A dazzling display in yesterday’s Marlborough Cup at Waterlea Raceway hasn’t persuaded Mark Jones to take his pacing star Saveapatrol to Australia for a shot at the Chariots Of Fire.
“If we had had have won the Pelorus on the first day and gained automatic, we would have had a crack, but we are not going over there to race around like a headless chock to try and get a start,” said Jones. “We will let the all others go to war over there, while we pick up all the leftovers back home,” he added.
The start of those leftovers Jones refers to is the Group 3 $40,000 Invercargill Cup, a race that Jones won back in 2012 with Ohoka Texas.
“The Northern Southland Cup is a bit close and Terror To Love will be there anyway, so we will bypass that and focus in on the Invercargill Cup.”
The $18,000 Marlborough Cup saw a brilliant two horse war unfold between Saveapatrol and Donegal’s Guest, who was previously unbeaten on the circuit, but in the end it was the imposing son of Christian Cullen that proved too powerful.
“He just jogged it and still had plenty of gas left in the tank said Blair Orange, who is yet to be beaten aboard the classy four-year-old.
It was the second time that Mark Jones and owner Grant Hatton have combined to win the Marlborough Cup, having previously taken it out with My Man Dan in 2010.
“He was a nice horse, but I think this fella will take us a fair bit further,” enthused Hatton.
Saveapatrol stopped the clock at 4-05.4 for the 3200 metre journey. His last 800 metres was recorded in a slick 56.5.
Meanwhile, Jones has also qualified Goodness Gracious Me for the Nevele R Fillies Final, after finishing a narrow second to the Robert Dunn trained Murphy Brown.
By Mitchell Robertson