Immortal Change to be rewarded

J Scott Latest News


Consistent Changover mare Immortal Change will be a winner, regardless of the outcome of the Hungry Horse Feed Supplies Mobile Pace, at Addington on Thursday, October 11.

Immortal Change, shown winning in the Daffodil colours at Addington on September 7. (Photo: Race Images).

The great grand-daughter of champion mare Armalight will become the latest Mark Jones-trained winner of a $7000 Met Multiplier.

This will be her 15th start within a 12-month rolling period at Addington, the minimum required to collect the bonus.

She took care of the other proviso, winning a race at Addington during the last year, when she scored at the Christchurch metropolitan track on September 7.

Addington Raceway has paid out over 200 bonuses, worth over $1.5 million, since the bonus incentive was introduced six years ago.

Immortal Change will earn $5000 to owner Grant Smith, and $2000 to trainer Mark Jones, with her Met Multiplier reward.

“She is racing good. The plan is to get the bonus and give her a freshen-up,” Mark said.

Hayden’s Meddle, for the Robert Dunn stable, is also to be rewarded with a Met Multiplier reward on Thursday.


J Scott The Inside Word

NZ METRO TC, Thursday, October 11

Race 8: IMMORTAL CHANGE (3, Laura McKay), mob. 1980m: “Racing good and finding the line. Finds a tough race with Bettor’s Heart looking the winner but she is an upset place hope.”

Mark’s outside drives

Race 4: TRACKSAREFORTRAINS (1), mob. 2600m: “Drawn to take the short cuts.”

Race 9: COOL CHANGES (8), mob. 1980m: “Got home good last week big tricky draw again.”

GORE HRC, Saturday, October 13


Race 9: HIS ROYAL HARNESS (3, Sheree Tomlinson), mob. 2200m: “Is only 50/50 to start (as of Wednesday night).”

NZ METRO TC, Friday, October 5

J Scott The Inside Word

NZ METRO TC, Friday, October 5

Race 1: IMMORTAL CHANGE (3, Samantha Ottley), mob. 1980m: “Racing good but this is a high-rated race so looking for luck.”

Race 10: HIS ROYAL HARNESS (7, Sheree Tomlinson), mob. 2600m: “Was good fresh-up, and he needs the right run, but an upset hope with luck in running.”

Mark’s outside drives

Race 5: WAR MACHINE (5), 2600m std: “Meets a strong field but as long as he trots and settles, he won’t disgrace himself.”

Race 8: COOL CHANGES (16), mob. 1980m: “:ooking for luck from a terrible draw.”

My Design solid in trial

J Scott Latest News


My Design, a half-sister by Mach Three to former speedy Overport Lodge filly Twice The Delight (1:52.3, Aust), shaped solidly for the second week running when produced at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday, October 3.

A three-year-old filly, My Design backed up her qualifying run for third at Rangiora a week earlier with a handy front-running win this week.

My Design, a half-sister by Mach Three to Twice The Delight (1:52.3), in action at the Rangiora trials for driver, Sam Ottley.

She had her chance in the qualifier, after settling three and four back, then moving up to challenge on the home turn, but had to settle for a third, just over a length behind winner Thunderfromthethrone, clocking 3:26.8 for the stand start 2600m.

My Design began swiftly wide this week for Sam Ottley, leading after the opening 400m, and was strong in front, holding Katie Daly by 2 1/4 lengths in 3:27.8 (2600m stand), the last 800m in 58.7s.

She has upside on breeding with half-sister Twice The Delight having won 11 races and $67,832 and taking a fast mile mark at Menangle.

Her dam, four-win mare Trelise (1:58.7) is also the dam of three-win trotter Bet Online, and two other qualifiers.

Trelise (Holmes Hanover-Twice As Good) is a half-sister to the smart performers, Mark Dennis (1:53.9, 40 wins & $286,589), St Bars (1:57, 15 wins & $162,506), Waitfornoone (1:55.7, 11 wins & $201,804), Fight Fire With Fire (1:56, seven wins & $151,657), Double Shot (1:57.9, six wins & $42,146) and Twice As Hot (1:59.6, five wins & $53,580).

The latter, Twice As Hot, has gained notoriety as the dam of 2015 Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final runner-up Flaming Flutter (1:53, 23 wins & $738,335), and another capable type in Mister Whittaker (1:54.9, seven wins).

Other fillies from Twice As Good have bred on with the unraced Twice As Fine leaving big Perth winner, Pacific Warrior (1:54.8, 28 wins & $343,419), and Waitfornoone, herself a former Gr. 1 Queen Of Hearts winner, leaving Windinherhair (1:54.6, 11 wins & $140,476) and Luis Alberto (1:56.6, five wins & $48,394).

My Design’s third dam Princess Nandina (1:59.8, US), was returned to NZ for breeding after leaving the big North American-winning mare Pacific (p3, 1:53), who numbered the 1987 Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies Final among her $812,550 earnings.

Itz Major Look for Queensland

J Scott Latest News


Itz Major Look, a smart front-running winning favourite at Oamaru on Sunday, September 23, for the Mark Jones stable, is to do his future racing in Queensland.

The three-year-old Art Major gelding, bred and raced for his two New Zealand starts by Justine McMeeking and Kurt McNamara, has been sold to clients of the Chantal Turpin (trainer) and Pete McMullen (driver) team.

The Turpin stable have had a good early result with previous purchase, Some Excusesomewhere, who won for the second time in five Albion Park starts last Friday, winning from five off the second row over 1660m in a career best mile rate of 1:54.2.

Itz Major Look, a $2.10 favourite in the One Smart Coffee Pace at Oamaru, soon recovered after bobbling away from the ace over the 2600m, settling fourth for Sam Ottley.

They took control at the 1800m and drew clear to win by 2 1/4 lengths in 3:21.1 for the 2600m, quickening over his last 800m in 57.2s and coasting home over his final 400m in 29.2s.

Itz Major Look is a half-brother to previous good Australian winners in Itz Mister Ku (2:00.7, three wins), Itz Dreamin Jonesy (1:55.1, 13 wins & $73,229) and Itz Billy Hillis (1:55.3, 11 wins from 28 starts for $71,463).

Also a half-brother to three-time NZ winner Itz Fatima Kiwi, he is three time Group One-winning Australian filly Itz Nosurprisesthere (1:58, six wins from only 15 starts, & $216,900, and smart pacer, Itz Bettor To Win (1:54.3, 13 wins & $197,287).

This is the family which has provided Justine’s parents, Bob and Norma McMeeking, with years of success.


J Scott The Inside Word

NZ METRO TC, Friday, September 28

Immortal Change, an each-way chance despite an outside second row draw at Addington on Friday night. (Photo: Race Images).

Race 2: IMMORTAL CHANGE (14, Samantha Ottley), mob. 1980m: “Is racing good. Gets as an easier grade race this week but looking for the right luck from the draw.”

Race 7: HIS ROYAL HARNESS (5, Samantha Ottley), mob. 1980m: “Has freshened up since racing last month. Will probably get back from the draw but an outside place show.”

Mark’s outside drives

Race 4: DIAMOND EDITION (9), mob. 2600m: “A half-sister to Ready For Takeoff but looking for improvement on her races last month.”

Race 8: WAR MACHINE (8), 20m, 2600m std: “Just got too keen and choked down when resuming. This should suit better and an upset chance.”

BANKS PENINSULA TC, Sunday, September 30

Race 1: MANINTHEMIRROR (13, Neil Munro), mob. 2000m: “Likes racing on the grass and an upset show in an even field.”

Five hundred yearlings for NZ Bloodstock sales

J Scott Latest News


September 25, 2018


Five hundred yearlings are set to go under the hammer at New Zealand Bloodstock’s first series of new standardbred sales next year.

The cross-code auction house has attracted the widespread support of the country’s standardbred yearling vendors since opening entries for its Karaka and Christchurch sales in February next year.

New Zealand Bloodstock managing director Andrew Seabrook said his staff were working through around 500 sales entries.

That bumper number looks set to eclipse the total of 478 yearlings that were carded for last year’s yearling sales conducted by PGG Wrightson.

“I am excited that we have got the support of 99% of the industry, it has been overwhelming,” Seabrook said.

New Zealand Bloodstock opened a standardbred office in Christchurch recently at the same site as Harness Racing New Zealand’s head office.

Its staff have already inspected many of the yearlings nominated for its sales.

The company’s next focus would be to engage with overseas and domestic buyers.

“The next few months we will be concentrating on the buyers,’’ Seabrook said.

“Our main focus now will be going out and selling the story in Australia and then also obviously instilling a bit of confidence in the Kiwi buyers and trainers and getting alongside them.”

What race series riches the yearlings that will be sold at next year’s sales will contest is unknown.

Seabrook confirmed there will be New Zealand Bloodstock yearling sales races across numerous age-groups and gaits for horses bought at the sales.

New Zealand Bloodstock is in ongoing talks about the details of those races with the New Zealand Sires Stakes Board.

“We are keen to enhance it,” Seabrook said.

“Certainly, the aim is to make it better.

“We think the scheme is a little bit complicated with different payments here and there, so we have given them some ideas to try to make it better and have canvased buyers.”

One new initiative likely to be included was the ability to nominate weanlings sold at mixed-age sales for the series.

“We are keen to make the weanlings includable on a voluntary basis,” Seabrook said.

New Zealand Sires Stakes Board Executive Secretary Doreen Graham said her organisation was hopeful negotiations could be finalised soon for it to administer New Zealand Bloodstock’s future sales series races.

The organisation will also continue to administer PGG Wrightson’s sales series races for the next two seasons, she said.

  • NZ Harness News


J Scott The Inside Word

NZ METRO TC, Thursday, September 20

Race 3: IMMORTAL CHANCE (8, Samantha Ottley), mob. 1980m: “Racing good but up in grade and needs luck.”

OAMARU HRC, Sunday, September 23

Race 3: ITZ MAJOR LOOK (1, Samantha Ottley), 2600m std: “Is better than his first-up run and expect an improved performance.”

Race 7: MANINTHEMIRROR (8, Laura McKay), mob. 2600m: “Gets in suitable race and an outside upset chance.”

NZ METRO TC, Friday, September 14

J Scott The Inside Word

NZ METRO TC, Friday, September 14

Outside drive

Race 4: WAR MACHINE (3, Mark), mob. 2600m: “Tony Barron told me I hope I haven’t ruined your Friday night but I’ve put you down to drive War Machine! I drove the horse to run fifth in the 4 & 5YO Trotting Championship at Addington in March. He’s in a hard race but hopefully he’ll go good.”

Race 6: ROBYN’S GEM (6, Sheree Tomlinson), mob. 2600m: “A good race for her providing she does things right but take on trust.”

Race 8: IMMORTAL CHANGE (10, Samantha Ottley), mob. 1980m: “It was good to get a win with her last week, so she’ll keep going for a Met Multiplier bonus (five starts to go). She’s up slightly in grade this week so looking for luck from the draw.”

Immortal Change proving bargain buy

J Scott Latest News


Immortal Change, rewarded with a sit-sprint finish to win at Addington on Friday, September 7, has the aim of winning a $7000 Met Multiplier bonus for the Mark Jones stable.

She’s had 10 starts at Addington since February, but this was her first win at Canterbury headquarters, after winning her maiden at Westport in March.

Immortal Change and Sam Ottley, wearing the Cancer Society Daffodil colours, run clear to win the Dyers Road ITM Mobile Pace at Addington on September 7. (Race Images photo).

The Multiplier is paid to any horse who has a minimum of 15 starts at Addington during a rolling 12-month period and has a win, or dead-heat, during the year.

“I think Grant Smith (owner) paid only $1000 for her so he’s having a bit of fun,” said trainer Mark Jones.

Immortal Change, a four-year-old daughter of 2008 New Zealand Cup winner Changeover (1:53.4, 29 wins & $2.4 million), has now won $23,365.

She’s picked up two wins and seven minor placings from 25 starts for Mr Smith, who earlier co-raced six-win mare Seven Point One.

Mr Smith, and wife Marilyn, operate Smithfield Raspberries at Ashburton.

Immortal Change has a bit going for her on pedigree on her maternal side, being a a great grand-daughter of champion mare Armalight (1:55.4 mile rate, 2000m, 18 wins & $277,520), the 1981 New Zealand Cup winner & 1982 NZ Harness Horse of the Year.

She’s the fourth foal, the second to race and first winner for her qualified but unraced Falcon Seelster dam Arma Phoenix.

Grand-dam Ultimate Arma (Holmes Hanover-Armalight) won one for the late Weedons trainer Jack Smolenski but has made her mark at stud, leaving 10 qualifiers and seven individual race-winners, including Dead Calm (1:58.3, nine NZ wins, two Aust. for $106,023), Arma May Zing (1:59, seven wins from 14 starts) and Cindi Arma (1:56.5, four wins from 19 starts), the latter two being a brother and sister to Arma Phoenix.

Arma The One (Badlands Hanover-Ultimate Arma), who won twice, is the dam of five Australian winners including Arma The Gun (1:51.9, eight wins from only 14 starts for $73,358), who ran third to Salty Robyn in the 2017 Gr. 2 Hondo Grattan 4YO pace at Menangle.

She’s also the dam of Arma Hotshot (1:55.6, five wins & $46,305), Arma Naughty (1:55.5, two wins) and Armalife (1:58.6, seven wins & $42,965).

Immortal Change stands for driver Sam Ottley, with owner Grant Smith, and wife Marilyn, looking on at Addington. (Race Images photo).

Armalight, who also won the 1983 Auckland Cup, was from another top filly in Ar Miss, who won eight including a NZ Oaks and NZ Sapling Stakes, and later became a NZ Broodmare of the Year.

This is also the family in recent decades of Excel Stride Stride (1:50.3, 28 wins and $769,494); former top WA filly Arma Xpress (1:56.5, 12 wins from 18 starts and $279,890), (Our) London Pride (1:51.6, US, 28 wins and $600,000), London Express (1:50.6, US, 32 wins and $350,00), Ohoka Punter (1:52.4, 25 wins incl. 2013 Northern Derby, $1 million earner), top Queensland pacer Majestic Mach (1:53.9, 35 wins & $976,397), former NZ 4YO Superstars Championship winner Bruzem (18 wins, 1:52.6, US & $178,925), and Spankem (p2, 1:54, five 2 and 3YO wins from 14 starts, $241,194).

Immortal Change, who came from last of the eight runners to win the Dyers Road ITM Mobile Pace for her latest win, picked the leaders up easily in the run home for Sam Ottley, who was sporting the Cancer Society Daffodil race colours.

She ran the mobile 2600m in 3:16.4, a solid 2:01.5 mile rate, providing Mark with his fifth training win of the new season, and Sam with her seventh driving win of the season.