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 better opportunities.

Delightful Memphis has lost none of her brilliance, looking superb in her public return. Grives angled her out and she simply exploded to go straight past them in 1:54.7, privately timed in 26.1 the final 400m.

Rocker Band is right on song to resume this Saturday night. She was clocked in 26.2 hard held and Ashlee was also thrilled with her effort in a fast overall 1:52.7,, a nice opener before her return to the racetrack this weekend, also  at Menangle.

She takes on a nice field in the $30,600 Garrard’s Teeny Teeny Stakes for the mares from gate 11.

Life Lavros

Delightful Memphis

Rocker Band


Orari & Motukarara runners

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RACE 3 SAY YOUR PRES (3, fr. 2500m stand) Mark Jones -” Much happier with her last time at Ashburton. If she does things right and trots like that again she looks a good chance.”

RACE 6  ROCK N JOY (10, fr. 1950m stand) Mark Jones -“A nice filly going to do a nice job. I still think six months away yet but a forward run would not surprise me. She’s one to follow.”

RACE 8 MANINTHEMIRROR (13, fr. 1850m mobile) Laura McKay -“He’s in a race that could suit him, though some are likely better than him. You never know what can happen in these races so he has a roughies chance.”

R10 KOWHAI WHIZ (2, fr. 2850m stand) Laura McKay -“A tough one to resume in. He’ll lack the race fitness and a place would be a good result.”

R12 THE BUS (3, 10m 2500m stand) Sam Ottley; and REAL TORQUE (4, 10m) Mark Jones – “The Bus is forward and a good chance in there if he steps well. Trying him on the grass but I think he’ll be fine. Real Torque did the job for us on Cup day and she has grass track winning form so perhaps the pick of the two on the stats, though the colt is probably the pick of them if he performs. Both should run well.”


RACE 4 RUTHLESS SUCCESS (4, fr. 2170m stand) Laura McKay -“Probably our best chance of the weekend the way she’s going. This looks a nice race for her again and she should trot all the way and go a good one again.”

RACE 6 GLENFERRIE CLASSIC (10, fr. 2000m mobile) Laura McKay -“She drops in class which is a help. A draw that could help her, she’s better on the marker line so a trip somewhere handy or midfield on the fence could help. A chance to upset or place.”

RACE 11 BELLE OF BROOKLYN (4, fr. 2000m mobile) Sam Ottley -“A good win at Kaikoura, raced a tad flat last time but she should be able to bounce back here. A couple in there that will take some beating but she’s an eachway chance.”

The Bus, grass track debut at Orari Saturday

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 Delightful Memphis for new campaigns and reports all is very well there, too.

“They are feeling great. Both are very fresh and happy,” she said.

“Mark is flying in tonight (Monday 20th) to work them tomorrow. I would suggest they would be ready to trial in a fortnight depending on what Mark’s thoughts are, of course.

“We are very-much looking forward to their return.”

Grives will drive Kowhai Monarch in the final event at Menangle on Saturday night, the capable trotter due some winning form and back after a months break from the track.

He has been once second, three times third, and also added a fourth to his formline in five starts since returning from an unsuccessful Albion Park campaign in the winter.

“He has done well since his break and his work has been strong. He tends to race better fresh so hopefully he is not too far off a win,” said Grives.

Ash Grives and Whittaker have been potent in NSW

Small team for the weekend

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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.”


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. Will run home better than most, though.”

RACE 5 MANINTHEMIRROR (13, fr. 2600 mobile) Sam Ottley -“He finally broke throuhg the other day and it was ghood to get the win. This is possibly the one chance he will get to race for 30 grand. It’s a tough task from 13, and up in class probably a rough place chance.”

RACE 12 JOEY MAGUIRE (6, fr. 2600 mobile) Sam Ottley -“He’s going well, a good run last start, but he does meet a quality field here and will battling away to run a place against Sires Stakes horses.”

Real Torque gives stable 100% record Cup Day

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Mark produced good mare Real Torque to win on New Zealand Cup Day, his one and only starter at Addington on Tuesday.

The Real Desire mare continued a good run for owners, the Hatton family.  Grant Hatton, who has enjoyed Cup day success in the past, extends a good run,  having enjoyed  Group race successes in recent years with the likes of Eyre I Come and Saveapatrol.

A great Cup day win for the consistent mare and Sam Ottley



 Successful Overport Lodge driver Sam Ottley was the driver to follow early on Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup day, scoring wins with Sundons Flyer and Real Torque.

Ottley found the perfect trail in both races, delivering Sundons Flyer at 13-to-one for Burnham trainer Bruce Negus, who went into the race confident the consistent Sundon mare was a good winning chance.

Negus, who bred the chestnut mare and races her with Barrie Barber and John Gledhill, felt campaigning Sundons Flyer extensively on the south circuit last year made the mare as she grew in confidence.

Sundons Flyer again stepped swiftly from the inside draw, leading then securing the trail behind Jen Jaccka with 1400m to run, then finishing best along the sprint lane to score in 3:19.6 (2600m stand) in the rating 75-130 Airpark Canterbury Handicap Trot.

This was her eighth win, while she’s also picked up 15 placings in 49 starts, taking her earnings to $67,668.

Ottley, NZ’s top junior driver three years ago, racked up her 15th win of the season, when guiding Real Torque, for her employer Mark Jones, to justify her favouritism in the up to rating 63 RNP Homes Ltd Mobile Pace over 2600m.

Real Torque went one better than 12 months ago when the runnerup to American Tart in the same race.

Ottley used her gate speed to hold the early lead, then was happy to trail noted front-runner Debnita Rose over the last 1900m.

They were too good with a sprint lane finish, holding by three-quarters of a length from Highland Reign, who fought strongly after improving with a three wide trail over the final lap.

Real Torque, a half-sister to fast USA winner Statesman (1:50.4) and good West Australian winner Calais (1:55.3), was recording her sixth win in 36 starts for owners, Katherine Hatton, along with daughters, Emma, Gina and Kate.

Katherine’s husband Grant owns former Auckland Cup placegetter Saveapatrol, who is the early stages of a potential comeback for the Mark Jones stable after being prematurely retired last year. Jeff Scott






Whittaker wins Star Trek Final !

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Smart Sportswriter 4yo Whittaker saluted for third time on end at Bathurst, NSW, tonight (Friday), when far too good for his opposition in the $A15,000 Star Trek Final.

He settled back of midfield from his second line draw but was soon up and around them for caretaker-trainer-driver Ashlee Grives, sitting three-wide the last lap in the open, but he still surged away for a very impressive victory

Whittaker rated a slick 1:54.8 for the 1730m, quarters in 27.9, 31.4, 27.8, and 28.1.

Watch Whittaker keep his Australian record a perfect one.

Mark heads to Forbury for rare visit

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RACE 2 BELLE OF BROOKLYN (1, fr. 2700m stand) Mark Jones -“Very pleased with her at Kaikoura, that win had been building. She’s on track to run well again, has come through the race up there well. Stepping well the key from one.”

RACE 4 SAY YOUR PRES (4,fr. 2200m stand) Mark Jones -“She’s getting closer, I think. A good effort last start after getting back and up wide later. She’s just that mistake-free performance away and hopefully she gets it right this week.”

RACE 4 RUTHLESS SUCCESS (8, fr. 2200m stand) Laura McKay -“She ran home strong, probably would have near won if clearer sooner at Kaikoura. A good chance again, she generally does everything right and thats the plus with her.”

RACE 7 ELLAQUENCE (8, fr. 2200m mobile) Mark Jones -“She’s better for the first up outing and a couple of workouts along the way. An improving filly, I’m hoping she’s capable of winning this with the right run.”

A rare trip to Forbury for Mark


RACE 3 MANINTHEMIRROR (5, fr. 2000m mobile) Sam Ottley) -“He’s battling away OK. Seems to need the right run in the right race to break through. Depending on what he does he might have a wee freshen up, who knows, this could be his day.”

RACE 11 JOEY MAGUIRE (2, 10m. 2600m stand) Sam Ottley -“If anything, he began that bit too well from the back row the other day and landed himself wide early and that told at the end. This will be different off a handicap, but no easier. It’d be nice to get a cold shot at them from some cover, he can sprint a handy furlong.”


Joey to lead the way at Timaru

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R11 – MANINTHEMIRROR (11, fr. 2600m mobile) Sam Ottley -“He’s had his chances in a few maiden races at Addington. It would be nice to grab one with him for the Met Multiplier, but perhaps this looks a bit rich.”


R3 – SAY YOUR PRES (3, fr. 2000m mobile) Sam Ottley -“She’s trotting a lot better now and not far away from winning one. Muscles Galore aside, who does look the winner, I think she can beat most of them if she does things right. An eachway chance.”

R8 GLENFERRIE CLASSIC (2, fr. 2600m stand) Terry Chmiel -“She is in a good field and probably up against it. A place chance though if she can step cleanly and put herself in the front few from the start.”

R9 – JOEY MAGUIRE (13, fr. 2600m mobile) Sam Ottley -“I actually think he can win this race. he’s back in the ratings and should pick one up in this grade. With a touch of luck from the draw he should be pretty hard to beat.”

Maninthemirror, tries again at Addington, Friday night

Bathurst good again to Whittaker

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Classy Sportswriter entire Whittaker made it two-from-two at Bathurst (NSW) tonight (Weds, Nov 1) in the hands of Ashlee Grives.

The Greg Brodie-owned pacer had some work to do early in his heat of the Bedwells Star Trek Semi Final but coasted clear on the turn to win very easily.

Mark Jones was thrilled with the horse, his plan to conquer again in the final of the Bedwell Feeds Series now a strong possibility.

“He coasted it and we’re all very pleased. Greg is over the moon with him, and Ashlee,” he added.


$10,600 C1 To C2. PBD/C. Mobile Results
Pl Horse Prize-
Row &
Trainer Trainer Driver
(C = Concession)
(C = Concession)
1 WHITTAKER NZ Fr6 7 Mark Jones M P Jones Ashlee Grives A M Grives $ 2.20 3WE WF
Owner(s): G W (Greg) Brodie
Breeder(s): A F (Ann) Cooney
2 ELIZA DUSHKU NZ Fr1 2 Amanda Turnbull A J Turnbull Amanda Turnbull A J Turnbull 6.40 $ 2.10 fav GS L
3 OUR CHITTYBANGBANG NZ Fr5 6 Chris Frisby C B Frisby Anthony Frisby A C Frisby 8.80 $ 64.90 GS
4 LOORRIM CREEK Fr3 4 Stephen Maguire S M Maguire Stephen Maguire S M Maguire 8.80 $ 26.70 PRBT
5 SIR ROGUE JASPER Sr1 9 Grant Fuller G A Fuller Leigh Sutton L R Sutton 15.90 $ 115.90
6 SONNY STUDLEIGH Sr2 11 Leigh Davis L R Davis Jake Davis (C,cl) J R Davis (C,cl) 17.50 $ 76.80 PRBT
7 DESTINY WARRIOR Sr3 12 Steve Turnbull A S Turnbull Steve Turnbull A S Turnbull 17.80 $ 18.30
8 FIANNA GAEL Fr2 3 Grant Jones G P Jones Cameron Hart C M Hart 18.60 $ 85.60
9 SPARKLING TACHYON NZ Fr4 5 Craig Cross C A Cross Ashley Hart A M Hart 22.90 $ 13.20
10 HEZ RAZOR SHARP Sr5 14 Bernie Hewitt B J Hewitt Douglas Hewitt (C,cl) D P Hewitt (C,cl) 24.20 $ 60.90
11 PANTHER STAR Sr4 13 Steve Jones S T Jones Glenn McElhinney G W McElhinney 31.90 $ 49.60 OPS D/F$200 SP
Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 2:04:2 Mile Rate: 1:55:5 Lead Time: 8.0
First Quarter: 29.7 Second Quarter: 29.1 Third Quarter: 28.6 Fourth Quarter: 28.8
Margins: 6.4m x 2.3m

Betty and Banner looking ‘great’

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Mark headed to Menangle for the weekend and confirms he is thrilled with class mare’s Rocker Band and Delightful Memphis as they slowly build towards a December return.

Mark flew across to work Whittaker for his Wednesday night assignment at Bathurst and also had a sit behind the top mares who are slowly building through some pacework.

“They look amazing. Both have been out with (NSW trainer) Aaron Goadsby since Brisbane and they look terrific. He (Goadsby) does a great job with them, they are very bright and their coats look super.”

Goadsby spelled and jogged the mares before being sent to Ashlee Grives who runs Mark’s operation at Menangle.

“There is no rush with either. There are a lot of opportunites for mares over there and from December onwards things will warm up.

“If things go well then both mares should have a good season,” he said.

Pics: Delightful Memphis (above) and Rocker Band (below)