Blakemore given Overport Lodge opportunities

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Northern junior driver Michael Blakemore gets another chance to improve his score for Overport Lodge trainer Mark Jones at Auckland on Friday, July 24.

He scored an easy win with stablemate and hot favourite Pomme Roy at Auckland last Friday and drives likely favourite Zakspatrol in Race 10 tonight.

Zakspatrol,the one to beat in The Alex Bar & Eatery Mobile Pace at Alexandra Park tonight.

Zakspatrol,the one to beat in The Alex Bar & Eatery Mobile Pace at Alexandra Park tonight.

“Michael works for Ray Green. He’s a good kid who is keen and drives well,” Mark said.

“He deserves a chance and has been very helpful up here.”

Mark has his northern team based at Ray Green’s Pukekohe stables.

After Michael scored a penalty-free bonus 3YO win with Pomme Roy last week, Mark takes the reins behind that pacer from a tougher alley tonight.

However, he offers Michael another chance with Zakspatrol in Race 10.

“Pomme Roy can win again but will need luck from a wide gate but Zakspatrol is drawn better and should be a strong chance,” Mark said.

Pomme Roy, luckless when checked in the run home two weeks ago, was untroubled to lead over the last 1600m from the three gate last week and was well-rated.

He held Twoandahalf Tigers by 2 1/4 lengths in a comfortable 2:03.2 rate for the 2200m, quickening over his last 800m in 57s in a C1-2 race at the Franklin meeting.

The Christian Cullen-TK Swift gelding extended his earnings to $35,778 from five wins in 19 starts. He contests another strong $13,500 C1-2 combined grade race tonight.

Zakspatrol should get his chance from the two gate in the $10,000 C1-2 pace over 2200m at Auckland tonight.

The 4YO Art Major gelding bounced back from an unplaced run two weeks ago with a strong-finishing third last week beind First Home in a 2:00.6 rate (2700m).

He is another who has been well placed by Mark, racking up six wins from 49 starts, yet is still on a C2 assessment.

On paper, he finds a slightly easier assignment tonight up against just six rivals with Bettabe Perfect and No Apachemee the likely dangers.

Other Overport Lodge chances tonight are the squaregaiters, the consistent Sunoflindenny and Kowhai Monarch, who has his first taste of a mobile despatch in the C1-3 mobile 2200m trot.

Sunoflindenny is drawn to control the front end from the ace in the C3 & faster feature trot over 1700m, but is likely to be under seige again from the in-form One Over Da Moon in the C3 & faster feature trot over 1700m.

Also adding to the mix is top 3YO Speeding Spur, who bounced back from a top recovery after an early lapse in the Harness Jewels on May 30 for a lead-up hit-out in a Breeders Crown heat at Cambridge on July 9.