Mark lands Forbury double

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Overport Lodge trainer Mark Jones made the trek to Forbury worthwhile, chalking up his first two wins of the new term with maidens, Watch The Dream and Eastburn Mara, on Thursday, August 28.

Watch The Dream, a newcomer to the stable after showing trials promise but finishing unplaced in two juvenile starts for Spreydon Lodge trainer Steve McRae, lived up to her breeding with a gritty effort in the Washington VC Fillies & Mares Mobile Pace.

Mark, former world champion driver, who was scored a winning double at Forbury.

Mark, former world champion driver, who was scored a winning double at Forbury.

The 3YO daughter of Bettor’s Delight and Dreamy Atom (Soky’s Atom-Lumber Lie) had to be good to overcome the eight gate over 1700m.

She had no favours in running, moving up parked, and finding enough under Mark’s persuasion to hold Paula’s On Fire (inner) and favourite C C Chevron (outer) in a three-way finish.

Watch The Dream rated 2:00.3 for the sprint trip, the leaders running their last 800m in 59.6s and final 400m in 29.2s.

A $46,000 NZ Premier Yearling Sales buy, Watch The Dream is now raced by West Melton’s John and Gay Tate, along with Winton’s Stuart and Pauline Gillan.

She was solid in to lead-up Motukarara workouts before Thursday’s win and is bred to develop further.

Watch The Dream is a half-sister by leading sire Bettor’s Delight to former top NZ 2 & 3YO Pacing Filly of the Year in Western Dream (p3, 1:56.5, 13 wins & $333,937), who won the 2006 New Zealand Oaks and Nevele R Fillies Final for Ardmore trainer Tony Herlihy.

Western Dream left 2011 PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales 2YO Pace winner Western Cullen (p3, 1:55.6), who after gaining his big 2YO win for Mark Purdon and Grant Payne, extended his career in West Australia, taking his record to 19 wins from 62 starts for $447,536.

Watch The Dream’s dam Dreamy Atom won six including the 1994 G2 Sweetheart Stakes (latterly a Nevele R Stud Stakes & formerly the Leonard Memorial) at the annual Cheviot meeting for Invercargill co-owner and trainer Allan Devery.

Western Dream emulated her dam by also winning the race when trained by co-owner Devery, before joining the Herlihy stable.

Dreamy Atom’s half-sister, Happy Golucky, also added to the family history by winning the 1999 Nevele R Stud Stakes, while at stud she’s left Taiaha (1:55.8, 13 Aust. wins) and the other sub 2:00 winners in (True) Mana (1:59.8, three Aust wins), Marhabah (1:59) and Lucky Getaway (1:59.4).

Besides leaving Western Dream and Watch The Dream, Dreamy Atom has left other smart types in Dream Royale (1:53.6, US, 15 Australasian wins, seven USA wins, now the dam of fast Australian 3YO Soho Lennon (1:53.3, eight wins from 22 starts); Happy Dreamer (p3, 1:57h, eight USA wins); Presidential Dream (1:53.2, US, two NZ wins, two USA wins), and minor NSW winner Exotic Stride.

Another useful Southland filly further back in the family was Blurtoscar, who ran second to favourite Ruling Lobell in the 1977 New Zealand Oaks at Addington.

A half-brother to Dreamy Atom in Costalot (by Holmes Hanover) won eight in NZ for $86,423 and won in 1:54.6f in North America.

Costalot’s unraced sister Electrify is the dam of Australasian Breeders Crown 4YO colt/geldings finalist Lochinver (1:54.1, 15 wins & $A110,070), and also the dam of Shimmering Star, the lightly-raced dam of three win Overport Lodge pacer Zakspatrol (1:59.2 mile rate, 1950m).


Eastburn Mara, entered late by Mark to help out the Forbury Club, came up trumps fresh after leading out, then landing a perfect trail for Mark, in the General Tyres Mobile Pace.

The 4YO Lis Mara gelding rallied best along the inner for a head win over Beaudiene Gambler (Blair Orange) in a moderate 3:31.8 for the mobile 2700m (2:06.2 mile rate), the leaders last 800m in 59.2s.

Raced by East Takaka (Nelson) breeder “Skeet” Barnett, Eastburn Mara become a winner at his 11th start, having picked up three placings last term.

He is the third winner from as many to race from his Badlands Hanover dam Eastburn Gee, a six-win daughter of another six-win mare in Biddy BB (1:59), who also left good winners in Handoverbid (six), Straven (five, 1:54.4, US) and Be Artful (three NZ wins, 1:56.5, Aust).

Earlier winners from Eastburn Gee are the minor winners Lively Eastburn (also from the Jones stable) and Beacon Hill.

Eastburn Gee’s grand-dam Madam Gee (by Johnny Gee) was the unraced dam of Mr Barnett’s 1997 Rowe Cup winning squaregaiter Eastburn Grant (13 wins, runnerup to Call Me Now in the 1995 Dominion & $212,995), and speedy pacing mare Lady Eastburn (1:55.8, US).

The family featured top trotters in past generations.

Fifth dam Alight won the 1957 NZ Trotting Stakes, while sixth dam Flame ran second in the 1946 NZ Trotting Stakes and left the 1964 Dominion Handicap winner Flaming Way (12 win) and Highland Flame, whose only win was in the 1954 NZ Trotting Stakes.