Day At The Track

Blake Jones to star at Wagga

07:58 PM 26 Mar 2018 NZDT
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Blake Jones, harness racing
Coleambally reinsman Blake Jones has some strong chances among his nine drives at Wagga on Tuesday night.

Coleambally reinsman Blake Jones hopes a late pick up drive can add to a big night at Wagga on Tuesday. The leading Riverina driver has nine drives on Wagga’s bumper 10-race card. Harness Racing NSW has him on five favourites but Jones says he will be happy to come away with a couple of wins.

“At the moment, I’d be happy with one,” Jones said with a laugh.

“I thought I could get one but then I picked up the drive on Heart Of Cooper and it’s not a bad chance either.

“A couple would be nice.”

Temora’s Steve Pike bred and owns promising two-year-old Heart Of Cooper, who finished second behind Major Roll in the $40,000 MIA Breeders Plate at Leeton in January.

The son of Sportswriter has three starts to his name for three minor placings. He has drawn the outside of the front row for the Wayne Milgate Videos 2YO Pace (1755m), the last race at Wagga on Tuesday night.

“He’s a pretty nice horse,” Jones said.

“He was meant to go to Bathurst but there was a mix up and it might be a blessing because this looks a winnable race and then he can pick up his bonus.

“He ran second to Major Roll in the heat and final of the Plate, and then went to Young and ran third behind a couple of not bad ones. Both of them went to Bathurst and went well so it’s not bad form.”

Jones does not plan to send Heart Of Cooper spearing out of the gate.

“I’d say I’ll let him settle and see what happens,” he said.

“Darren Hancock’s horse (Hellofalass) has had one trial at Menangle and didn’t go overly well but it’s hard to measure up. Wayne Sullivan’s horses (Cee Cee Ambro) are always well educated and have a bit of speed so I’d say he will end up leading.”

Jones rates his best chance as the Ellen Bartley-trained Prince Potter in the Ron Crouch Transport 3YO Pace (2165m).

“He trialled at Wagga last week and went pretty good,” he said.

“He’s a little bit one-paced but if he can get to the front then he should roll along and take a fair bit of catching.

“I thought that was my best of the night originally.”

For every winner Jones drives in March, he raises about $750 for mental health charity Good Talk. His five winners already have raised more than $3000.

He hopes he can add to that tally before the end of the month, at Wagga on Tuesday night and potentially West Wyalong and Bathurst on Saturday.

Matt Malone

Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

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