Mark wins 500 with The Bus taking Nelson Cup

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Jones trains landmark 500th winner Former World Champion driver, Mark Jones joined an elite group of harness racing all-rounders on the second day of the Nelson summer meeting when he notched up his 500th New Zealand training success. The Burnham based Jones, who also has horses stabled at Woodend Beach, became the seventh horseman to have driven more than 1,000 winners and also trained 500 winners, joining Mark Purdon, Tony Herlihy, David Butt, John Hay, Ken Barron and Colin DeFilippi. Jones brought up the 500 wins when The Bus made it two wins for the weekend by winning the Nelson …

Cromwell runners

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CROMWELL, SATURDAY, JAN 6 RACE 1 MAJESTIC LAVROS (4, fr. 2600m stand) Mark Jones -“Very pleased with him at Winton. He probably came in that half run short though I did expect him to go well. Don’t expect any issues on the grass and if he performs he will go very close.” RACE 1 FANCY WOMAN (2, fr. 2600m stand) Blair Orange -“She’s been missing away and costing herself ground so stepping away is the key to her. Could place if she does it right.” RACE 8 TRES VITE (12, 1, 10m. 2600m stand) Mark Jones -“Impressed with her at …

Timaru runners

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TIMARU, FRIDAY, JAN 5 RACE 3 MANINTHEMIRROR (4, fr. 2600m mobile) Sam Ottley -“He had no luck on the Coast and has come through it well. A good eachway chance there if he gets the right run.” RACE 7 CASTLEREAGH (7, 1, 10m, 2600m stand) Sam Ottley -“He has come up nicely. I do expect him to need the run but you never know on class. Eachway chance first up.” RACE 8 BELLE OF BROOKLYN (5, fr. 2000m mobile) Sam Ottley -“She’s an eachway chance if she handles the wet track. A tricky little race that one.” RACE 10 IMMORTAL …

And Aussie stable rockets along….13 of 15 in top three!

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Ashlee Grives has Mark’s team firing on all cylinders in Sydney, the Menangle-based squad kicking some real goals in it’s early stages. Grives has sent 15 of Mark’s to the races for six wins and seven placings, a fantastic strike-rate whiich includes Delightful Memphis running placings from very tricky draws in two starts around the small Maitland circuit. “Things are going very well, I think people will soon understand the obvious upside to racing in Sydney,” said Mark. “Our handicapping system has made it more difficult on horses at home than we could have imagined. Too many are running out …

Team firing from Central Otago base

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Winton treble for Jones the trainer… and driver Mark Jones finished off 2017 in fine fashion, training and driving three winners in the wet at Winton. While training winners – and plenty of them – is nothing new for Jones, driving them kind of is. Yes, he’s a former World Champion with over 1400 wins in the bank as a reinsman, but he has virtually flagged that part of his career in the past few years. “I’d be lucky to have three drives a season now,” said Jones, tongue firmly in cheek. In reality he has now had 45 drives …

Plans canned but no rush, says Mark

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Mark Jones could have been on a plane to Sydney about now, but his feet will be firmly on land at home in Canterbury instead – for the short term. He’d intended to run class mare Delightful Memphis in a low-grade race in the country this weekend, and Life Lavros, an impressive newcomer to the barn in Sydney. To top that off he would return to Menangle to drive Whittaker on Saturday night – but things have fallen over. “The races didn’t get off the ground for Betty (Delightful Memphis), or Life Lavros, and then Whittaker found himself on the …

Sydney trial team all perform very well

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Ashlee Grives was thrilled with the team at the Menangle trials yesterday (Tuesday, 5th Dec), both Delightful Memphis and newcomer Life Lavros in superb winning form, and Rocker Band equally as good in running third and never hurried. Grives drove the trio quietly and was happy to sit out the back and let her charges run home strongly. Life Lavros opened up the day with a withering burst from last to take his mile heat in 1:57.6. He is a new member of the team, owner Kypros Kotzikas having sent the Bettor’s Delight three-year-old across to the Sydney barn for …

Ashlee thrilled with Mark’s team

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Training partner Ashlee Grives in thrilled with Mark’s Sydney-based team, the small but select bunch all working forward very nicely to some upcoming assignments. Grives, who handles her own team out of Menangle, is in charge of Mark’s Sydney horses, and has driven Whittaker to three wins in a row since he arrived in Australia, culminating in the $15,000 Star Trek Final at Bathurst. “Whittaker is great, he is absolutely jumping out of his skin,” she enthused. “He will race at Menangle next Saturday night in a C3-C5 class race.” Grives has been working up top mares Rocker Band and …

Small team for the weekend

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ASHBURTON, THURSDAY, NOV 16 RACE 8 SAY YOUR PRES (6, fr. 2400m stand) Mark Jones -“She was a bit unlucky to get that early check at Forbury otherwise I think we’d have been right in it. Things have to go her way a little bit given her manners are still a work in progress, but she is good enough.” ADDINGTON, FRIDAY, NOV 17 RACE 1 RUTHLESS SUCCESS (13, fr. 1950m mobile) Sam Ottley -“She is racing well, unlucky at Kaikoura and then did the job well at Forbury. A much tougher task here and she did need to draw better. …