Anita Patron first-up winner

J Scott Former News, Latest News




Anita Patron provided Canterbury racecaller Mark McNamara, and an associate ownership group, including two first-time owners, with the perfect first-up result from the Mark Jones stable at Addington last Friday, July 22, 2011.

The five-strong ownership team were over the moon after Anita Patron burst through along the sprint lane to win the Searells Chartered Accountants Mobile Pace.

Mark_McNamaraHowever Mark McNamara thought he’d ended up with a “dud” after his first meeting with Anita Patron at Overport Lodge eight days earlier.

“She didn’t eat for the first few days and worked terrible the first time I drove her,” Mark Mac, a voluntary stablehand at Overport Lodge, recalled.

“I went home feeling sick as we’d spent six months trying to find a horse for some owners. It was a horrible first encounter, but she has worked better since,” he said.

The other owners had contacted Harness Racing New Zealand’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator Brooke Henderson looking for an ownership opportunity.

Brooke indicated to her friend Katie Etheridge (Mark Mac’s partner), they were on the lookout for a suitable horse.

Anita Patron was secured from Ashburton trainer Graeme Ward after being trialled by Mark Jones.

She is the first racing interest for two co-owners, John Henderson (Brooke’s dad) and Chris Menzies, who had a dream introduction as racing owners.

Others sharing the ownership are Hamish Sinclair and Geoff Ward.

“I picked her up on Tuesday after Forbury (July 12), then worked her on Thursday (July 14) but she went no good and pulled her out of Rangiora that Saturday (July 16),” said Mark Jones.


After a week of settling into the new surroundings at Overport Lodge, Anita Patron was back firing on all cylinders for her debut from the stable, much to the delight of the ownership team.

Anita_Patron_actionMark McNamara was fleet-footed himself getting down from his commentary position at the top of the Addington stand to get in the post-race photo.

The former Aussie racecaller has been a keen owner, racing good mare Kate Shannon to win eight or nine in Australia, and also met handy success with Promise You.

“Instead of punting, I love racing them,” he says.

“I love getting down there (to the stables) and helping. Its nice to drive them and Overport Lodge is amazing.”

Since taking up the position as premier Canterbury racecaller, Mark Mac and Katie shared in the ownership of maiden winner Union Buster, while he also made a quick small profit on Turn Up The Wick, which he secured cheaply through standardbreds on-line.

“I walked in to buy a computer and ended up buying a horse.”

He also purchased My Chemical Romance for former top Sydney racecaller and television personality, come harness trainer, John Tapp, and kept a share in her himself.

Anita Patron, rising five, has only raced three times. She gets a chance to provide some more excitement for her owners at Addington again this Friday night.

On her breeding, she could develop further.

The Badlands Hanover mare is a half-sister to good winner Albert Patron (11 NZ wins, 1:53, US) and Andrew Patron (two NZ wins, 1:53.8, US).

Another half-sister Angela Patron has left former NZ Sapling Stakes winner Jackson Street (12 wins, 1:56.6), former NZ Oaks runnerup Angela’s Dream (eight wins) and Meet Me In Seattle (one start for one win).