Smart placement leads to success

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Astute placement and good use of the ratings system are to thank for a golden fortnight for Mark Jones Racing mare, Kowhai Shadow. The daughter of Shadow Play, who is raced by loyal stable clients, John and Jill Hartnell grabbed her third victory in as many starts for this campaign at Timaru on Sunday, capping off a great two weeks on the track. And while a lot of the success can be put down to the fact that Kowhai Shadow has fallen into the right grade, for trainer Mark, it’s also a realisation of the ability he’s always had in …

Ready for a Stylish tilt at The Race

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A plan hatched months ago to bring class mare Stylish Memphis back to New Zealand to compete in the inaugural running of The Race by Grins will hopefully come to fruition tonight at Cambridge. When news of the race was first mooted and it was confirmed that mares would receive the concession of inside barrier draws, her New Zealand trainer, Mark Jones, immediately got to think about how it could be a suitable target for the daughter of Bettor’s Delight. “It became attractive almost straight away,” Mark said. “Being on the markers around Cambridge is a massive help in any …

Mark’s Phelan the thoroughbred power…

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At the time it was nothing more than a joke, but fast-forward 12 months and Mark Jones is quite happy it wasn’t taken that way. That’s because if Scott Phelan had known that Mark was joking when he asked about the Burnham horseman training thoroughbreds, there’s a high-chance that Phelan The Power might have made his way to another South Island stable. Standing in the stabling block at Addington Raceway one night, Phelan enquired about Mark’s foray in the thoroughbred world with galloper, Mistletoe. He asked about taking on a gelding by Power that he owned alongside partner, Emma Anderson, …

Big purchase a move for the future

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It kickstarted the sale of pacers in Christchurch with a hiss and roar, but for Mark Jones and a duo of loyal owners the big-price purchase of stunningly bred filly on Tuesday was as much about the future as it was the present. Jones and his loyal owners Jim Haines and Grant Hatton went to $150,000 to secure a Bettor’s Delight filly from the outstanding race mare Tact Lizzie, prepared beautifully by Chelsea Faithful, adding even further arsenal to a powerful line up of current and future broodmares that the trio will have on their books going forward. “She was …

In search of a Stylish farewell….

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Australia is beckoning, but Mark Jones believes that Stylish Memphis can leave New Zealand on a winning note this evening when she tackles the Group One Queen of Hearts at Alexandra Park. And that’s despite knowing that in order to win, she might have to do it the hard way. Booked to depart for Sydney on Tuesday, where she will join the stable of Jack Trainor, the dour daughter of Bettor’s Delight will have one final hurrah in New Zealand tonight against what is being touted as one of the hottest fields of female pacers seen for many years in …

Cup Week plans confirmed for Deny Everything…

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Cup Week features might be a bridge too far at this stage for exciting Mark Jones Racing prospect Deny Everything – but that doesn’t mean serious consideration wasn’t given to looking toward them. Off the back of the powerful pacer’s fifth consecutive win at Addington on Friday night the son of A Rocknroll Dance shot right into contention for a race like the Junior Free-For-All on Cup Day, but trainer Mark Jones has elected to target another race instead. But the Junior Free-For-All wasn’t the only feature considered. “He would have headed to the New Zealand Cup if it wasn’t …

Stylish Memphis out of the Cup, Australia beckons again…

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The bid for the New Zealand Trotting Cup next month is over for class Mark Jones Racing mare, Stylish Memphis. The winner of close to $500,000 in stake earnings was officially withdrawn from the Cup this week by Jones but he insists the decision not to be there on the second Tuesday in November is more about maintaining the longevity of the daughter of Bettor’s Delight as a race mare than it is anything else. After battling a number of wee issues over the past few weeks, Jones and owner Wayne Higgs made the decision to take the Cup of …

Weekend treble highlighted by hat-trick from Deny Everything…

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A Cup Day assignment is the main aim for exciting Mark Jones Racing product, Deny Everything. The big, robust son of A Rocknroll Dance made it three-from-three for this campaign at Friday night’s premier meeting at Addington with another performance that left a few tongues wagging behind him. And now after a quick burst up the grades, trainer Mark Jones is having to be a little more selective with his latest find and being a part of the action on the second Tuesday in November – down in the lower grades – is the main focus. “That was a massive …

It’s a big step up, but it’s hard to deny his chances…

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There was a time when it was wondered if Deny Everything would ever make it back to the races. A winner of one of his four career starts back in 2019, the ability was there but the body wasn’t. An injury, of which was never fully identified, and a wind operation took the big son of A Rocknroll Dance off the track. “He was sore, but we never found what it was, so we just gave him time,” Mark Jones said. That was almost two years ago, but if the two starts since he returned from that spell are anything …

Leading chances head to Wyndham

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There are some nice targets in sight for later in the season, but right now, it’s one race at a time for promising maiden filly, Monaco Grace. The Woodlands Stud owned and bred two-year-old will have the first start of a new campaign on Thursday at the Gore meeting in Wyndham, setting up for what should hopefully be a profitable time of it in the deep south this season. The daughter of Bettor’s Delight has had just one career start where she finished fourth on debut in the Diamond Creek Farm Classic at Invercargill. Beating her home that day were …