New horse shapes well

J Scott Former News, Latest News



Ardlussa Express, a recent addition to the Mark Jones stable after being purchased out of Southland by Melbourne owner Merv Butterworth, could be heading back there to debut in the black and white silks at Invercargill on Monday January 24.

The 4YO Falcon Seelster gelding had his first public outing for the stable at the Motukarara workouts on Saturday, January 15, impressing junior driver Regan Todd.

“He might go to Invercargill for a junior drivers race as its penalty-free,” Regan said.

Ardlussa Express settled at the back as free-going pacemaker Code Of Honour went clear by five lengths for much of the running.

Regan improved Ardlussa Express on the back of top mare Nearea Franco near the 400m and tracked her home down the straight, without pulling off her back. The pair had many lengths to make up in the run home but closed strongly.

Code Of Honour held by half a length to win the C1 and faster mobile pace in 2:50.1, the leaders running their last 800m in 58.5s and final 400m in 29.3s.

Ardlussa Express raced seven times for former Gore trainer Judy Dillon, for a win and three placings. He won over 2400m at Wyndham in November and last raced when second to Absolute Courage at Invercargill on December 2.


Regan Todd will be looking to advance a solid season with Ardlussa Express at the Invercargill meeting.

The regular driver of promising 3YO Jellignite has seven driving wins on the board already this season.



Former Mark Jones-trained pacer Ransom Olds has made a splash first-up in Victoria, winning his Bendigo debut on Saturday, January 15, for trainer Tony Peacock in a 1:54.9 mile rate for the 1650m.

The Artsplace-Adios Dream colt, sent out a warm $1.50 favourite in a $A7000 C1 pace, was caught three wide early over the open quarter in 27.6s, found the front and ran clear to win by 8.3 metres.

Ransom Olds ran his last 800m in 56.9s and his closing 400m in 28.5s.

He won two of 14 NZ starts and was sold after running seventh to Why Aye Man at Ashburton during NZ Cup week last November.


Ransom Olds was good enough to contest the 2YO $200,000 Harness Jewels at Cambridge last June, but only went round for appearance money after having a setback in the lead-up to the big juvenile pace.