Day At The Track

Lees play hand as Justice done

06:01 PM 27 Nov 2016 NZDT
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Lance Justice and Jackofdiamonds winning at Ascot park
Photo - Bruce Stewart

Harness racing trainers Gordon and Colin Lee have had a bit to do with Jackofdiamonds and two separate times they've trained him to win two of his races.

The son of Majestic Son, he's owned by Sam Moore who's trained him for most of his twenty two starts. Moore has certainly done the ground work, and the gelding was coming into form under his guidance with a fifth, third and a second, prior to his win today at Ascot Park. 

"We had him last year and he won a race for us at Forbury. I thought he'd improve by working in company at home. At Sam's place he's only got the one horse. He works with Moment Of Sun at home. He's not a top line trotter and he's not going to run around against those C5-C6 trotters but if we place him right he's going to be competitive," said Gordon after the win.

Driver Lance Justice settled Jackofdiamonds behind the early leader Karlie Montana. The lead changed several times. With a lap to run he was five back on the inside. At the 600 metre mark Justice managed to get him off the inside running line but he still had a wall of horses in front of him. At the 400 he was running fourth and improving on the outside. He trotted nicely down the middle of the sodden track to beat Spotlight The Valley by three quarters of a length. The winning time was 3-43.5 - a mile rate of 2-13.2. 

Jackofdiamonds returning to the birdcage                  Photo by Bruce Stewart

"Probably the track suited him as he doesn't have high speed. Lance was fairly impressed and said he didn't feel like he'd be hard to beat inside the 1000."

The Lees have had a long association with Justice, having sold horses to the Australian legend for thirty odd years, so it was a great result for all.

Jackofdiamonds is out of the Sundon mare Aceofdiamonds which has been a very good broodmare for Moore. The mare's first foal Maidofdiamonds won a race. Her second foal is Jackofdiamonds while her third foal Sky Commander won three races here for Australian owners Merv and Meg Butterworth. He is now with Kerryn Manning in Australia where he's won another eight races. He's also been place in a number for Group races and has now won $97,446.

Jackofdiamonds with winning connections in the birdcage              Photo Bruce Stewart

The mare's next foal Ace Commander qualified at Forbury Park last month and is now with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen at Rolleston. 

Earlier in the programme today, Justice drove the Edendale trained River Patrol to a much deserved win in Race Four. 

River Patrol winning easily for Lance Justice                                  Photo by Bruce Stewart

The six year old Live Or Die gelding is trained by Craig Laurenson and owned by Ian Bennett. It was the horse's third win.

Winning connections with Charlotte Mooney from Woodland Stud (left)  - Photo Bruce Stewart

Meanwhile Lance Justice from Australia led his Australian team to victory in today's American Ideal Trans Tasman Drivers Challenge.

The competition pits teams of reinsmen from Australia, the North Island and South Island against each other in five heats with an individual and teams title up for grabs. In the previous two years the North Island had been victorious but after a strong start by the South Island in thisyear's competition the Australians hit the front when they scored the trifecta in the second heat and were never headed. Justice led the way with a tally of 25 points to take the Individual Trophy.

He was ably backed up by John Caldow on 20 points with Lisa Miles and David Murphy adding a further ten points to amass a total of 55 points to record Australia's first win in the Challenge.

Zac Butcher equalled Caldow's 20 points to be the equal second highest point scorer on the day but his North Island team mates, Joshua Dickie, Scott Phelan and David Butcher could only muster a further 9 points between them to finish last of the three teams.

The South Islanders were very consistent with Nathan Williamson gathering 14 points, Ricky May and Blair Orange 12 each and Clark Barron 8 to finish runners-up on 46 points. 


Bruce Stewart
Southland Harness Racing

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