New recruits to join Sydney stable

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Impressive Christmas maiden graduate Rock N Joy will soon join the Sydney stable at Menangle, Mark pointing to some good opportunities there in making the call. In a move to get the best earning potential and broodmare value out of the royally-bred filly, Mark hopes to send her home to her owners with a good race record and a quick time at Menangle, all going well. “Being a daughter of Joyfuljoy (11 NZ wins, 1:51.6 USA) she has a lot of value later on in the matrons paddocks,” said Mark. “Knocking around in New Zealand trying to find opportuinities outside …

A-team head to Melbourne

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Top mares head Victorian charge Delightful Memphis and Rocker Band are in Melbourne awaiting the $30,000 Allied Express Jodies Babe (mares) at Melton this Saturday night. Mark and Ash Grives have sent the mares south from the Sydney base to contest the Group event, and Mark is pretty happy with the draws for the 1720m feature, and their condition going into it. “Ashlee is realy happy with them. We are obviously there because we feel the horses are well and ready to go,” said Mark. “Betty (Delightful Memphis) is bright as a button again. Backing her up last time after …

Rocker Band shoots for a second Group one

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She has been there and done that before, and Mark Jones is hoping quality pacing mare Rocker Band can bring her best form to the table when she takes her place in tonight’s (Saturday) $200,000 MacArthur Square Ladyship Mile at Menangle. The Rocknroll Hanover mare was brilliant in winning her first Group One in the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in 2016, storming home off a tight spot on the markers to win in the hands of Sam Ottley. And Mark is hoping the aid of gate one over the mile at Menangle could see her return to the winners list …

Whittaker breaks 1:50 in Chariots

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Sportswriter four-year-old Whittaker paced the mile in 1:49.54 in finishing fourth in the Chariots Of Fire behind the smart Jilliby Kung Fu at Menangle last Saturday night. Driver and caretaker trainer Ashlee Grives positioned him four-deep on the marker line and they rallied strongly in the run home, his sectionals proof that he could not have gone any better, an amazing run. Whittaker paced his final 800m in 53.05 and 400m in 26.44 in a staggeringly-quick Chariots, his final splits bettered only by Let It Ride (53.01) and Gotta Go Ya Hu (52.85). Whittaker continues a super run of form …

Saveapatrol out again – but should be back

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NZ HARNESS NEWS Saveapatrol broke down yet again last week but his trainer, Mark Jones, is not about to throw the towel in just yet. The eight-year-old Christian Cullen gelding cracked a pastern in his near side hind leg and now has two screws in each of his pasterns. Jones has pretty much lost count of the number of times Saveapatrol has gone amiss but he can add up operations on six occasions. “Cracked bones are not as bad as tendon and suspensory injuries because once they’re healed the bone is stronger than it was before the break,” said Jones. …

From Menangle to Otaki from the couch

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Three wins a long way apart Mark Jones thought he’d achieved something rather cool when he sat on his couch and watched Sheeza Sport and Majestic Lavros win at Otaki and Wyndham respectively last Sunday. It was after all, Jones’ second and third winners in the space of about 18 hours, and a special hat-trick at that. “I don’t know if too many trainers would have won one at Menangle (Whittaker), one at Wyndham, and another at Otaki within a 24-hour period – I’m going to claim it, anyway,” he laughed. “And I did it all from the couch!” “One …

Whittaker wins big to grab Chariots spot

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The decision by Mark Jones to start a satellite stable in Sydney is paying dividends, evidenced by Whittaker’s win in the Group 3 A$40,800 Paleface Adios Stakes at Menangle on Saturday night. The 1.53.9 mile-rate win earned the son of Sportswriter a berth in next Saturday night’s Group 1 A$200,000 Chariots Of Fire. Jones, naturally, was thrilled with the outcome. “It’s a big thrill to get him in there for his owner, Greg Brodie, and it justifies the big move to have a barn in Sydney. “I need flagship horses and they need to win and get in to the …

Amberley runners

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AMBERLEY, Tuesday Feb 6 RACE 4 IMMORTAL CHANGE (4, fr. 1950m mobile) Sam Ottley -“I’ve had some tie-up issues with her leading in but hope to get her there as close to 100 per cent as I can. On form she has to be a good chance.” RACE 5 LETS HUSTLE (5, fr. 1950m mobile) Sam Ottley -“Seems a bit better this week and the blinds go on to use the good draw and he looks a good eachway chance there.”  

Colic attack loss of brilliant filly

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Promising filly dies after slick trial Just a day or so after a stunning 55.5 final 800m at the Ashburton trials, highly-promising Raging Bull filly Pamplona Princess died of a colic attack. Mark Jones was saddened by the unfortunate demise, saying he held the filly in high regard and she was booked to head to Sydney this week to meet up with co-owner Aaron Goadsby, who was understandably shaken. “Aaron, and her other owner Marcus Kirkwood, are both devasted. She was very smart and we had high hopes of winning at Bathurst (APG),” he said. “Her trial was exceptional and …

Delightful Memphis back on winning roll

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Star filly wins first race as a mare in NSW Former star two-and-three-year-old filly Delightful Memphis found the winning feeling again at Goulburn last Sunday when she was successful in the $A19,000 Goulburn Rose, furthering a good record for Mark Jones’ team offshore. Caretaker trainer and driver Ashlee Grives had to punch her out hard from gate one to hold a slender advantage into the first turn, but once in front she dictated play and dashed away from the 400m to win very easily, a striking 26.5 final 400m split at the end giving nothing a chance. ‘Betty’ ran a …