Mark Jones to drive in NZ Cup

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Mark Jones doesn’t drive a whole lot these days – but as they say it’s just like riding a bike. So the call-up to drive Our Uncle Sam in next Tuesday’s $750,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington won’t be a problem for the former World Driving Champion (2003) despite being the veteran of just three race drives this season. Trainer Chris Frisby is staying with Mark on his trip across the Tasman with the gun New South Wales pacer. And though things haven’t gone right so far after two unsuccessful runs at Ashburton and Kaikoura, the white …

Skippys Delight ready for monumental task on Tuesday

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Skippy goes into Sires Final with a runners chance from poor draw Barrier 14 and a whole host of quality horses in front of him makes winning next Tuesday’s $170,000 McMillan Equine Feeds Sires Stakes Final at Addington a monumental task for smart three-year-old Skippys Delight. But you can’t win if you’re not in, and after a very slick final 400m at today’s (Wednesday) Cup trials at Addington, at least there is a glimmer of hope. “It’s tough. They’re all good horses in there,” said Benny afterward. “You never know – he’s done a nice job to be in there.” …

Memphis back with lovely trial win

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Ricky May made the trip from Methven to drive Stylish Memphis for Elite Racing at today’s (Wednesday) Rangiora trials and headed home suitably impressed. May, who will be kept busy once the Mark Jones and Brendon Hill stable hits top gear, gave the thumbs up after a resounding trial victory, the filly in good order heading towards her first start as a three-year-old. “She felt really good – a bit keen first up – but felt great when she went,” said the champion driver. Stylish Memphis rattled through closing sectionals in a good overall 2:30.5 for the 2000m mobile, the …

Big weekend for Mark, success spread far & wide

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Four wins at Auckland, Christchurch, Forbury, and Menangle Signing off on his own account, Mark delivered in spades in his final weekend alone with four wins on the board, three in New Zealand another in partnership with Aaron Goadsby in New South Wales. Jones will join Brendon “Benny” Hill in partnership this week, and was pleased to have some good success prior to the alliance beginning. Slightly better than expected was the vibe after a winning turn from last season’s smart juvenile filly Lulu Le Mans, coming from last to power home and win the opening heat of the Alabar …

Cruz Bromac back to Allstars

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By Jeff Scott Overport Lodge-developed Cruz Bromac is scheduled to return to the Allstars stables at Rolleston next Friday to continue his preparation for the $750,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup on November 12. Avalon (Victoria) trainer Amanda Grieve confirmed last year’s New Zealand Free-For-All winner is to return to the top Australasian stables of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen at Rolleston for the NZ Cup, the NZ Free-For-All, and the Auckalnd Inter Dominions in December. “He should arrive in Christchurch next Friday morning. The plan is for him to race at Ashburton on the Monday, so it’s all go …

Texas Terror still winning

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TEXAS TERROR PACES 1:50.3 IN USA Former Overport Lodge-developed pacer Texas Terror is still a money-maker as an 11-year-old in North America. The Western Terror-Alicia Maree gelding led throughout at Mohegan Sun Pocono last weekend in a $UIS11,000 pace, winning by three lengths in 1:50.3 (fifths). Driven by Antony Napolitano for trainer Jose Godinez, Texas Terror was racking up is fifth win of the year for just over $US90,000 in stakes. He’s also picked up six seconds and three thirds. Texas Terror, who has a lifetime best mile of 1:50.2 (10ths) has now had 34 career wins from 190 career …

Cruz 3rd to Bling in Vict. Cup

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BLING IT ON SETS NEW VICTORIA CUP RECORD The “perfect horse” Bling It On put in a clinical, explosive performance to win a record-smashing Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup, capping a stunning comeback story. The 2017 A. G. Hunter Cup winner has barely been seen since that career-best performance owing to a bad fall and subsequent injury, but though fresh off a 10-month “retirement” and only second up he showed he had lost none of his brilliance in rounding up the Group 1 field. “He’s such a special horse,” said reinsman Luke McCarthy. “Everyone knows his story by now and for …

Plutonium Lady lively

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PLUTONIUM LADY, BURNHAM BOY WIN AT GORE, SAM SCORES 400TH WIN Burnham trainer Mark Jones has always been a fan of Southern Harness racing. He loves to head south to set up his three-year-olds for both the Southern Supremacy Stakes and the Southland Oaks later in the season. In consecutive races at Gore (Saturday, October 12, 2019) he produced a couple of those age group pacers that look capable of featuring in both those finals at Ascot Park in April. Plutonium Lady easily won the $15,000 Ladyship Final beating hot favourite Need You Now by six lengths after leading and …

Menangle stakes rise

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MENANGLE METROPOLITAN PRIZEMONEY TO RISE For the majority of the industry, it’s the ‘bread and butter’ races that really matter. So owners and trainers will be thrilled to hear Club Menangle has announced quite substantial increases to those regular races by adding to the levels of metropolitan prizemoney. The changes, which commence from 1 November 2019, include: • Minimum prizemoney on a metropolitan program rising from $11,000 to $14,000; • Tier-3 prizemoney going up from $16,000 to $18,000; • Tier-2 prizemoney races will increase from $22,000 to $24,000; • The premier club will also introduce a second $20,000 division of …