Stylish Memphis building fitness

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Classy Mark Jones Racing mare, Stylish Memphis is nearing in on a public return to the races – but don’t expect her to stay on New Zealand shores for long.

In fact, the mare’s trainer, Mark Jones is wondering whether it’s actually worth bringing her up to fitness in New Zealand at all as he ponders the options for the $700,000 earner over the coming months.

And that will likely see her departing New Zealand and heading back to Jack Trainor at Menangle where there is a plethora of options available to her almost every week.

“She’s working up, but it’s a long and slow build up,” Mark said.

“Right now, I’m wondering whether it’s a waste of time racing her in New Zealand because there’s no consistent mares races available for her.

“And I refuse to use her to help fill up fields for the free-for-all horses each week.”

Australia has been a happy hunting ground for Stylish Memphis and her owner, Wayne Higgs. Initially when in the care of Mark Purdon and more recently under Trainor’s name.

She’s raced their on 16 occasions winning nine times and placing on a further four, picking up stake earnings of more than $560,000 in the process.

Compare that to her New Zealand record of 22 starts with six wins and 10 placings for $175,000 and you can understand why there is such a desire to get back over the Tasman.

But Jones does have a plan should he decide to race the mare in New Zealand.

“She’ll build towards the Free-For-Alls on Cup Week and then we’ll look to head up to the Queen of Hearts in Auckland. But then it’s definitely straight to Sydney as it’s quite clear to me that Harness Racing New Zealand don’t want mares like her and of her calibre racing in New Zealand.”

Stylish Memphis hasn’t been seen in public since she last raced in the inaugural The Race By Grins at Cambridge back in April. She was then in the care of Trainor, who brought her over from Australia, but she’s remained in the country to spell and get back into work.

Her last start for Jones’ was back in December of last year when she ran fourth in the Group One Queen of Hearts, beaten by Bettor Twist, Need You Now and The Honey Queen.

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