THE BUS & MILLWOOD TILLY WIN, MISTER FINNIGAN THIRD
The Bus, the latest $100,000 earner for the Mark Jones stable, capitalised on a drop-back from Menangle racing to win again in a $6360 C6 and faster pace at Newcastle on Saturday, February 23.
A hot $1.33 favourite from the four gate, The Bus led up for driver Guy Chappie and came clear to win by 9.3 metres in a 1:58.5 rate for the 2030m, quickening over his last 800m in 55.8s and his last 400m in 28.3s.
This was the 12th win in 41 career starts for The Bus, the 4YO half-brother by Art Major to former Auckland Cup place-getter Saveapatrol.
The Bus was notching his fifth win in eight Australian starts this season for owner Grant Hatton, taking his lifetime earnings to $A105,168.
Millwood Tilly, a two-year-old filly by triple NZ Cup winner Terror To Love, led throughout on debut in the hands of trainer Mark Jones in the $6120 HRNSW Guaranteed Two-Year-Old Pace.
A $1.55 favourite on the strength of a 1:57 qualifying run at Ashburton last month, Millwood Tilly held by 6.2 metres at Newcastle in a 2:00.8 rate, pacing her last 800m in 57.2s and her final 400m in 28.3s.
Millwood Tilly is the first foal from eight-win mare Albuqerque (1:58.1), a sister to $600,000-plus winner, Alberto Contador (1:49.8), a winner of 44 combined races in NZ, Australia, and North America.
Mister Finnigan, a first-up second at Newcastle a week earlier, had to settle for third from the outside six gate in Saturday night’s $6120 Like Us On Facebook Two-Year-Old Pace.
He made his task harder by galloping early, but recovered into a one-one sit, before chasing home Mr Feelgood filly Toanui Spirit, and runner-up Hasler.
Mister Finnigan has subsequently been placed out of the draw by stewards for his future mobile start racing.
Meanwhile, debut Newcastle two-year-old filly winner Lulu Le Mans chases her second win at the Monday meeting at the same venue.
The daughter of Bettor’s Delight and Elusive Chick has drawn the ace in a $6360 pace with main dangers, Chezmac and My Ultimate Romeo, drawn in barrier seven and eight.
Former Overport Lodge pacer, Si Si Senor, a last-start NZ winner, makes his Australian debut for the Michael Formosa stable in the eighth at Newcastle.
The Courage Under Fire-Zoe Maguire gelding was sold by his former NZ owners to clients of the Formosa stable after winning at Wyndham on January 6, his third win from 18 NZ starts for the Mark Jones stable.