NZ Met, Forb, Albion Park, Menangle, Rangiora, July 5-8

J Scott The Inside Word

NZ METRO TC, Thursday, July 5

Race 1: IMMORTAL CHANGE (2, Blair Orange), BELLE OF BROOKLYN (3, Samantha Ottley) & MOYTURA (7, Sheree Tomlinson), mob. 1980m: “Immortal Change will need the run but I’m actually happy with her work and she will be a definite top three chance from the draw.”

“Belle Of Brooklyn put in good efforts at Blenheim. Is coming in on the fresh side but seems bright and is an outside place chance.”

“Moytura has been racing strongly but probably just a place chance this time with Cullenburn the one to beat.”


Race 8: MANINTHEMIRROR (2, Samantha Ottley), mob. 1980m: “Big improvement last start and an upset place chance again.”

Race 9: JOEY MAGUIRE (10, Sheree Tomlinson), mob. 1980m: “Gets in the right race and can place if he doesn’t get pushed back too far.”

FORBURY PARK TC, Friday, July 6

Race 1: FANCY WOMAN (4, Sheree Tomlinson), 2200m std: “If she trots, is an each-way chance.”

ALBION PARK, QLD, Saturday, July 7

Race 7: TRES VITE (9, Adam Sanderson), mob. 2138m: “Arrived in Brisbane today (Wednesday) and hope she settles in. Is drawn to get a good run though and a top three finish would be a bonus.”

MENANGLE NSW, Saturday, July 7

Race 1: WHITTAKER (4, Chris Geary), mob. 2300m: “Gets in the right race and from the good draw can win.”

Race 3: ROCKER BAND (10, KerryAnn Turner), mob. 1609m: “Has drawn bad but is in a winnable race.”

RANGIORA HRC, Sunday, July 8

Race 1: JOEY MAGUIRE (4, Wayne Low), mob. 2000m: “Is drawn to lead in the amateur drivers race and be hard to beat.”

Race 8: SI SI SENOR (6, Samantha Ottley), 4, 10m, 2600m std: “Fresh-up after just one quiet trial but he has come up fine and is a definite top three chance.”

Ex-Overport Lodge qualifier wins Len Smith Mile

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Cruz Bromac, sold to Australian interests prior to qualifying for the Mark Jones stable, captured Gr. 1 glory in the $100,000 Len Smith Mile in 1:50.1 at Menangle on July 1.

Now six, the Falcon Seelster-Crown Defender gelding was a late 3YO when he qualified for the Overport Lodge team at Timaru in July, 2015.

Cruz Bromac, held by trainer Kevin Pizzuto (left) and driver Chris Geary, is joined by other connections after winning the $100,000 Len Smith Mile. (Photo by Ashlea Brennan).

A month later at his third start when still three to Australian time, he took a 1:51.6 mark at Menangle for the Dean Braun stable.

Cruz Bromac won a Casey Classic at Melton, and the Cobram, Hamilton and Warragul Pacing Cups in Victoria, for the Braun stable.

Freshened after running fourth in the Shepparton Cup on April 28, he was transferred to NSW trainer Kevin Pizzuto to target the Len Smith Mile.

Second-up from his new quarters on Sunday, Cruz Bromac showed brilliant gate speed from the six gate and was brilliantly-rated by Chris Geary, who gained the biggest win of his career.

After getting a breather mid-race, Cruz Bromac sprinted his last 400m in 26.5s to win decisively by 4.6 metres in 1:50.1 from trailer, this term’s Miracle Mile champ, My Field Marshal.

His task was helped by the uncharacteristic early blunder by $1.40 favourite Soho Tribeca, who lost all chance by breaking at the dispatch point.

Pizzuto went into the race extremely confident.

“He worked so well when I fast-worked him yesterday morning I actually told the owner he was a moral,” Pizzuto told the media, post-race.

“As a matter of fact we were so confident we probably won more on the punt then the race was worth so it’s been a pretty good result all around.”

Cruz Bromac has now raced only 28 times for 15 wins and five placings, for $252,975 in stakes.

The Bus creditable 4th to Ignatius

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James Rattray can only smile at the thought . . . could he be as good as Beautide ?.

Rattray’s superstar three-year-old pacer Ignatius had just blown away his rivals in the NSW Breeders Challenge three-year-old colts and geldings final at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, on July 1.

Ignatius, by Roll With Joe, is too good again for James Rattray, this time in 1:51.3 for the mile in the $150,000 NSW Breeders 3YO Challenge. (Photo by Ashlea Brennan).

Taking his record to 14 wins from 15 starts, the James Rattray trained-and-driven youngster thrashed his rivals with a 1:51.3 mile to score a 12.4m win over Picard with Mackeral one and a quarter metres away third.

The first challenge for Ignatius occurred when the starter said go.

As predicted, Todd McCarthy and Picard had a dip for the lead and for a fleeting moment looked as if they might actually cross before Rattray got serious and Ignatius held him out before they reached the first corner.

Realistically the race was as good as over there and then as Rattray was able to dictate terms to suit himself, after the 27.1 opening split he backed off the speed with a 29.8 sectional leaving plenty of petrol in the tank for the dash home.

Ignatius turned for home in front before Rattray lowered the handlebars and Ignatius virtually left them standing as he zoomed home to win as he liked with a 54.4s last half.

Picard did it tough and did well to hang on for second while the other eye-catching run of the race was The Bus (Chris Geary) who came from near last to run fourth although nothing could be taken away from the winner.

Ignatius just might turn out to be as good as the Rattray family’s champion predecessor Beautide, a winner of two Inter Dominions and a Miracle Mile.

That might be a big pair of shoes to fill – but at least Ignatius is trying them on for size.

Courtesy of Mandy Madern, Menangle

Trev Vite posts smart rate at Bathurst

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Tres Vite was untroubled to remain unbeaten in two New South Wales starts  for the Mark Jones stable when scoring again, this time at Bathurst on Wednesday, June 27, in a career best 1:55.8 rate for the 1730m.

Sent out a $2.70 joint favourite from the inside of the second row, Tres Vite had a super run through early to trail leader The Only Child, who led from the ace.

With a sprint lane run for Ellen Rixon in a NSW Rising Stars Heat, she zipped through to win by 2.7 metres from outsiders, Jiggy Rhythm and Volaticus, with joint favourite Better Be Donna, fourth after being forced to race in the open.

Tres Vite (3f Bettor’s Delight filly-Tres Bien Franco), had last week won her NSW debut at Penrith in a 1:57.4 rate over the 1720m.

The NSW team notched a winning double at Bathurst with Getarattleon delivering as a hot $1.50 favourite in the Bedwells Feedbarn Three-Year-old Pace.

Getarattleon, a Raging Bull gelding form Lady Moonlight, raced by the Taieri Exports Perth Syndicate, and the Hale The King Racing Syndicate,  made the most of a good trip on the outer from Chris Geary, holding Hannah Mae by 1.8 metres in a 1:57.5 rate for the 1730m.

This was his first win in five starts in NSW, having been the runner-up at Menangle on May 29, and again at Penrith last week.

Getarattleon had won a maiden at Manawatu in April for the stable, before crossing the Tasman.

His race record stands at 15 starts for two wins and six placings.


Whittaker likely to suit USA racing

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Whittaker, who won a Menangle mile on Tuesday in a career best 1:52.9 for the Sydney arm of the Mark Jones stable, is ultimately likely to follow stablemate Delightful Memphis to North America.

“I have no real immediate plans for him, but I am looking at moving him onto America, where he’ll do a great job,” Mark said.

Whittaker, shown winnng at Addington in July, 2016, in the hands of Sam Ottley.

Whittaker, a Sportswriter entire, aptly re-named by Gold Coast owner Greg Brodie after the later Sydney turf writer Bill Whittaker, is all but a six-figure winner.

Tuesday’s win in a moderate $7500 pace lifted Whittaker’s earnings to $99,758 in Australian dollars.

The lightly-raced 4YO has won most of it this term, after leaving Canterbury after three spring starts.

He’s racked up seven wins and four placings in 19 starts at four, for $74,998.

Whittaker appreciated a sit with cover on Tuesday and sprinted clear for driver KerryAnn Turner to beat Overlap by 4.4 metres.

Back in February, he won the Gr. 3 Paleface Adios Stakes at Menangle in 1:53.9, ensuring a start in the Gr. 1 Chariots Of Fire a week later.

Whittaker ran a creditable fourth in the Chariots as Jilliby Kung Fu held Let It Ride and Atomic Red in a quick 1:48.8.

Whittaker’s career record now stands at 10 wins and eight placings in 29 starts.


Meanwhile, stablemate and 2016 Gr. 1 Cambridge Harness Jewels 4YO-winning mare Rocker Band has a booking to top sire Bettor’s Delight.

Rocker Band held up early in the run home, battled away for fifth to Miss Riviera Belle in last Saturday night’s Gr. 3 Club Menangle Frith Stakes at Menangle, won in 1:52.1.

“She will race in the new mares series at Menangle but with her booking into Bettor’s Delight her form will determine how long she races on for,” Mark said.

Rocker Band, a 6YO daughter of Rocknroll Hanover and 2005 New Zealand Cup-winning mare Mainland Banner, will have plenty going for her at stud.

She has a 1:52.1 winning mile mark and has won 12 of 51 career starts for $333,974.

Rocker Band has yet to win in 10 Australian starts this season, but has placed three times, including a third in the Gr.1 $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle in Feburary, won by Carlas Pixel in 1:49.5.

She preceeded her Ladyship run with a third behind Carlas Pixel and Amaretto in the Gr. 3 Canadian Club Robin Dundee Stakes at Menangle, won in 1:51.7.

Last year, she also had Gr. 1 glory in Australia in the $100,000 Alabar Ladyship Cup at Melton, beating A Piccadilly Princess in her career best 1:52.1 mile rate over the 1720m.

Rocker Band also had a Gr.1 second to Dream About Me in the 2016 Queen Of Hearts at Auckland on her record.


Forb, Add, Timaru, Menangle, June 28-July 1

J Scott The Inside Word

FORBURY PARK TC, Thursday, June 28

Race 1: FANCY WOMAN (1, Sheree Tomlinson), 2700m std: “If she trots all the way, is an each-way chance.”

Race 8: MOYTURA (9), mob. 2200m: “Scratched, has been sold.”

NZ METRO TC, Friday, June 29

Race 2: MANINTHEMIRROR (7, Samantha Ottley), mob. 1950m: “He’s looking to drop in points.”

Race 9: JOEY MAGUIRE (10, Laura McKay), mob. 1950m: “He needs a can-opener from the draw but is an upset place chance.”

TIMARU HRC, Sunday, July 1

Race 8: NAIYA FRANCO (13, Samantha Ottley), mob. 2600m: “Has drawn terrible but is good enough to be a winning chance.”

MENANGLE NSW, Sunday, July 1

Race 5: THE BUS (11, Chris Geary), mob. 1609m: “Would have loved to have drawn better as he could have run second to Ignatius, but from the draw will need luck.”

Bathurst NSW, Wednesday, June 27

J Scott The Inside Word

BATHURST NSW, Wednesday, June 27

Race 3: TRES VITE (9, Ellen Rixon), mob. 1370m: “She seems well and with any luck from the draw is a good winning chance.”

Race 8: GETARATTLEON (5, Chris Geary), mob. 1730m: “He’s in a winnable race. With luck, can win.”

Menangle NSW, Tuesday, June 26

J Scott The Inside Word

MENANGLE NSW, Tuesday, June 26


Race 5: WHITTAKER (7, KerryAnn Turner), mob. 1609m: “Ended up being left parked a couple of weeks ago but has had time to freshen. Mister Brazel looks the hardest but he should be a place chance.”

Marlborough team all on the market

J Scott Latest News


Burnham trainer Mark Jones is going through an experimental process with Some Excusesomewhere, who could eventually join his Sydney stable if not sold in the interim.

The Overport Lodge team were to the fore with their three runners at Marlborough on Friday with Some Excusesomewhere and Belle Of Brooklyn saluting, and one-win squaregaiter Taimate Angus, finishing strongly for second to Red Hot Poker in the rating 49 & faster trot.

However, all three, could find new homes as ready-made racing propositions if there is buyer interest.

“As everyone knows I am a big seller as I like to maximise my owners returns, so yes, all three are for sale,” Mark said.

“The market is quiet but all will do a good job at what they are priced at.”

Even though Some Excusesomewhere had been racing regularly since August, he came up with a strong win on Friday in a rating 40-59 pace.

Having just his second stand start, he gave his rivals a good start from last, improved four wide turning for home, and gave his rivals a sound beating in a 2:02.1 rate for the 2300m.

This was his second start since joining the Overport Lodge team, with a line being put through his first run when checked out of contention mid-race at Oamaru on June 17.

He’s the first horse prepared by Mark for Cambridge owners, Ollie and Irene Haines, who earlier raced this horse’s relative, Just An Excuse, for two New Zealand Cup wins in 2003-04.

Just An Excuse, who won 17 of only 39 starts for $1,047,157 when prepared by Raglan trainer Robert Mitchell, was by Live Or Die from My Excuse.

Some Excusesomewhere’s grand-dam Sarah’s Excuse, who won three, is a half-sister to Just An Excuse (1:55.6), and one of eight individual winners from My Excuse (Smooth Fella-Good Excuse).

This is also the family of other stand-outs such as D B Bopper (1:50, US), Second Wind (1:49.8, US), former top filly Smooth Performer (1991 NZ 3YO Pacing Filly Of The Year) and dam of 2003 Australian Derby winner Franco Sequel (1:51, US).

“I’ve never met Ollie,” Mark said of Mr Haines, a successful breeder-owner, and former administrator.

“I only got this horse as he was going to send him to my Sydney stable but we agreed on trying the beach first.”

“Regan (Todd) had him at the beach for a few weeks and he’s only been at Burnham around three weeks.”

“He’s a nice horse and all the credit goes to Clark Barron (previous trainer) for making him into the horse he is.”

“He could have been a handful if it wasn’t for Clark’s patience and education.”

A tall free-going type, Some Excusesomewhere was recording his fourth win from 23 career starts on Friday, including a career best 2:57.1 win (mobile 2400m) at Winton last December.

He should also be a good each-way to repeat on Sunday.

Belle Of Brooklyn, a 3YO filly by Christian Cullen and the first foal from big-winning mare Telemecanique (1:52.2, US 15 wins & $185,615), also gets a chance to repeat on the second day.

Driver Sam Ottley made the most of the ace draw with Belle Of Brooklyn on Friday, trailing the grey Arcano and having the last say to win going away by 1 and 3/4 lengths.

She rated 1:59.4 for the 2300m, the leaders last 800m in 57.7s.

Raced by Mark with Dave Neal, Belle Of Brooklyn was recording her second win in 21 starts.

She earlier won her maiden at Kaikoura on October 31 in a 2:00.3 rate for the 1900m, finishing best from a one-one sit over the leaders last 800m in 56.6s.

Marlborough HRC, Sunday, June 24

J Scott The Inside Word

MARLBOROUGH HRC, Sunday, June 24

Race 5: TAIMATE ANGUS (7, Jonny Cox), 2700m std: “Good run the first day and if he backs up he’s an each-way chance again.”

Race 6: BELLE OF BOOKLYN (8, Samantha Ottley), mob. 2300m: “Good drive and a good run got her home the first day. She’s up in grade on Sunday but can finish top four.”

Race 7: SOME EXCUSESOMEWHERE (5, Samantha Ottley), mob. 2300m: “Big effort to win on Friday after no luck at Oamaru. He’s back to a mobile and is in a good even field but if he settles he’ll be an each-way chance again.”