RACE 4 KOWHAI SUNDOWN (4, fr. 2600m stand) Sam Ottley -“He would need to trot all the way this week. The return to the stand could be a query. A place chance if he does things right,” said Mark.
RACE 7 UPTOWN LADY (1, fr. 1980m mob) Sam Ottley & NAIYA FRANCO (3) Ricky May – “Uptown Lady should be that bit better from last week, still perhaps the half-run short after a hiccup. Drawn to likely trail and she should go well there. Naiya Franco was disappointing last week. She can do that from time to time and has a place chance in there.”
RACE 8 SMOKE N REACTOR (1, fr. 2600m stand) Sam Ottley -“She will win the Met Multiplier bonus this week so walks away with $7000 and a phot regardless. Her fifth run in five weeks questionable but could place if things went right.”
ALEXANDRA PARK, FRIDAY, AUGUST 23
RACE 8 MICHELLE (2, fr. 1609m mob) Todd Mitchell -“She’s capable but the manners have been a bit mixed. Place chance if she puts her best foot forward with Kay Cee looking a bit too good.”
ALBION PARK, SATURDAY, AUGUST 24
RACE 1 BARRETT (1, fr. 1660m mob) Guy Chapple -“He’s going well. Picked up a good win earlier in the week and has a good draw. He should run another good one from there.
RACE 2 THE BUS (4, fr. 1660m mob) Guy Chapple -“He is racing good up there. Drawn handily and should be a good chance again in that grade.
RACE 7 GETARATTLEON (6, fr. 1660m mob) Guy Chapple -“Found things a bit tougher since he won there three starts ago. Wider gate no help, looks a place chance only.
RACE 10 ROCK N JOY (3, fr. 1660m mob) Guy Chapple -“She is battling around at the moment. Might need some luck the form she’s in just now. Place.”
RACE 1 KOWHAI SUNDOWN (3, FR, 1980m mob) Sam Ottley – A while since he’s raced. I thought we may as well be here for $10,000 than be going to the trials. May need it but looks like the right sort of race,” said Mark.
RACE 3 UPTOWN LADY (6, fr, 2600m mob) Olivia Thornley, & NAIYA FRANCO (8) John Morrison – Uptown Lady has been racing pretty well. Forget the stand start miss last time. She looks a solid chance in that one. Naiya Franco is well graded, finds a good race and the 2600m certainly won’t bother her. Either mare could win that.”
RACE 4 IMMORTAL CHANGE (6, fr. 1980m mob) Sam Ottley – Racing well. A bit too far back last time but she should slot in somewhere from her draw and be quite competitive in that race. A good eachway chance.”
RACE 5 HARMONY DELIGHT (5, fr. 2600m mob) Sam Ottley – She is racing good. Meets a few handy maidens this week. If she finishes a nice top four I’d be happy. On form some sort of chance.”
RACE 10 SMOKE N REACTOR (2, 10m, 2600m stand) Sam Ottley – Great to get a penalty free win with her last week. Fourth start in four weeks is the query on her. If she holds that Rangiora form she’s a top-three chance again.”
KUROW, SUNDAY, AUGUST 18
RACE 4 IMMORTAL CHANGE (2, fr. 2000m mob) Sam Ottley – If she doesn’t win at Addington she’ll be here to race again. Off this draw she would be a good chance in this race.”
RACE 6 MY DESIGN (10, fr. 2000m mob) Sam Ottley – Last start here as she heads to Aussie after this. A draw that could be useful if we can get a run along the markers. Thereabouts in this one I’d hope.”
Mark Jones will take the easier road with smart Gore-winning three-year-old Willison (3g Bettor’s Delight – Classical Art) in the early stages of the season, and will let the horse tell him when he’s ready for something a bit tougher.
An expensive buy out of the APG Sales in Sydney, the regally-bred pacer showed all the ability needed in his two-year-old campaign, but was lightly raced due to a simple lack of maturity.
And Jones won’t be rushed into getting him to his very top until he’s ready for it, probably come Derby time next autumn.
“He’ll have a couple of easy weeks now, and we’ll head back down south for the Nugget Final with him and aim towards the Southern Supremacy races,” he said.
“He’s that type of horse that will let us know if he’s ready for the Derbies and the bigger races. He is eligible for the Sires Stakes but will go in those races only if I think he’s ready for it.
“There is no real major rush. A lovely horse like this may well end up doing his best work at four, five, and six-years-old, like the Bettor’s Delight often do.”
Very unlucky at Gore a race later was Plutonium Lady, never seeing daylight after being snookered on the fence five-deep in her maiden mobile.
Though disappointed Jones is looking forward to the spring with her, a filly he also rates highly despite her indifferent formline, mainly in top-grade fillies events last season.
“She can go on the Southland Oaks path, and I’ll probably bypass Auckland with her at Christmas – it is just a bit too tough,” he said.
Plutonium Lady is a sister to recent export (Wahs) Fire Bug, a maiden winner in 1:55 for Jones and owner-breeder Robert Famularo earlier this year at Winton before being sold to Scott McDonald in Sydney where she has won another four at Menangle taking a 1:52.2 mark, and also added a Group 3 placing in the South East Oaks at Albion Park.
The Bus broke back into the winners circle and completed a big day for owner Grant Hatton in winning at Albion Park on Saturday night (Aug 10).
Sent forward from gate three by driver Guy Chapple, The Bus made his way to the lead inside the opening 800m and was in control from that point, rating 1:56.0 (2138m) and home in 1:57.1 his final mile.
After a rocky run of form wince winning at Menangle in March, The Bus looks set to kick into gear in Queensland for the Mark Jones-Aaron Goadsby stable.
Hatton bagged his second winner of the day as an owner after Willison (3g Bettor’s Delight – Classical Art) secured his maiden win at Gore in the hands of Sam Ottley.
The Australian sale purchase looks in for a good season after missing much of his two-year-old year due to immaturity.
Jones and Goasdsby went back-to-back at Albion Park with The Bus after Getarattleon won his first start on the track for the team on Friday night (Aug 9), successful in the hands of Grant Dixon and rating a very respectable 1:56.7 (2138m).
Mark Jones has runners racing at both ends of the country, and somewhere in the middle this week in a continuation of a busy little time for the stable.
The winter racing team are in great heart, winning numerous races over the last few weeks, and Mark has high hopes he can add another one or two to the list.
ALEXANDRA PARK (FRIDAY, AUG 9)
RACE 2 – MICHELLE (12, fr U5, 2700m stand) John Morrison – “She is not far away from winning one. Probably had to tinker a little with her on the foreign track but she has always trotted well right-handed at home. Hopefully she can break through and win a nice stake soon.”
GORE H.R.C, SATURDAY AUG 10
RACE 2 – WILLISON (14, 2200m mob) Sam Ottley – Pleasing run last time and he’s come on nicely from that, trialling well last week. A disappointing draw but hoping he’s as good as any in that race.”
RACE 3 – PLUTONIUM LADY (1, 2200m mob) Sam Ottley – I’ve always liked her. She had too bigger task in the autumn taking on the top fillies but I thought she was up to them. Back with a very good trial and working well. I think she gets her chance from the draw.”
RANGIORA H.R.C, SUNDAY AUG 11
RACE 7 – SMOKE N REACTOR (8, 2600m mob) Korbyn Newman – “She needs that nice cart into it from out there (gate 8). likely to be heading back and arriving later in this one. On her day she can sprint with any of them. Just needs some luck.”
It had been a while since regally-bred mare Naiya Franco had won.
But Mark had not lost the faith in the daughter of former star pacing mare Nearea Franco.
Some 14 starts had passed since her January win at Oamaru without success, but often in fields of a good quality, particularly in mares events.
“She had been racing well, and though we’d had good draws at times, they were in the better fields. Then you draw poorly in the lesser ones and on any day a poor draw is still a tough draw to beat,” said Jones.
Stable driver Sam Ottley gave her a lovely run at Addington (Aug 2) coming from midfield then one-one to launch at the top of the straight and run down Friend (Ben Hope).
Naiya Franco is owned by Queensland resident Mark Denyer who has raced others with some success in the Mark Jones stable.
Ultimately a broodmare career looms, the Mach Three daughter of one of New Zealand’s best pacing mares is sure to produce foals of value further down the track.
Burnham trainer Mark Jones was more than happy to assist junior driver Korbyn Newman with his third career win at Rangiora on Sunday, July 21.
Mark, a former World Champion driver, has been instrumental in developing the careers of younger drivers, Samantha Ottley, Robbie Close, Sheree Tomlinson and Laura McKay, and trainer, Regan Todd.
So he had no hesitation in putting Korbyn up for a third behind Lets Hustle in the juniors race at Addington last week, and behind 21-to-one long-shot winner, His Royal Harness, at Rangiora on Sunday.
“He’s not working for me but he just always helps at the races and asked for a drive,” Mark said.
“So he just happened be at the right time and in the right place and has been taught well from Benny Hill and Ricky May.”
“Young people deserve a chance and he makes the most of it.”
His Royal Harness, by the former Geoff Small-trained speedster Tintin In America (famous for siring champion North American mare Shartin), had struggled for form in his first four starts since resuming last month.
However, there were signs of improvement at Forbury last Thursday with his strong-finishing third for Sam Ottley behind Pocket Call and Delight Of Texas.
It was a top result for His Royal Harness’s co-owner, Mitchell Robertson, who also owns winner Pocket Call, trained by his father, Peter.
On Sunday, Korbyn, from the inside of the second row, put His Royal Harness to sleep five back on the markers, moved one out just before the final 800, then jumped on the three wide train at the 800m marker.
Circumstances went against them at the 500m when he was held up by the tiring Lincoln Skipper, but it turned out to be a blessing for the sit-sprinter.
Unico Enchantess had run clear for top driver Blair Orange turning for home but His Royal Harness sprouted wings wide for Korbyn in the straight to win going away by 1 and 3/4 lengths in 3:14.2 (2:00.1 mile rate) for the 2600m on the slushy track.
His Royal Harness, who won his first two races on grass tracks for fellow Canterbury trainer Chris McDowell, was recording his third win since entering the ownership of Mitchell Robertson, Steve Hill, Alastair McLay, Mike Moore and the Fomo (fear of missing out) Syndicate.
He had scored a penalty-free win first-up for them and the Jones stable at Addington last July for visiting North Island junior, Tony Cameron.
His Royal Harness has speed in his family, being from a Mach Three half-sister to Flashbang (1:55, four wins) and Famous Lover (TT, 1:56.1, four wins).
He’s also from the same family as former top Southland-bred 1970s and 80s pacers, Sassenach (12 wins), Ryal (nine wins), Shavande (five wins), Profiteer (six wins), Zabadak (11 wins) and Stampede (11 wins).
His Royal Harness has subsequently been withdrawn from this Sunday’s 50-60 One Smart Coffee Mobile Pace at Oamaru.
The Overport Lodge stables of Mark Jones have racked up
their 30th and 31st domestic victories for the season at Forbury and Addington
on July 18 and 19.
My Design, a Mach Three half-sister to the capable Twice The
Delight (1:52.3, Aust; 11 wins & $67,832), and three-win trotter Bet
Online, won at just her second start.
The win was satisfying as her path had been hindered by
Sam Ottley drove a perfect race with My Design, leading
early from the seven draw, then trailing Absolut Russian.
The pacemaker was headed turning for home with Sam
encouraging My Design to an inch-perfect finish along the sprint lane.
My Design nosed out plunge debutante, the Steven
McRae-trained Leap Of Faith, who moved up parked over the final lap for Craig
The winner, raced by the 3 Peg Investments Pty Ltd, paced
the 2200m (stand) in 2:52.4, with the leaders last 800m in 58.6s and 400m in
My Design enhanced her broodmare potential with the win,
being from a four-win Holmes Hanover mare Trelise (1:58.7, 1700m) from top
broodmare Twice As Good (1:56.5, 1700m, five wins).
Twice As Good, a Butler B G half-sister to 1980’s North
American trail-blazer Pacific (p3, 1:53, winner of the 1987 USA 3YO fillies
Breeders Crown, Mistletoe Shalee & American National), is the dam of nine
They include Mark Dennis (1:53.9, Aust, 43 wins &
$306,317), St Barts ((1:57, 15 wins & $162,506), Waitfornoone (1:55.7, 11
wins & $201,804), Fight Fire With Fire (1:56.1, seven wins & $151,657)
and Double Shot (1:57.9, six wins).
Another Twice As Good winner, Twice As Hot (1:59.6, five
wins) is the In The Pocket dam of two-time Interdominion Final placegetter,
Flaming Flutter (1:53, 23 wins & $789,015), whose wins include the 2016
South Australia Cup and South Australia Derby.
Flaming Flutter was the runnerup to Beautide in the March
2015 Menangle Inter Dominion Final, and third in the December 2015 Perth Inter
Final to Lennytheshark.
Goodlookinggirl, a Christian Cullen daughter of Twice As Good, won once from only five starts, but has made her mark at stud with her first four foals to race, all winners, including top filly/mare, Elle Mac (1:51.6, 12 wins & $607,678).
Another Twice As Good daughter in Twice As Great has left the former Allstars pacer, Duplicated, who has taken a 1:49.2 (fifths) mark in North America on a five-furlongs (1000m) track this year.
Duplicated, by Somebeachsomewhere, has added $US117,350 to his career earnings in America this year.
Immortal Change, a bargain buy from another illustrious NZ
family, notched her third career win and second Addington win in the $50 All Up
July Challenge for junior drivers.
Olivia Thornley, recording her ninth career win, extricated
just enough from Immortal Change, despite playing the iron mare in the open
over the last 1900m in wet winter conditions.
Immortal Change, a four-year-old daughter of former NZ Cup
winner Changeover, didn’t flinch at the end of a strong 2600m, won in 3:17.1.
She ran to the front at the 450m and after going clear
turning for home, held a late finish from the Regan Todd-trained King Of Heroes
(Mark Hurrell) by half a neck.
Lets Hustle, the Overport Lodge stablemate of the winner,
rallied solidly from four back on the outer for third for Korbyn Newman.
Immortal Change, from a qualified but unraced Falcon
Seelster mare Arma Phoenix (grand-daughter of champion mare Armalight), has now
She won her first two races for Ashburton owner Grant Smith,
but trainer Mark Jones joined him in the ownership of the mare a week ago.
Immortal Change’s maternal family has been starring
internationally in this year.
One of his relatives, None Bettor (1:48.4, fifths), has been
in sensational free-for-all form, winning nine of 11 USA starts for the year
He comes up against Mcwicked in the $US260,000 feature at
Saratoga, New York, on Sunday (NZ time).
Although Australian-bred, None Bettor is from a three-win NZ
mare in Limerick Star, by Christian Cullen from four-win mare Lils Dream
(1:55.7, time trial).
Lils Dream is by Smooth Fella from Miss Denover, the latter
being an unraced daughter of Boyden Hanover and Ar Miss (NZ Sapling Stakes
& NZ Oaks), the eight-win dam of 1981 NZ Cup and 1982 NZ Harness Horse of
the Year, Armalight (1:55.4, mile rate, 2000m, 18 wins & $277,520).
A fifth-line descendent of Armalight in the 2013 Northern
Derby winner, Ohoka Punter (1:52.4, 27 wins & $1.1 million), returned to
form winning with a Group One feature on July 13.
Now nine, Ohoka Punter, took out the Sunshine Sprint at
Albion Park, Brisbane, in a 1:53.2 rate (1660m), in his first win since October
The family fortunes were lifted earlier this year by Miracle
Mile winner Spankem (1:47.7), a front-runner for NZ Harness Horse of the Year
Spankem, a fourth-line descendant of Ar Miss, has taken his
record to 13 win from 32 starts for $1.1 million after also winning this year’s
Taylor 4YO Mile and NZ Messenger for the Purdon/Rasmussen stable.
Another descendant of Ar Miss produced Australasia’s fastest
three-year-old miler, Muscle Factory (1:49.6), in January.
Muscle Factory erased Border Control’s Australasian mile 3YO
record of 1:50.6 when he paced a brilliant 1:49.6 when winning the Group Two
Simpson Sprint at Menangle.
A colt by Roll With Joe, Muscle Factory is from Malena (by
Jereme’s Jet-Miraculous Miss, by Presidential Ball-Mistron, by El Patron-Ar
Muscle Factory, a winner of seven from 14 starts for
$266,255, won this season’s Victoria Derby before going amiss in the NSW Derby.