Kowhai Monarch scores first-up Menangle win

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The New South Wales arm of the Mark Jones stable scored a win first-up with useful trotter Kowhai Monarch at Menangle on Saturday, April 8.

Kowhai Monarch, shown winning at Blenheim last winter in the hands of Samantha Ottley.

Driven by Ashlee Grives (nee Siejka), who is assisting Mark with a satellite Overport Lodge extension in to NSW, the big Monarchy gelding led early, was eased 3 back and finished best as a $2.70 favourite in the T2 or better $11,000 Allied Express _ National Distribution Trotters Discretionary Handicap.

Kowhai Monarch trotted the 2300m (stand) in 2:54.5 (2:02.1 mile rate), with the leaders running their last 800m in 57.1s.

Raced by John and Jill Hartnell, Kowhai Monarch had won five and been eight times placed in 38 NZ starts, for $39,209 in stakes.

However, he was becoming harder to place on a tough mark in Canterbury since last winning with a junior driver concession at Addington on September 15, in the hands of Laura McKay.