LULU LE MANS UNTROUBLED IN NEWCASTLE DEBUT
Lulu Le Mans, the first foal from big-winning racemare Elusive Chick (1:53.1), was untroubled to win her Newcastle (NSW) debut for the Mark Jones stable on Friday night, February 15.
A two-year-old by champion sire Bettor’s Delight, Lulu Le Mans was sent out a hot $1.33 favourite for the HRNSW Guaranteed Two-Year-Old Pace.
She led throughout for trainer Mark Jones, winning by 17.2 metres in a 2:02.4 rate for the 1609m, quickening over her last 800m in 57.5s and her final 400m in 28.3s.
Lulu Le Mans is raced by five of her breeders, Derek and Adele Jones, of Rolleston, Gary and Karen Tomes, of Rangiora, and Gary McConchie, of Kaiapoi.
The same partnership, along with Greg Ayers, raced Elusive Chick (McArdle-Annie Jay) from the Tim Butt stable to win 13 of 58 starts for $418,586.
Elusive Chick won the 2013 Group One Woodlands Stud 4YO Harness Jewels Diamond at Ashburton in 1:54.7, while she ran second to O Baby in the 3YO Harness Jewels Diamond at Cambridge.
She was also second best behind O Baby in the 2012 Nevele R Fillies Final at Addington.
She ran thirds behind Bettor Cover Lover and Tatijana Bromac in both the 2012-2013 Group One mares races, the Woodlands Queen Of Hearts at Auckland, and the NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes at Addington.
In Australia, Elusive Chick ran fifth in Adore Me’s historic 1:47.7 Group One Ladyship Mile at Menangle in 2015.
She also ran fourth in the 2013 Ladyship Mile (won by Our Sixpence in 1:52.6, while she won the Group Three Ranji Bill Stakes at Menangle in 1:53.1.
Mark Jones drove Elusive Chick to run second in the 2013 Group Two Smoken Up at Menangle over the 2300m, won by My Dusky Sound in a 1:55.6 rate.
She was also the runner-up in the 2012 NSW Oaks at Menangle, when driven by Colin De Filippi.
Mark expected her to be very hard to beat after qualifying at Rangiora on January 30, then also shaping well in a Rangiora workout on February 7.
Meanwhile, Mister Finnigan, who started the second favourite in the Trots TV Two-Year-Old Pace for the colts and geldings, had to settle for a half-neck second to front-running winner Rocklea Star.
The Mitch Chappie-trained and Guy Chappie-driven Rocklea Star held in 1:58.2 for the 1609m.
Mister Finnigan, who settled three back on the markers, moved out to challenge mid-way down the back the last time and went down fighting.
On the domestic front, the Overport Lodge stable brought up the 18th win of the season when improving three-year-old Barrett won at Addington on Friday night.
Barrett, freshened after beating Kendra with a late finish at Roxburgh on January 3, was again saved for a home stretch sprint by Sheree Tomlinson.
Shuffled four back on the markers, Sheree waited for an inside run and didn’t have to leave the markers.
Barrett stormed home to catch front-running favourite Spot On in the last stride, winning by a head in a useful 3:18.7 for the stand start 2600m.
The Australian-bred Bettor’s Delight colt was recording his third win in his last four starts for owners, Grant Hatton, Starmark Ltd, and Stuart Gillan.
Mr Hatton, who also co-races Mister Finnigan, had a Menangle placing on Saturday night with The Bus, who continued his strong form for the Mark Jones stable.
From an outside gate, The Bus fought well for third to the Tim Butt-trained Franco Landry, who cut out the mile in 1:51.4.