No boarding pass required for Memphis

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Smart filly will float to Auckland after Alabar heat at Addington

Mark and Benny have made the decision to sit and wait for next Friday’s $22,000 Alabar Sires Stakes Fillies Heat at Addington and pass by the chance to fly Stylish Memphis to Auckland a few days earlier.

A plane will head to Auckland on Monday with a number of Alexandra Park hopefuls for the December carnival and she could have been on it in preference to running in the Auckland heat of the series on December 6.

But after the training partners discussed the programme it was felt a run close to home then nice gaps between her first and second Alex Park targets would suit ideally.


“Perhaps a few of the better ones are going to be in Auckland already or flying up Monday, too,” said Mark.

“So, the Addington heat looks a nice option. It did look like that Auckland heat would be a strong race whereas we can wait for Addington and head on up after with no fuss.

“I’m not bothered with the road trip. She won’t likely run again until the 14th ($100,000 Peter Breckon Ladyship Stakes) and again on New Year’s Eve ($150,000 Alabar Sires Stakes Series Final), hopefully.”

 Mark drove the Bettor’s Delight full-sister to brilliant filly now mare Delightful Memphis at the Rangiora workouts on Wednesday and was suitably impressed, clocking her home in around 55.00 the final 800m, and 26.5 the last 400m.

Oaxacan Dream, a Big Jim filly out of Verde Lima, a Bettor’s Delight daughter of Oaxaca Lass (19 wins, $456,134), trialled nicely to run third for Benny’s Swannanoa barn and he will pick out a nice race for her in the short term.

Benny sent stable junior Korbyn Newman south with the Ascot Park team today (Thursday) which includes Silent Major out of his barn, along with Burnham Boy (same race) and Maharajah (a Methven trial winner) out of Mark’s team, and Philadelphia Freedom who also trialled at Methven last weekend in preparation for tomorrow’s outing.

Burnham Boy (Sam Ottley) wins first-up at Gore debut for the Mark Jones stable. He contests the $15,000 Nugget Final with stablemate Silent Major at Ascot Park. (Bruce Stewart photo).

Elite team busy South to North this week

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A team heads to Ascot Park to kick off another busy weekend on Friday afternoon, Lulu is flying and heads around again at Alex Park, with a number of runners scheduled to race at the Orari and Timaru meetings on Saturday and Sunday.

Sioux Princess has perhaps two opportunities to win again this weekend.


RACE 3 PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM (11, FR. 2200m mob) Sam Ottley -“Drawn bad but in the right race after a nice enough trial (Methven). Capable in this field.” (Benny)

RACE 4 MAHARAJAH (7, fr. 2200m mob) Sam Ottley -“Handy maiden this and a wide draw so some luck needed from there but up to it with the right run.” (Mark).

RACE 8 BURNHAM BOY (4, fr. 2200m mob) Sam Ottley, and SILENT MAJOR (9) Jonny Cox -“Burnham Boy really pleased us Cup day, a good run from a bad draw. Very good chance and definite hope if things go right here.” (Mark). “Silent Major has come through his Wyndham win well, hence why he’s back there. Tricky draw or a good draw. He’ll run on well.” (Benny).


RACE 3 LULU LE MANS (8, fr. 2200m mob) Maurice McKendry -“Unlucky not to win last week. She’s racing very well but another tough draw this week.” (Mark).


RACE 5 SIOUX PRINCESS (14, U3, ft. 2500m stand) Sam Ottley -“Good win at Ashburton and back to the grass does suit her. She’s a logical chance if she trots like she can.” (Mark)

RACE 7 SMOKE N REACTOR (7, (3) 10m. 2500m stand) Sam Ottley -“Back to the grass track and standing start will suit her. She will need some luck in a handy field but a rough eachway chance.”(Mark).


RACE 2 YUKO (4, fr. 2600m mob) Ricky May, and MRS WASHINGTON (5) Sam Ottley -“Both working well and both nicer draws. I’d rate both eachway chances.” (Benny).

RACE 3 ORLANDO MAGIC (4, fr. 2600m stand) Sam Ottley -“A shade diasppointing Show Day but happier with her here and in the right race if things go right. A definite eachway chance.” (Mark).

RACE 5 SIOUX PRINCESS (9, U2, ft, 2000m mob) Sam Ottley -“If she happens to back up after Orari then this looks a nice enough race for her too.” (Mark).

RACE 7 MAHIA (4, fr. 2600m stand) Sam Ottley -“Nothing went right at all at Ashburton. A couple of gear changes and a place hope in what looks like quite a nice field.” (Mark).

RACE 9 BEAUDIENE OVERTAKE (11, fr. 2000m mob) Korbyn Newman – “Nice enough draw if it works out. Place chance with a good run.” (Benny).

Mark Jones sold NZ Cup winner

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Burnham trainer Mark Jones, widely respected as a genuine seller, became part of a rare group to have sold a New Zealand Cup winner.

Brendon “Benny” Hill has trained a two-time NZ Cup winner in Monkey King, and on Tuesday, his new training partner became part of a rare group to have sold a New Zealand Cup winner.

Mark, a genuine seller from day one, could earn no better respect from industry speculators, than offering up Cruz Bromac and parting with him as a qualified but unraced late three-year-old in July, 2015.

His plan, along with Rangiora trainer Andrew Stuart, was to spec-buy an affordable colt from the Australasian Classic Yearling Sales with a view to turning him over as early as possible for a potential profit.

Cruz Bromac, by Falcon Seelster from an unraced half-sister to formerly NZ’s fastest-bred pacer Attorney General (1:48.4, US, $434,952), filled their requirements.

Cruz Bromac, and Blair Orange, wear down Spankem to win the 2019 $750,000 Christchurch Casino NZ Trottiing Cup at Addington.

They bought him for $12,000 from the Bromac Lodge draft, with Mark Jones training him for re-sale, but he had to wait on him to grow into his frame.

“He was a big horse but always had wicked speed,” Mark said.

The two trainers knew they had to turn to selling as the stake money in Canterbury wasn’t good enough to retain horses to win the money they wanted for a horse of his ability.

As a late 3YO, Cruz Bromac was offered by Mark to fellow Canterbury trainer, Terry Chmiel, who drove him to win his first public outing, a 2600m stand-start workout in 3:23.8 (last 800m in 55.6) at Rangiora on July 13, 2015.

He then won easily, but was 0.5 seconds outside qualifying time at Rangiora on July 20, when first driven by Blair Orange at his first official trial.

“Cruz” was also offered to the Robert Dunn stable, but with no fast action taking place, Mark offered him to Victorian trainer Dean Braun, who bought him for his clients on Mark’s word alone, without even driving him.

The word was out to a select few before he stepped out publicly.

Mark put his reputation on the line, stating then and there he was of the best horses he’d trained.

The Braun deal was completed after Mark advised Dean “Cruz” had “great potential.”

This was just days before Cruz Bromac qualified at Timaru on July 25, having to travel two hours south of Christchurch to find the next winter qualifying trial.

He finished second for Kimberly Butt (who worked for Mark at the time) in a 2:00.6 mile rate (2000m), the leaders last 800m in 56.8s.

“Dean had only ever bought one other off me, Itz Nosurprisesthere, and she won three Group Ones (2013 NSW, Queensland & Tasmsanian Oaks), so we had a good relationship,.” Mark said.

He was flown to Sydney two days later, making an immediate impact with a luckless fourth first-up in a 1:54 mile at Menangle on August 1, 2015.

Cruz Bromac showed his class second-up, scoring in a 1:55.7 rate over 2300m, a week later.

Within a month coming out of the NZ winter, his potential was highlighted at Menangle on Saturday, August 22, 2015, leading and clearing out by 18.8 metres for Luke McCarthy to win in 1:51.6 (1609m) in a $A20,400 3YO pace (Australian 3YO season ending on August 31).

It was a remarkable transformation after leaving a cold NZ winter and pacing a sub 1:52 mile within a month in Australia.

Rested, he returned in November as a 4YO, winning four of his next six starts in Victoria (twice winning in the hands of Nathan Purdon),

Cruz Bromac then stepped up to Group racing for the first time, running second to subsequent NZ-trained Miracle Mile champ, Have Faith In Me, in the $50,000 Paleface Adios Stakes at Menangle, won in 1:53.2, then a week later at his 12th start “Cruz” ran sixth to the same horse in the Group One $200,000 Chariots Of Fire, the winner clocking 1:48.8.

At five, “Cruz” won six and was twice second in nine starts, winning the Cobram and Hamilton country cups, but finishing eighth in Lazarus’s $400,000 Victoria Cup.

Havng a year off, he returned at six to win the Warragul Cup and gained his first breakthrough Group One win in the 2018 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at Menangle in 1:50.1, beating record-breaking Miracle Mile champ that season in My Field Marshal.

Cruz Bromac underwent an ownership restructure last year, being syndicated by major Braun client, Danny Zvaitsanos, to race with wife Joanna, NSW-based Peter and Zilla O’Shea, and Tasmania’s Warren Viney, and was sent to NZ Allstars trainers, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, for last year’s NZ Cup.

He won the Methven Cup first-up, finished a luckless fourth in Thefixer’s 2018 NZ Cup, won the Group One $184,000 NZ Free-For-All, went unbeaten in three Inter Dominion Heat wins, before a third in Tiger Tara’s Inter Dominion Grand Final.

Cruz Bromac, decorated with the cup dress rug, is led by Alana Cameron, after winning the NZ Cup.

After Braun decided not to renew his licence this term, preferring a more relaxed support role in the stable, expatriate NZ horsewoman Amanda Grieve became Zvaitsanos’s official Victorian trainer.

Grieve previously worked for Braun, taking over the running of the Braun stable for a time five years ago and recording a Group One win with NZ-bred Im Corzin Terror in the 2014 Ballarat Cup.

She returned to NZ in 2016, working as a foreperson at Cran Dalgety’s Kentuckiana Lodge for three years, before returning to Geelong again in February be close to her parents living there, and to rejoin the Braun team.

Cruz” won the 2019 NZ Cup on the Grieve/Braun Victoria preparation, which included a top third second-up in a record run Victoria Cup last month.

Zvanitsanos returned “Cruz” to the Allstars stables two weeks before this year’s Cup.

The seasoned Grand Circuit performer improved on a game second (parled) to Classie Brigade in the Kaikoura Cup lead-up on November 4 to win the $750,000 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup on November 12.

The stars aligned perfectly for Cruz Bromac and top NZ driver, Blair Orange, who had driven “Cruz” in his first trial for Mark Jones, but hadn’t had a steer behind him again until his final fast work before the cup.

Blair Orange, having his 11th NZ Cup drive, stepped him fast from wide out, working to head Classie Brigade at the 2500m.

He then eased tor trail three back after more fancied stablemates, Thefixer, then favourite Spankem, had turns taking over by the 1700m.

When San Carlo (parked) dropped off at the 300m, Blair had “Cruz” out and nursed him round the final turn.

They unwound best to win by a neck over Spankem (Mark Purdon), the luckless Classie Brigade (John Dunn) and Chase Auckland, in 3:56.9 (3200m), the leaders last 800m in 57.5s

This was the much deserved crowning glory in Cruz Bromac’s illustious career, becoming the latest NZ-bred $1 millionaire pacer by banking the $389,710 winning prize

Now a winner of 22 of 46 starts, “Cruz” defends his NZ Free-For-All title on Show day, then heads to Auckland for the Inter Dominions, from November 29 to December 14.

NZ Cup winner Cruz Bromac will forever be Mark’s top advert as a seller.

But add in the likes of Texas Terror (1:50.2, US, 34 wins & $485,000), sold out of his stable after one 2YO start, Rocker Band (1:51.8, $360,354), Glenferrie) Alexis (1:55.9, 19 wins & $288,323), Ohoka Texas (1:50.2, $340,774), Itz Bettor To Win (1:54.3, $212,912), Courage Tells (1:54.1, $393,556), Itz Nosurprisesthere (1:58, $216,900), My Man Dan (1;54.2, $284,032), Glenferrie Alexis (1:55.9, 19 wins & $288,323); Jackaroo Bromac (1:52.4, $242,555), My Jellignite (1:52, $249,539), and Lethal Rocket (1:55.5, $236,417), plus many more, and the pattern is clear.

It would be hard to find a more regular provider of quality bloodstock to Australia than Mark Jones.

A Fancy way to head to the Oaks

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Benny & Ricky

After success for Elite Racing at Ashburton today, well-bred filly Fancy will head south next week with a couple of mates to tick off a run in Southland as Benny and Mark chase the Southland Oaks.

“I don’t think it’s worth chasing Amazing Dream up north,” said Benny Hill after her Ashburton win.

“So she can tag along with Silent Major and Burnham Boy who will head down for the $15,000 Nugget Final next Friday,” he said.

The Bettors’ Delight daughter of Regret (by In the Pocket) is a sister to handy pacers Bedtime, Mundaka, Natural, Excellent, and Ragnarr.

Birchbrook Breeding Ltd, namely David and Catherine Butt, along with Steve Hooper, have had great success out of the family through the deeds of second-dam Going Royce, a filly and mare they raced, leaving a bunch of winners.

Regret, a five-time winner, is a full-sister to former top-class Grand Circuit pacer Tribute who won $402,000 and 16 races for Peter and Joan Cocks out of the Tim Butt stable.

A raft of winners came from Going Royce, Never Going Holme, Pentium, Coolmore, Birchbrook, Midnite, Corbell, Hoon Hay, Victory, and Pushkin, all winners but not matching the success Tribute had.

Corbell has gone on to leave quality pacer Micky Gee (1:52 USA) and Anytime, currently three wins.

“She (Fancy) can head down just for a grade race and we’re a step closer to ticking that box for the Southland Oaks, hopefully,” said Benny.

“I’ll head down with the three. Silent Major came through his win (at Wyndham last Sunday) nicely, and Ricky (May) likes the feel of Burnham Boy (who ran well Cup day from a bad draw).

“Fancy’s owners (Kevin, Tony, and Ray Hickman, and Snow Reardon) are happy with that and the Southland Oaks I think is the better path for her.”

Sioux Princess was also successful for the Elite Racing stable at Ashburton, the enigmatic mare again slowly away from the standing start but she proved too powerful with a good turn of speed to reel them in and win, her third from 26 starts.

Four for Friday

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Mark and Benny tasted success again at Ashburton winning two with Sioux Princess and Fancy making it four for the week.

Last day of the busy Cup week for us is on Friday with four runners at Addington and Alex Park, perhaps led by Willison and a quietly confident Mark Jones.


RACE 6 LULU LE MANS (10, fr. 1609m mob) Maurice McKendry –“She is going to need luck from the second row draw, though an eachway chance with right trip over a mile. Her run last time was very pleasing.” (Mark).

Lulu Le Mans, with NZ co-trainer, Mark Jones. Champion driver Maurice McKendry again takes the reins at Alex Park.


RACE 1 ORLANDO MAGIC (5, fr. 1980m mob) Sam Ottley –“Probably just not as happy as I could be with her since Kaikoura. In the mix but I’d say more a place chance.” (Mark).

RACE 5 JAMIES BAD BOY (12, fr. 2600m mob) Ricky May –“Outclassed and sold so he’s gone after this.” (Mark)

RACE 12 WILLISON (7, fr. 2600m mob) Sam Ottley –“Thought he had no luck cup day, likely try to take luck out of the equation this time. We’ll head forward and drive him like the best one.” (Mark).


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RACE 2 MAHIA (8,fr. 2400m mob) Sam Ottley -“On debut. Tidy trial last week though drawn wider than ideal on debut. An eachway chance in a handy little field.” (Mark).

MAHIA debuts from tricky draw

RACE 4 YUKO (7, fr. 1609m mob) Sam Ottley -“A bad draw but she is working well and hoping for luck in transit.” (Benny).

RACE 6 SIOUX PRINCESS (10, UR, fr. 2400m stand) Sam Ottley -“We know what to expect. If she trots she can win this. If not, we’ll try again next time.” (Mark).

RACE 8 DONEGAL GILBERT (12, fr. 2400m mob) Korbyn Newman -“Rated him a bit unlucky last start. He’s got another tricky draw but hopefully it ends up being a good draw if they roll early.” (Benny).

RACE 9 NIRVANA BEACH (1, fr. 2400m mob) Ricky May -“A great draw and he went super at Rangiora. On the back-up but expecting another good run – nice eachway bet.” (Benny).

RACE 11 FANCY (5. fr. 2400m mob) Ricky May -“Trialled nicely, Just a hint she may need the run here but we’re hopeful.” (Benny).

The Elite blueprint is to get back there – Benny

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If you ask Benny Hill or Mark Jones what level they want to be at, the answer is not only obvious, but made rather clear.

MONKEY KING won back-to-back NZ Cup’s in 2009-2010

Benny has tasted success in the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup before, winning twice with Monkey King, the king of Addington.

Add a second with Baileys Dream, a fourth with Power Of Tara (behind Monkey King) and Benny knows the kick you get being a headline act in the country’s greatest race.

He has Skippys Delight in the $170,000 Sires Stakes Final tomorrow (Tuesday), but as a 101/1 outsider he’s realistic.

Just a couple of weeks into the new partnership with Mark, dreams of victory in that race are there, but for both men the plan for greater success much further ahead is where they look to.

“It’s been a few years now (since Monkey King’s 2009-2010 Cup-winning double),” said Benny.

“So yeah, it is a bit different not having that. You go there excited still, to do the best for your owners. But you feel like you’re a big part of Cup week with a Cup horse, a chance to win it.

“I’ve had all that. Power Of Tara and Baileys Dream, and Carabella did what she did. Bailey ran second one year to Changeover.”

How to get back there is the key, and in going into partnership with Mark and the new brand, Elite Racing, their joint focus is on bettering the stock they have and working towards common goals of having good horses in the best races.

“Some ask why Mark and I are doing what we’re doing. Frankly, that’s our business. We know what we are doing and trying to achieve.

“It starts again at sale time, picking out our babies and developing the young stock.

“Unless someone rolls in the gate with a ready-made horse to run in these races we know we have to develop them. We’re conscious of that, and this partnership could, as we’ve discussed, allow us to hold onto those horses we can turn into future Cup horses, rather than selling them when the money comes.

“We want the Master Lavros and the Monkey King – this (partnership) gives us our best chance to be back there. And we will.”

Top squaregaiter Master Lavros and Mark Jones won two Dominion’s and a Rowe Cup


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Benny and Ricky have been here before – a few times for Ricky!


RACE 1 (5-10-8-12) Great bet to start the day. GLOBE TREKKER will have to step and think he will from perfect start point for him. Better than them if he puts best foot forward. $9.50 & $3.10 is a very genuine eachway bet. IDLE MOOSE looks favoured at 3200m, a good stayer and in the right form to win this. Must in every bet. MATUA TANA not reliable, but brilliant when caught in the mood. Win or bust type but too smart to leave out. The very genuine OVERZEALOUS will give 110% as always, she will be right in the thick of it again.

SUGGESTED BET: GLOBE TREKKER Eachway / Boxed Quinella-Trifecta – 1,5,8,10,12,16

RACE 2 (3-15-6-9) DENY EVERYTHING was going extra well at the trials last Wednesday, never asked to extend and would have won if asked. Really good maiden this with a great draw. $7.00 looks good money. Outstanding winning that trial was JAWBREAKER, swept from last late to win in a big performance. Smart horse, the draw the issue but he’s ready to fire. SUGAR LOAF is going very well at trials, outside leader and big here last Wednesday. Debuts in strong race but sure to go a big one. POWER OF PRAYER an obvious include from All Stars, another who has the talent to match any maiden. Wide gate means extra work to be done. Long odds chance TASMAN TEMPEST, caught out in sprint home at Kaikoura, earlier trial exceptional.

SUGGESTED BET: DENY EVERYTHING Eachway / Boxed Trifecta – 3,6,9,11,15

RACE 3 (3-10-7-2) My least favoured race of the day. Hard to get a good line on this. BONNIE HIGHLANDER trialled well and does fly fresh up so she’s the one I’d be on, win only. If the good odds are the way to go then THE DOMINATOR has all the ability just has to step away well something he didn’t do at Ashburton last start. Not fussed here, have some lunch.


RACE 4 (6-5-3-1) I thought TRIPLE EIGHT was outstanding in the Kaikoura Cup, his run clearly best in the race and for sheer speed in a small field should be too quick for these. With two from All Stars in here they won’t make it so easy tactically. On his best form ULTIMATE SNIPER is the one to beat.


RACE 5 (12-7-4-10) NEMERA FRANCO looks near unbeatable based on her form, but also amazing Cup trial victory here last Wednesday, swooping right down the outside from last with a huge sprint. Quality mare and the $2.30 looks about her price in this line-up.  The bookies have got DOUBLE O HEAVEN $34.00 & $6.00 and without doubt the best eachway bet at good odds all day. Big return swept up late third when fresh. Only better for the run and she’s quicker than most off the right run. Super bet, at least to place. BETTER FLY and GHOSTWRITER players off the good draws, but are good draws bad draws here? They’ll possibly go very hard early. WILD EXCUSE is flying, cannot be overlooked.

SUGGESTED BET: DOUBLE O HEAVEN Eachway / Boxed Trifecta – 1,4,6,7,10,12

RACE 6 (5-13-15-4) TOUGH MONARCH and MCLOVIN arrive from Australia in better form than anything here and they’ll dominate the race. And the good reason for that is our two best ones here, WINTERFELL and SUNDEES SON are barely trotting good enough to win a maiden right now. The former very poor in his gait at the trials, the latter galloping his way around in his Cup trial outing too in a continuation of a major fall from his best form. That pair to be honest would need to find a miracle. Back to the Aussies, TOUGH MONARCH short at $2.40 but deserves to be, MCLOVIN very good value eachway at $7.50 & $2.25.

SUGGESTED BET: TOUGH MONARCH Win / MCLOVIN Eachway / Trifecta – 5,13/5,13/Field & 5,13/Field/5,13

RACE 7 (13-14-11-1) Going wide of the obvious. And why, because this opening 400m to 800m could be extremely fierce, setting it up for others in behind. Taken with BAD TO THE BONE on race night, then super good in trial here last Wednesday, matched by COPY THAT who pushed them over the line in his trial, race form great in the north and arrives in fine fettle, You get a good play at $31.00 and $5.00 for both horses. ITALIAN LAD I rate the best of the All Stars, quality this horse, very quick and top driver on will find the right run. Gate two the back row following stablemate and favourite ONE CHANGE through is ideal. ABOVE N BEYOND ideally drawn, can win the race, just depends how hard they go that first half-mile.

SUGGESTED BET: BAD TO THE BONE & COPY THAT Eachway (value) / Boxed Trifecta – 1,2,3,11,13,14

RACE 8 (9-6-8-1) AMAZING DREAM looks home the way she trialled here Wednesday, a real eye-catcher from her proving she’s bang on target for the day. If there is just one small issue it’s the fact she has bigger fish to fry this season as a 3yo filly, so being driven around the world in eighty days to win this from barrier nine has to be in the back of punters minds taking short odds. HEISENBERG would appear the obvious winner if she is beaten, very good off right run at Kaikoura. His stablemate JAY TEE TYRON was impressive there too, and at least his place price of $4.40 looks attractive. BETTATHANFAST went great at Forbury last start and gate one will have him in the right spot.


RACE 9 (7-8-2-9) Good betting race. If we can get BELMONT MAJOR beaten as favourite there’s some good value to be had. HOWARD HUGHES beautifully primed off nice quiet trial here last week, coasting at the finish. Really smart horse this and he can remain unbeaten at what looks like a very good price of $7.00. The big overs is BURNHAM BOY, second-to-last in Wednesday’s trial but going easily too. Two big runs to date and though needing luck from the draw a player here at big odds. Stablemate WILLISON not awful at $21.00 either. GLIDING AWAY a talented horse back fresh, maybe a run short of where he needs to be but respect him on quality. $21.00 also overs there.

SUGGESTED BET: HOWARD HUGHES Win / BURNHAM BOY Place / Boxed Quinella – Trifecta – 2,7,8,9,10

Could Mark sneak a NZ Cup with OUR UNCLE SAM?

RACE 10 (6-7-12-4) Looks a battle between SPANKEM and THEFIXER, last year’s winner. Both forward to go, the latter short on racing and that’s the small query with him. They do stand out. MACH SHARD terrific in the Cup trial, a bad draw to overcome but at $41.00 I’ve seen a lot worse than him. OUR UNCLE SAM the bolter. Better stayer than most, stepping away the crucial aspect. If he does he makes this very interesting. SAN CARLO arrives in impeccable Australian form, we know he’s a terrific stayer, would have liked any other draw than one. But, if he steps cleanly from there he could well have them in trouble very early. $11.00 a good price for him.

SUGGESTED BET: MACH SHARD Eachway / Boxed Quinella – Trifecta – 1,4,6,7,8,12

RACE 11 (5-2-13-17) B D YASOTHON should win this if he trots like he did at the trials, an exceptional run. Big day, and he’s inexperienced, pay to factor that bit in. This race often throws out a genuine upset result. NEVER MIND did work and fought well Ashburton, will trot out and get going, a big advantage here.  off a much better run at Kaikoura the big odds value is ALVIRA HEST with Ricky May to drive. She peaked on her run late there but showed signs of her better form. $41.00 & $7.00 the odds good for her. REBEL KIBBYBONES and DESPERATEANDDANGEROUS have jobs to do from back on the unruly but both very strong winning last start and well in form.

SUGGESTED BET: ALVIRA HEST Eachway (odds) Trifecta – 5/2,13,17,18/Field & 5/Field/2,13,17,18

RACE 12 (1,3,10,7) Picking this is a lead-trail with JIMMY CANNON crossing to lead and TAXMAN trailing. They’ll run along a bit and the favourite should get every show up the lane. DAN FERNANDO was adequate in trial here last week but may step up here, has done raceday of course before. TANGO TARA going well, fit for two excellent runs back and a deserved second favourite in the race. JIMMY CANNON the bolters odds chance at $51.00.

SUGGESTED BET: Trifecta – 1,3,10/1,3,10/Field & 1,3,10/Field/1,3,10




Whittaker wins at Big M

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Former smart Mark Jones-trained pacer Whittaker notched his fifth USA win of the year with a 1:52.1 (ftfth) win at the Meadowlands, New Jersey, on Sunday afternoon (NZ time).

Whittaker, the former Mark Jones-trained pacer, who scored his fifth USA win of the year on Sunday.

Whittaker (6h Sportswriter-Anarchy, by Holmes Hanover-Honey Trap, by OK Bye-Precious Dina) was eased to fouth early from the ace barrier by top USA driver Tim Tetrick, but was out and running to the top at the three-quarters mark.

He held in the home stretch by a length and three quarters to take out the $9000 pace for non-winners of $3500 in their last five starts.

Whittaker, who lowered his lifetime best to 1:50 even at the Meadowlands earlier this year, has added over $US58,000 to his lifetime earnings in 2019.

Racing these days for the Paul Blumenfield stable, Whittaker was recording his 15th career win from 60 starts, taking his international earnings to just over $167,000.

He initially won four of only 12 NZ starts, then added a further six wins on Australian soil for former Queensland owner Greg Brodie, including success in the Group Three 2108 Paleface Adios Stakes at Menangle.

The following week he ran fourth to Jilliby Kung Fu, Let It Ride and Atomic Red, in the Group One $200,000 Chariots Of Fire, won in 1:48.8.

Whittaker’s final Menangle win was his fastest Australian win, pacing 1:52.9 in June, 2018.

Big week ahead for the Elite Racing team

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Mark and Benny will line up 15 runners between Friday and Tuesday, with more to come later in the week at Ashburton and Addington on Show Day.

Benny Hill


RACE 3 MRS WASHINGTON (4, fr. 2000m mob) Ricky May -“She’s got a nice owner, a great guy would like to win one for him. An eachway chance here, didn’t really cop the track at Methven.” (Benny)

RACE 4 SIOUX PRINCESS (9, UR 1, 2600m stand) Sam Ottley -“It’s up to her, if she feels like giving it her best crack than anything is possible. Hard to read her at times but on ability always a chance given her place in the ratings.” (Mark).

RACE 6 RANGER BOMB (1, fr. 2000m mob) Sam Ottley -“Nice to get a good draw with him. Much better after two runs in this campaign and he looks a winning chance in that field.” (Mark).

RACE 8 JAMIES BAD BOY (9, 15m, 2600m stand) Sam Ottley -“Can’t fault his form, won his last two and should have won the start before that. Tougher here though and the 15m and class rise may find him out.” (Mark).

RACE 9 DONEGAL GILBERT (7, FR. 2600m mob) Korbyn Newman -“Really pleased with him at Methven, he went alright on the grass. He’ll be doing his best, always does and has a chance – a tricky draw.” (Benny).

RACE 10 BEAUDIENE OVERTAKE (9, fr. 2000m mob) Korbyn Newman -“Needed the run at Methven. Not a nice draw this week and work to do, but an eachway chance if things went his way.” (Benny).

RACE 11 NIRVANA BEACH (2, fr. 2000m mob) Ricky May -“Disappointed at Ashburton. He’s better than that. I’ve changed his training around a lot since then and he should jump out and lead and roll along there. Expect something better.” (Benny).


RACE 5 SILENT MAJOR (6, fr, 2400m mob) Ricky May -“Mark drove him in the Sires Stakes heat and that was bit hot for him but he did clock 1:56 something. Pleased with his work since and Ricky might be able to drive him with some confidence back to a maiden.” (Benny).

RACE 6 STYLISH MEMPHIS (7, fr. 1609m mob) Ricky May -“Ricky seemed real happy with her trial and I’ve been pleased with her since then. Worked along good earlier in the week and we head south hoping for a positive result.” (Mark).


Winning combination, Sam Ottley and Overport Lodge trainer, Mark Jones.

RACE 2 DENY EVERYTHING (3, fr. 1980m mob) Sam Ottley -“Very nice trial Wednesday and pleased with him in his two starts so far. We get a good draw and every chance but as we know never easy to win Cup day.” (Mark).

RACE 5 DOUBLE O HEAVEN (7, fr. 2600m mob) Ricky May – SMOKE N REACTOR (13) Sam Ottley -“Double O Heaven went great for third last start. She has a wide draw but no gate speed so it won’t matter so much. The 2600m I think suits her and if they run it to suit she’ll be getting home really good.” (Benny). Smoke N Reactor was just alright I thought on Wednesday at the trials. She is a good follower of speed, and will need to be.” (Mark).

RACE 7 SKIPPYS DELIGHT (15, fr. 1980m mob) Ricky May -“Well, we’re 15 out of 15 and a tough road but both myself and Ricky were really thrilled with him at the Cup trials. He’d not been right the start before and we treated him and he seems much better. It might work for us, you can’t go in saying you can’t be in it (the finish).” (Benny).

RACE 9 BURNHAM BOY (8, fr. 1980m mob) Ricky May – WILLISON (10) Sam Ottley -“Both horses have tricky draws, perhaps needed something better for them over 1980m. Relying on some luck with both. They’re talented, that’s one thing.” (Mark).

RACE 10 OUR UNCLE SAM (4. fr. 3200m stand) Mark Jones (outside drive for Chris Frisby) -“Great to get another Cup drive and for some good people too. Chris is a really good trainer and the horse will be fit and ready. We know he’s up to most of these on best form. Need to step him away and we’ll be in he race.”