Shezoneoftheboyz quickly reinbursed owner Peter Chambers for his faith as she dominated the early NZ 3YO trot scene through March-April of 2010.
After learning she could be purchased for a substantial sum after winning her debut for West Melton trainer Neil Munro, with Mark at the helm, the wheels were set in motion.
Mr Chambers, a Jakarta-based businessman of Australian origin, had previously secured speedy pacing filly Alexis out of the Mark Jones Racing Stables.
He was in the market for another potential classic-winning filly when Shezoneoftheboyz came along.
Mark’s former manager Stu Bailey, who in 2009 through Victorian trainer Craig Demmler, had recommended the sale of Alexis to Mr Chambers, encouraged Demmler to return to trial Shezoneoftheboyz.
Craig Demmler was suitably impressed with the filly. He recommended Mr Chambers buy her, and leave her with Mark as there were more age group opportunities in NZ.
A daughter of Brylin Boyz and Hands And Heels (Jaguar Spur-Odette Celine, by Plat du Jour-Mary Miller), Shezoneoftheboyz is a half-sister to former Northern Trotting Derby winner King Charlie (11 trot wins).
Shezoneoftheboyz was untroubled to win first-up at Addington for Mark, then beat the boys for the first time in the Group 3 Hambletonian Classic at Ashburton in early February.
The fleet-footed filly then became the 2nd Derby winner for her dam and credited mark with his first Group One training win when she repeated in the $80,000 NZ Trotting Derby at Addington on March 26.
Patiently driven three back on the markers, she sprinted best with an inside opening to score in the NZ record time for a 3YO trotting filly for the mobile 2600m of 3:17.7.
This obliterated the previous fillies mark set by Shirley Temple when taking out the 2007 NZ Trotting Derby and was only 0.3 of a second outside the best by a boy _ Ima Gold Digger’s 3:17.4 set in the 2009 NZ Trotting Derby.
Unfortunately, Shezoneoftheboyz broke and lost her chance when attempting to win the NZ Trotting Oaks, and went through a mixed period for her next few starts.
She was disqualified from a good 2nd to Kahdon in the Group Two $64,400 Hutton Racing Stables Sires Stakes Trotters Championship at Auckland on April 30, then broke at her next two starts, and was spelled for three months from the beginning of June.
Shezoneoftheboyz (Career record: 9 starts, 5 wins, 0 placings, $76,624)
TOP 4YO PACING MARES
Crystal Star and Telemecanique have continued their rise as two of NZ’s better 4YO pacing mares this term for Burnham trainer Mark Jones.
The stablemates both showed their class in NZ’s top open mares’ races, chasing home upset winner Tact Lizzie in the Group One $80,000 PGG Wrightson NZ Breeders Stakes at Addington on February 12.
As Tact Lizzie kept going to post a NZ mares’ record 3:09.4 (1:57.2 mile rate for the mobile 2600m), the Mark Jones-trained mares both finished well from the rear beginning the final lap to fill the minor placings.
Crystal Star was also inside Mainland Banner’s former NZ mares’ record with her 3:09.6 for second (by 0.1 of a second).
The stablemates also backed up well in the Group Two $40,000 Caduceus Club Of Canterbury Premier Mares Championship at Addington six nights later.
Top Southland 4YO mare Beaudiene Bad Babe turned round an off night in the Breeders to win the Premier Mares Championship from Trigirl Brigade, with Crystal Star 3rd and Telemecanique 4th.
Crystal Star, a genuine daughter of Badlands Hanover, raced by Oxford owner “Jim” McDonald, had preceeded her mares’ races placings by defeating NZ Derby winner Sleepy Tripp in the $30,000 Forbury 4YO Championship on February 5, pacing the 2700m (stand) in 3:25.6 (2:02.5 mile rate).
She again showed her class with another feature win in the $25,000 ICE Bloodstock Canterbury Regional Country Cups Championship at Addington on April 3, pacing the 2600m stand in 3:16 (2:01.2 mile rate), with stablemate Lethal Rocket having no clear run in the straight, finishing 6th.
Her rise this season has come as no real surprise, following her good form near the end of her 3YO filly season.
She ran 5th in Lauraella’s NZ Oaks, then ran a gallant 3rd in the 2009 $200,000 Harness Jewels 3YO fillies Diamond at Ashburton, being racetimed in 1:54.6 for the mile, behind winner Joyfuljoy (1:54.4) and Imagine Me, with Beaudiene Bad Babe 4th.
Crystal Star was a luckless 7th from the inside of the back row in the $200,000 Harness Jewels 4YO Diamond at Cambridge on June 5, failing to work clear until the race was virtually over.
Crystal Star (Career record: 40 starts, 11 wins, 7 placings, $148,406)
Telemecanique, beaten a nose by Beaudiene Bad Babe in a 1:58.9 mile in her 2YO filly debut for Mark Jones at Winton in March 2008, has been a big improver this season.
After two 2nds and a 6th from only 3 starts at two, the daughter of Falcon Seelster was given a year off racing.
She returned under the guidance of Woodend Beach trainers David and Catherine Butt, quickly putting 5 wins together in the autumn-winter of her 3YO racing, before returning to Mark Jones this season.
Telemecanique has contined her rise through to the top for owner Dave Neal, adding another 6 wins during her 4YO racing.
Her wins included mile features at Ashburton in October (2:00.4 on a rain-affected track) and a 1:57.6 win at Winton in December, getting home by a head for catch-driver Anthony Butt over Beaudiene Bad Babe.
After her good placings in the two Addington mares features in February, she defeated subsequent Invercargill Cup winner Vi Et Animo in the $17,563 Caduceus Club Of Southland 4YO Stakes at Gore on March 14, with a sharp final 400m in 26.7s.
She again showed her maturity holding out Harley Earl to win in 3:10.9 (mobile 2600m) in a 5-7 win pace at Addington on April 3 _ the same night Crystal Star won the Country Cups Championship.
Telemecanique shaped well in her final Harness Jewels lead-up at Cambridge on May 27 when a fast-finishing 2nd to Beaudiene Bad Babe, but was beaten by the outside front row draw in the $200,000 Harness Jewels 4YO Diamond.
Telemecanique (Career record: 30 starts, 11 wins, 7 placings, $102,839)
MY MAN DAN
My Man Dan was virtually unbeatable in country cups mid-season after teaming up with Mark Jones last December _ winning 5 of his first 6 starts for the stable.
The Pacific Rocket gelding was purchased out of Kevin Fairbairn’s Doyleston team last December by Grant Hatton as a Christmas present for his wife Katherine, and daughters, Gina, Kate and Emma.
Mark had him primed for a bold debut from his stable at the Timaru meeting at Addington on December 17, coming clear over his last 800m in 56.1s to win by 3 3/4 lengths.
After being beaten into 3rd in the Islington Tavern Reefton Cup, My Man Dan’s good manners from a stand and toughness helped him strike a purple patch of form, going unbeaten in four starts through January-February.
He was untroubled to win both days at Marlborough, running his last 800m in 55.1s to win the Royal Hotel Cup Prelude on the first day.
The improving 4YO then repeated in the $25,000 Woodstock Marlborough Cup, running the 3200m in 4:05.9.
My Man Dan then set a track record on the grass in the Mornington Tavern Waikouaiti Cup, coming off 10m to beat Centreofattention by 3 1/2 lengths in a strong 4:08.8 (3200m stand).
He carried his form into the $22,134 Wilson’s Sports Bar and TAB Hororata Cup at Addington, delivering again as favourite when catch-driven by Regan Todd for a 1 1/4 lengths over stablemate Lethal Rocket (Mark Jones).
My Man Dan wasn’t at his best for the Invercargill Cup a month later, but his hot summer run earned him a place in the Harness Jewels 4YO Emerald in June. He had his preparation affected by stone bruises and wasn’t a factor from the back row, but was still racetimed in a useful 1:55.4 finishing unplaced.
My Man Dan (Career record: 36 starts, 9 wins, 6 placings, $100,691)
Mark Jones was up for an early challenge to his training career when the enigmatic Unique Star arrived at the Mark Jones Racing Stables.
He had been tried by three previous trainers _ winning second-up as a pacer for David and Catherine Butt _ then adding another two wins trotting for Ellesmere trainer John Versteeg.
“I wasn’t getting on that well with him at the start, so I asked John what he did with him,” Mark said.
“After talking to him, I galloped Unique Star on a lead and jogged him behind a wire mesh set-up on the back of a truck, to settle him down.”
Less than a year later, Unique Star made the big leap to the elite level of squaregaiters for Mark, and the horse’s Ashburton breeder-owners, Peter and Beryl Boag.
Unique Star, at his first start in the big time, ran a meritorous 4th in Springbank Richard’s 2009 Dominion Handicap at Addington on Show day.
He qualified for the Dominion after coming off 30m behind to win the opening trot on NZ Cup day _ the 3-6 wins $20,000 Searells Chartered Accountants Trot over 3200m, going 4:08.2.
Unique Star completed a strong NZ Cup meeting by beating the South Canterbury stablemates, Stylish Monarch and Domination, in the 4-wins and faster Aussie Browne’s Unichem Pharmacies Trot on the final night of the NZ Cup meeting.
While he still remains hit or miss early from standing starts, Unique Star is equal to most of NZ’s best squaregaiters once under way.
“He probably won’t ever win a big race, because his manners let him down from a stand, but he’s done a good job,” Mark said.
The Sundon gelding has won 8 and been 8 times placing since teaming up with Mark in December 2008.
Unique Star (Career record: 65 starts, 11 wins, 10 placings, $99,473)