way chance for her new trainer Jackie Stoetzer.
Benchmark 60 1000m
Bold Senator is capable of taking this event out with the big weight but his two uninspiring runs in June leave you in doubt of where he is at.
Bilzerian will appreciate the drop in class for Lloyd Kennewell and De Vilaine is one to include at odds.
Benchmark 56 1210m
Looks a total lottery at this stage with 25 nominations and many dual acceptors.
Concentrating on the locally trained runners, the Annette Harder-trained pair Moonshaft and Heza Hussler are capable on their day while Artful Monty isn’t hopeless in a race of this nature but place might be best.
Star Player fom the Ryan Balfour stable has terrific early speed and will be very hard to catch.
The Julie Branford-trained Nippy Lippy is probably the best of the locals but don’t expect any value.
Three-Year-Old Maiden 1000m
Heza Gunn impressed on debut behind Alpha Romeo in the final two-year-old race last season and reports are he has come back in good order but this is extremely tough race to line up the form.
Rocky Valley looks well placed and has the fitness edge on most while Helmara comes out of the Dequetteville Stakes and must be respected dropping back to this grade for the John Hyam yard.