QLD OAKS the season swansong

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ADDINGTON, Friday July 7

Race 9: MANINTHEMIRROR (2, Sam Ottley), fr. mob. 1950m: “He had to be scratched with a minor issue last week but the team say he’s worked well this week. From the draw he should be somewhere handy at the finish with Mistahmistah looking very hard to beat.”

ALBION PARK, Saturday July 8

Race 7: DELIGHTFUL MEMPHIS (4, Mark), fr. mob, 2138m: “A bit disappointed last week to have her fade a bit on her run but she did pull too hard and left nothing in the tank for the end. I have changed some gear and she has worked well during the week so one more big effort from her would be great. A terrific seson from her again, she’s done us proud win, lose, or draw.”

Betty goes through her paces at Logan, Brisbane, this week. (Ashlea Brennan photography) 


Race 10: KOWHAI MONARCH (3, Mark), fr. stand, 3157m: “He didn’t go as well as I thought he might again last week. It’s been a frustrating trip for him, maybe the travel did take the real edge out of him. This week’s extreme distance may bring him more into favour, or count against him. His performance will need to lift, but he could.”

RANGIORA, Sunday July 9

Race 5: ROCKNROLL NEVIN (5, Sam Ottley), fr. mob. 2600m: “She got the nice cosy trip on the markers last week and finished it off well. Any more improvement from her and she could break through and win again soon now she’s into that right grading again.”

Race 8: JOEY MAGUIRE (12, Laura McKay), 7, 10m, 2600m stand: “He actually went pretty good last start and didn’t have any luck. He is a capable horse on his best day and hopefully he can step well and get into midfield early and he could surprise a few.”

DELIGHTFUL MEMPHIS can bounce back

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There’s some bigger things to think of at Albion Park on Saturday night, but for Canterbury trainers Tim Butt and Mark Jones there’s been no shortage of quality entertainment on their trip to the banana state.
Butt, who has Field Marshal in rare form and seeking more glory in the Sunshine Sprint this weekend, and Jones, with classy Queensland Oaks chance Delightful Memphis, have both been well looked after, and they concede the chance to attend the Jeff Horn-Manny Pacquiao fight at Suncorp Stadium last Sunday afternoon was a lifetime experience.
“It was just amazing the atmosphere, and a really great fight, too,” said Butt this week.
“To be there was an absolute privilige – a great day.”
And Jones echoed those words.
“Just a once in a lifetime opportunity to be there and take that all in,” said Jones, who has spent some time in the ring himself.
“It was a great, great fight, and what impressed me was how the Aussies treated Pacquiao like the champion he is. Sometimes, in New Zealand we tend to boo those people – not over here.”
A trip to Suncorp a couple of nights earlier to watch the Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm stars go to war was another highlight for the pair.

Betty loves a shower in the warm Queensland sun (Ashlea Brennan)

The $50,000 Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint is well within range believes Butt, saying Field Marshal has thrived since arriving in Queensland following superb Len Smith Mile win at Menangle a fortnight ago.
“He is in a newer environment and it really suits him,” he said.
“He has his problems with breathing and he doesn’t get all sniffly and open to the viral infections that he can get in the cold weather back home. He seems really bright and well and we’re looking forward to the races up here quite confidently.”
Dexter Dunn will head across to drive Field Marshal this week with successful Len Smith Mile driver Anthony Butt to stay in Melbourne for some big drives in the Vicbred Finals on Saturday night, though he may well head to Albion Park next week to drive him in the $200,000 Blacks A Fake Free-For-All.
“He will spell after the races up here and stay in Australia,” said Tim.
“I’m 99 per cent certain he won’t be heading home. We are looking at the Victoria Cup (now run in October) and the Interdoms in Perth, which are just so attractive, a couple of million to be won up there.
“At this stage the New Zealand Cup is not on the radar.”
Mark Jones admits to being a bit disappointed in the run of Delightful Memphis in last week’s Provincial Oaks after fading to fourth, and has plenty of ground to make up on winner Partyon and co this week in the $75,000 Queensland Oaks.
“I won’t use it as an excuse but she just pulled too hard, even in the warm up she got very keen, and down the back the last time she got really racy. I’ll change the bit and a bit of gear this week and see if we can change things.
“We’re still here and in with a chance. The longer trip will suit her.”
Partyon will go out a short favourite to win her second Oaks race in the space of a week. Her return to best form last week after a disappointing three-year-old season signals trouble for her opposition again on Saturday night.  Stu Bailey 

DELIGHTFUL MEMPHIS – Ready for the final race of the season

BETTY WELL AHEAD OF OAKS – Late driver change!

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ADDINGTON, Friday June 30

Race 10: MANINTHEMIRROR (1, Sam Ottley), mob. 2600m: “I was pretty pleased with him first up in a field that was stronger than this. Nice to see him in a rating band that suits him and his competitors. I’d like to think he could go close to winning from the draw, he seems well.”

TIMARU, Sunday, July 2

Race 3: PRINCESS HOLLY (8, Sam Ottley), stand, 2000m: “Very pleased with her first run. A big filly still filling out her big frame and we won’t see the best of her until next season. On what she has shown us though, I think she should be thereabouts again.”

Race 4: BETTOR UNDER FIRE (13, Sam Ottley), mob. 2600m: “I thought he was rather impressive last week and it didn’t surprise me as he has come on a lot in recent weeks. No reason to believe he won’t be very comeptitive again in a field that looks within his range.”

Race 5: SPOOKY (5, Sam Ottley), stand, 2000m: “Extra pleased with him, he’s turned the corner lately and is very bright. A big run last start and nearly won, and I could see him keeping these busy if he jumps away well over 2000 metres.”

ALBION PARK, Saturday, July 1

Race 8: DELIGHTFUL MEMPHIS (2, Mark), mob, 2138m: “Luke McCarthy has jumped onto Dean Braun’s filly so I will drive her this week. She’s very well, pleased with her work all through the week and we get a draw. No definite plan, but I’d imagine we’re going to be using the draw to best advantage.”

Race 10: KOWHAI MONARCH (3, Mark), stand, 2647m: “He’s a lot better now. He was disappointing first time around up here but was probably a bit off with the travel. I’m much happier with him now and could see him going a good race.”



Bettor to fire

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Race 3: BETTOR UNDER FIRE (10, Sam Ottley) stand. 2600m: “He’s racing well. He’ll need to step good from out wide but he looks to have a pretty good show there if he can. He may go out after this. I’d like to spell him and have him back up again next season as he will do a nice job.”


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Delightful Memphis is in good shape for her first Australian start, the $11,500 C2 mobile at Albion Park, Brisbane, on Saturday night (June 17).

Mark reports she has come through the travel well, and he is hopeful she will show her good form in her first look at the track this weekend.

“She’s well, worked along pretty nicely this morning (Thursday),” said Mark.

“When you are not quite sure of the form it is hard to line her up against the opposition. But you’d like to think she’d be more than competitive back in the grade.

“We’ll just have to see what happens when the gate leaves and take it from there. She could land in front, but if I had to sit parked it wouldn’t bother me,” he said.

Kowhai Monarch also contests a trot feature on the card, and Mark will also drive him. His form has been good at Menangle and his Brisbane appearance will be interesting.

Rocker Band will join the duo after she contests $31,800 Frith Stakes (G3) over one mile at Menangle on Saturday night.

Delightful Memphis has her first Australian start on Saturday night at Albion Park.




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MANINTHEMIRROR (Race 3, 1950m mob, Sam Ottley) “He’s back because the handicapping system should suit him rated a 44 non-winner. But the clubs continue to combine all the maidens together. He should be in a 40-47 or 40-48, but the bandwiths are too wide. It’s shocking how this keeps happening, and this horse will be a victim of it this week.”

Maninthemirror, resumes at Addington.

One for Nelson

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Nelson, Fri, June 11

ROCKNROLL NEVIN (Race 7, 2400m stand, John Dunn) “She didn’t run on as much as I’d have liked the first day, but in a tough field. She doesn’t really get much of a drop in class here, either. Hoping for some luck to grab a place.”


“Betty” second again to Spanish Armada

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Overport Lodge filly Delightful Memphis fought gallantly but was second best again to dominant 3YO pacing filly and her nemesis Spanish Armada in the $150,000 Mid Canterbury Trotting Owners Assn 3YO Diamond at Ashburton on Saturday, June 3.

Despite the best intentions of driver Blair Orange trying to hold up from the inside draw, Delightful Memphis, otherwise known round the stable as “Betty”,  couldn’t muster the necessary acceleration close to the start point to hold out Northerner Juice Brogden, who crossed her easily from the two gate.

Ultra-consistent filly Delightful Memphis and driver, Blair Orange. (Race Images photo).

She ended up three back on the markers when favourite Spanish Armada rolled to the front with 1100m to run.

Delightful Memphis angled into the open with 200m to run and surged but front-running Spanish Armada also had a kick, racing away to win by 2 and 3/4 lengths in a strong 1:52.1 for the 1609m in the cool conditions.

This was the 14th time Delightful Memphis had raced Spanish Armada, and the 10th time she’s finished second to her All Stars rival.

Delightful Memphis has a win over her arch rival at Auckland last December, and has beaten her home three times, including a second in last year’s Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond at Cambridge, won by Partyon, with Spanish Armada third.

The ultra-consistent Delightful Memphis added another $22,500 to her bankroll for connections on Saturday, taking her earnings to $261,345.

She’s now raced 22 times for six wins, 14 seconds and a third.

Meanwhile, 2YO trot stablemate Castlereagh also raced generously on Jewels day, finishing stoutly for third to Paramount King and One Muscle Hill in the $100,000 Neumanns Tyres and The Tyre General Ruby 2YO Trot.

Castlereagh, from a second row alley, settled back on the outer but kept coming in the run home, being race-timed in 1:58.4.

Kowhai Monarch lowers mile best

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Kowhai Monarch lowered his career mile trot best to 1:57.1 with his second Menangle win for the Mark Jones stable on Saturday, June 3.

The 4YO Monarchy-Surprising gelding pressed forward from the five gate in the Campbelltown Warriors Trotters Mobile, led, trailed at the 400m and finished bet for driver Ashlee Grives.

Kowhai Monarch drew clear by 2.3 metres from fellow NZ-bred Dieu De Lamour (Love You-The Sun Goddess), followed homeby Sunset Tour, Rompers Monarchy and Nickelson.

He racked up his seventh career win from 43 starts, taking his earnings past $A51,000 for owners John and Jill Hartnell.


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FORBURY PARK TC, Thursday, June 1

Race 2: SPOOKY (2, Samantha Ottley), 2200m std: “No luck fresh up but gets in a winnable race.”

Race 6: BETTOR UNDER FIRE (5, Laura McKay), mob. 2200m: “Good fresh up run and with luck is a winning hope.”

Race 11: POMME ROY (8, Samantha Ottley), mob. 2200m: “A 1:55 mile rate found him out fresh-up last week but he will need luck from the draw.”

ASHBURTON TC, Saturday, June 3

Delightful Memphis (Blair Orange), set for another clash with Spanish Armada in the $150,000 Mid Canterbury Trotting Owners Assn Diamond at Ashburton on Saturday. (Trish Dunell photo).


Race 2: CASTLEREAGH (11, Samantha Ottley), mob. 1609m: “Hoping for no bad luck and has freshened up good.”


Race 3: GLENFERRIE CLASSIC (11, Samantha Ottley), mob. 1609m: “Hopefully will hold three back on the markers and an upset place chance.”


Race 4: DELIGHTFUL MEMPHIS (1, Blair Orange), mob. 1609m: “Has got the right draw and I am actually very happy with her. She gets chance to lead and I have no excuses.”

ASHBURTON TC, Sunday, June 4

Race 8: ROCKNROLL NEVIN (6, Samantha Ottley), 2400m std: “Missed the start last week but can upset with good manners.”

Outside drive

Race 1: MR FAHRENHEIT (11), fr, 2400m std: “Raced good again last Sunday and if he does things right has a winning chance.”