Smart placement leads to success

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Astute placement and good use of the ratings system are to thank for a golden fortnight for Mark Jones Racing mare, Kowhai Shadow.

The daughter of Shadow Play, who is raced by loyal stable clients, John and Jill Hartnell grabbed her third victory in as many starts for this campaign at Timaru on Sunday, capping off a great two weeks on the track.

And while a lot of the success can be put down to the fact that Kowhai Shadow has fallen into the right grade, for trainer Mark, it’s also a realisation of the ability he’s always had in the mare.

“She’s always shown us a little bit of ability, but she’s the perfect example of getting beaten a few times and playing the points system,” he said.

“She’s won three races in under two weeks in the exact same grade each time, so she’s pretty well placed in the ratings.”

A smiling Sam Ottley returns after Kowhai Shadow’s win on Sunday at Timaru. Photo: Race Images

The hat-trick of wins have now come at a price though with the Rating 37 tag she held when she returned from a short let up back on May 17 now looking slightly more difficult at Rating 56 after Sunday’s success.

And that may mean that Jones and the Hartnell’s might have look toward the market.

“We may look to sell her now, but she could also carry-on racing with the new Winter Series Final in mind, we’ll just have to see.”

Jones was full of admiration for the Hartnell’s and said seeing them get success was really rewarding. And he’s hopeful of more exciting times in the future with Kowhai Monarch set to return to the track after returning from Australia and also Kowhai Sunset later in the season.

“John and Jill are fantastic owners and just really enjoy racing their horses. We’re going to send Kowhai Monarch down south for a month as there are easier options for him down there, but I am really looking forward to seeing what Kohwai Sunset can do later in the season as well.”

Kowhai Shadow has now won five of her 42 career starts for more than $42,000 in stakes.

Grant and Kathy Hatton celebrate Artatac’s win in the Winter Cup on Sunday. Photo: Race Images.

She wasn’t the only winner on the board for the stable on the weekend either with Mr Consistent, Artatac capping off a busy weekend with success in the Timaru Winter Cup.

In similar circumstances to Kowhai Shadow, he found his way to the front under the guiding of Sam Ottley and never looked back winning the ninth race of his career on the quick back up from Addington on Friday night where he finished third.

“He’s been a great horse for Grant and Kathy (Hatton) – they love him, but they’re also realistic of the type of horse he is,” Mark said.

“He earns nothing by sitting in the box at home, so I just race him and he’s a real little eftpos card having earned over $85,000.

“You actually forget that he’s only a four-year-old, but we’ve placed him well in his career and he always gives his all when he steps out onto the track.”

Jones said that Artatac would join Kowhai Monarch on a southern sojourn for a month in an effort to get away from the 1980m mobile races that are on offer at Addington over the next month.

A penalty free race has been found and will become the main initial target.

Sunday’s winning double capped a good month for the barn with eight winners in the space of four weeks including Monaco Grace’s victory in the $40,000 Magnifique at Alexandra Park.

Mark was also over the moon with the performance of Hot To Trot in the Group One Northern Derby on Friday night where he finished third behind Highgrove and Double Delight after getting buried away on the markers.

“To get a placing in a Group One race like that this early on was a huge bonus.

 “We were rapt with his run.”

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