Three-Year-old fillies qualify

J Scott Former News, Latest News





Courage Talks and Honey Delight, 3YO filly stablemates who qualified at Motukarara on Wednesday, October 28, were scheduled to debut at Forbury Park on Saturday week (November 6).

“They both go quite good. Hopefully they can keep up,” said trainer Mark Jones, who prepares the pair for Queensland owner Greg Brodie.

The Burnham trainer took a day off off from driving on Wednesday, but observed intently from the sidelines.

Courage Talks, a 3YO filly sister to the capable 2 win pacer Talk About Courage _ racetimed in 1:57.1 mile when second to Empyrean at Ashburton last Monday _ led form gate six for stable junior driver Regan Todd and scored by two lengths in her mobile 2200m heat in a useful 2:52.9.

The daughter of Courage Under Fire ran her last 800m in 59.7s and quickened over her final 400m in 28.4s.

Courage Talks is from a good Safely Kept mare in Talk Safely (1:58.1), who qualified in NZ then raced in Australia, winning seven and and picking up 12 placings in 40 starts.

She held from the David Pearce-trained El Zhar, a 4YO Elsu gelding and the second foal from former capable racemare Marnie McGuire (1:56.2, six wins).

Stablemate Honey Delight (3f Bettor’s Delight-Honey Franco) finished stoutly late along the markers for third in a quicker 2:48.2 in the days’ fastest mobile qualifying heat.

Victory went to the richly-bred Franco Torres, a 3YO colt by Christian Cullen from former cup class mare There’s A Franco (1:57.7 mile rate, 2000m, 13 wins), who finished sharply from the trail for Craig Thornley to score by 2 3/4 lengths.

Franco Torres, co-owned by Spreydon Lodge Ltd with major Australian owner Peter Chambers and trained by Steve McRae, ran the mobile 2200m in a smart 2:47.4.

Cup class pacer Bondy only went 0.3 of a second quicker to win the fast class mobile heat on the day, although his final sections were considerably quicker.

In the qualifier, El Salvador set a strong overall clip to the home turn with the leaders timed over their last 800m in 61.8s and final 400m in 29.6s.

Al Bazza (3g Big Tom-Belique), trained by Jimmy Curtin, ran on solidly for second, going 2:48.

Third-placed Honey Delight has immense breeding value being from a qualified Holmes Hanover sister to Greg Brodie’s former NSW Derby and Chariots Of Fire-winning pacer Franco Hat Trick (1:52, US), and also to another former top pacer Franco Heir, winner of a NZ Sires’ Stakes 3YO Final and a NSW Derby.

Jellignite was given the all-clear by Mark to contest the maiden graduation series, which starts at Rangiora next Thursday and concludes with a $15,000 final at Addington on Show day, after trialling at Motukarara.

The 3YO Courage Under Fire gelding gained a penalty-free 2YO win at Invercargill in May, beating Southwind Arden, for owner, Pat Campbell.

Jellignite, who finished fast to win at the Addington workouts a week ago, was slow to begin form the stand at Motukarara, but recovered to track up the Mark Purdon/Grant Payne-trained Arden Tetrick.

He unwound strongly late for Regan to run Arden Tetrick (James Hornbrook) to half a head at the end of the 2200m in 2:51.8, the leaders running their last 800m in 59.5s and final 400m in 29.6s.


Sarkozy (3g McArdle-Oh So Precious), set to debut next week, qualified as a 2YO at Ashburton in April, pacing a 2:01.3 mile when fourth to Matt Maguire, The Liberator and Mabrook.

He resumed with a solid front-running 2600m (stand) workout win over Sentebale at Motukarara in 3:36.9, running his last 800m in 60.8s and final 400m in 29.4s, on October 16.

By Jeff Scott