Dominion Handicap winner Master Lavros was successful from behind the mobile gate at the Addington trials on Monday, December 2, in preparation for Sunday’s $14,999 Methven Four Square Supermarket Trotters Green Mile at Methven.
Master Lavros and Green Mile race rival Clover Don were transferred to separate C0 mobile 1950m pacing heats when the free-for-all trot trial only attracted the two entries and was deleted.
Both started each heat from the outside of the front row.
Master Lavros, primed for another top showing in the Trot Green Mile at Methven on Sunday.
Overport Lodge trainer-driver Mark Jones settled Master Lavros nicely in fourth spot early with the big-striding Sundon gelding proving too classy over the closing stages, coming clear by 3/4 of a length in a 2:01.9 rate.
The leaders quickened over their last 800m in 58.9s and final 400m in 28.1s.
The Colin and Julie De Filippi-trained Clover Don was equally strong at the finish of his heat, scoring by half a length, rating 2:01.6 for Sam Ottley, the last 800m in 59.7s and final 400m in 29.1s.
Following Methven, Mark Jones will now take in premier racing at Cambridge and Alexandra Park with Master Lavros, after reviewing the racing schedule.
“There’s nothing for him down here, apart from a free-for-all at Omakau on January 2, so he’ll go north,” Mark said.
“He’s the only one I’ve got going up,” he said.
First-up in the north will be another mile dash _ the $45,000 Group One Turf Bar Waikato Trotters Flying Mile at Cambridge on Christmas Eve, December 24.
A week later, Master Lavros will contest $80,000 National trot (mobile 2700m) at Auckland on New Year’s Eve, December 31.
The Jones stable unleased a promising 2YO pacer at Monday’s trials in Smoke N Santanna, a colt by a Santanna Blue Chip colt from the good racemare Smoke N Mirrors (10 wins & $189,675).
Smoke N Santanna was untroubled to come off the trail for Blair Orange and dash away by 3 1/4 lengths from early leader Regal Ideal, who had qualified at Addington last month for trainer Ken Barron.
“We’re not in a hurry with him. He’ll have two months out now,” Mark said.
Smoke N Santanna paced the mobile 2000m in 2:32.3, a 2:02.5 mile rate, with the leaders quickening over their last 800m in 58.6s and final 400m in 28.5s.
Stablemate Itz Bettor To Win (Bettor’s Delight-Itz All About Me) tailed the field in sixth place but was also comfortably inside the qualifying time of 2:36.2, clocking 2:34.1.
Ready For Takeoff, spelled after running third at Invercargill on August 11, led throughout a C1 pace from a stand in the hands of Blair Orange.
The Butterworth Racing Syndicate-owned Jereme’s Jet gelding was untroubled to stride clear by four lengths in the run home to beat early breaker Whisper Jet in 3:21.5, quickening over his last 800m in 57.2s and closing 400m in 28.4s.
Mark may make the most of a penalty-free C1 opporunity with Ready For Takeoff in a invited drivers race at Oamaru this Saturday.
The $18,000 Pulse Energy Westport Cup (C2 and faster), to be run this year over the shorter 2600m trip on the grass at Patterson Park on December 26, is another possible target for Ready For Takeoff.
Sage Creek, spelled after winning her maiden at Forbury on August 15, resumed in the same heat.
She trailed Ready For Takeoff and battled away in the run home, holding down fourth spot for Kimberly Butt.
By Jeff Scott (Courtesy of Mark Jones Racing)