The bid for the New Zealand Trotting Cup next month is over for class Mark Jones Racing mare, Stylish Memphis.
The winner of close to $500,000 in stake earnings was officially withdrawn from the Cup this week by Jones but he insists the decision not to be there on the second Tuesday in November is more about maintaining the longevity of the daughter of Bettor’s Delight as a race mare than it is anything else.
After battling a number of wee issues over the past few weeks, Jones and owner Wayne Higgs made the decision to take the Cup of the radar and freshen the mare up with a view to seeing her head back to Australia in the New Year to chase riches over there.
“There’s a race for her this week, but we’ve been forced to miss it with a few minor issues,” Mark said.
“We sort of came to the decision that there wasn’t much point in racing a mare in the Cup. Even finishing top three was going to be a pretty big ask for her.”
Jones said it was possible the four-year-old mare could race in New Zealand later in the year, but post that she’d head back to Australia and into the care of Jack Trainor who trained her on her last campaign.
That trip saw her win the Ladyship Mile at Menangle and finish sixth in the Miracle Mile.
It’ll be the third campaign for the mare in Australia with her first under the care of champion trainer Mark Purdon.
She’s had 10 starts on Australian soil for five wins and close to $450,000 in earnings – so the decision to head back seems a logical one from all involved.
“She’ll go to the Ladyship Mile again and then onto the Queen of the Pacific for Jack, over there she can make a lot of money, so it only makes sense for her to head back there.”
Stylish Memphis wasn’t the only withdrawal from the Cup for Mark Jones Racing with Plutonium Lady also taken out of the race this week by Jones.
“She wasn’t going to make the field, so I’ve taken her out, but she’ll keep racing and we’ll head towards the Mares race on Show Day instead with her.”
The well-bred four-year-old mare will line up at Thursday’s Wairio meeting with young Carter Dalgety getting the nod to drive her and make use of his junior concession.
She’s one of three chances at the meeting for the stable with Monaco Grace taking her place in the $12,000 Ladyship Final after a solid first up effort for second while Kowhai Shadow gets another chance to get a win on the board in a wide open filles and mares event early on in the programme.