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 New Zealand.
It’s a race where just finishing in the top-three, given the quality of the line-up, will be a noteworthy achievement but Jones is confident that his class pacing mare is up to the challenge and ready to take on any of her rivals this evening.
“The reports coming through from Zinny (care-taker trainer, Jeremy Young) have been great, she seems really good and is ready to go,” Jones said.
Drawn barrier two, Stylish Memphis – who will be reunited with regular driver, Ricky May for the occasion – has plenty of options, but there’s only one Jones is keen on seeing unfold.
“I’d like to see her in front, whether we get there or not is another thing, but being on top and on the markers with Bettor’s Twist sitting outside her then everyone in the field is going to get their chance.”
While blistering gate speed isn’t a known forte of the mare, it is there and if May elects to push the button early there could be fireworks with noted gate speed mare, Need You Now drawn to her inside.
“She can leave the gate, it’s just if she can leave quick enough to get across the horse inside us. She’d love being in front and bowling along and it would be a true contest then too.”
An $8 chance for the race, Stylish Memphis provides a bit of value for punters in the $100,000 event which is dominated on the book by Bettor Twist.
Through tonight’s run the mare will fly out for Australia on Tuesday morning where she will join Trainor’s team for a repeat of last season where she tackled key group one races for the mares and earned her way into the Miracle Mile.
It is yet to be confirmed whether or not the mare will return to New Zealand post the campaign or continue to race in Australia.
Stylish Memphis is the only runner for the stable across both the Addington and Auckland meetings tonight, but a five-strong attack will be launched on Wairio tomorrow.