Mark wins 2nd Yearling Sales race

J Scott Former News, Latest News




Former world champion driver Mark Jones notched the second biggest win of his driving career with Classiesistar in the $225,000 PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales 3YO Open Pace at Auckland on New Year’s eve, 2012.

He had no hestitation putting Classiesistar up with the best he’d driven after he cleared out to win Monday’s 3YO feature by a big margin.

Mark’s biggest win came in an earlier PGG Wrightson Yearlng Sales Open Pace, a 2YO version 4 1/2 years earlier with the Doug Gale-trained Five Star Anvil when the stake was a whopping $292,498.

He siezed the opportunity with the Nigel McGrath-trained Classiesistar, leaving nothing to chance from the ace draw in the big listed 3YO sales series pace.

Classiesistar Attacked out of the gate by Mighty Flying Mac, Mark let the Cran Dalgety-trained rival take up the early running, but was soon out and attacking himself, taking control beginning the last 1600m.

Mark let the Christian Cullen-Lilsistar colt roll turning for home and he gapped his opposition, winning as he liked by 6 1/4 lengths from Cyamach, three back on the markers mostly, in a 1:58.9 rate for the mobile 2200m.

Classiesistar, raced by Melbourne owner John Wolfe, who earlier raced smart colt Classic Line from the McGrath stable, looked capable of capturing a big 3YO race.

He had been unbeaten in four starts leading into November’s NRM Sires Stakes Final, including a huge Sires Heat win at Addington after burning early from an outside gate and lasting to hold subsequent Final winner Franco Nelson.

However, he was luckless from the inside of the second row in the $165,600 Sires Final, running on late for seventh.

While he hadn’t been as tractable racing right-handed in two lead-ups, Nigel McGrath made the necessary gear adjustments to have him on song for the big race.

Meanwhile, at Rangiora, Alex, who Mark trains for Gold Coast owner Greg Brodie, added icing to a memorable day, getting home with a well-timed finish for driver Regan Todd for a Harness plus-victory in the $7420 Farewell to 2012 – Welcome to 2013 Mobile Pace.

Alex, a 4YO younger brother to (Glenferrie) Alexis, furthered his consistent formline, spearing through to win by a head from Magna, in a 1:59.8 rate for the mobile 2000m.  

The win was the 4th in 25 starts for Alex, who has also picked up nine minor placings, for $26,054 in stakes.