Its been a game of changing owners over the last two years for Ultimate CC, who bowed out of NZ racing a winner of the $15,000 Nevele R Fillies No.36 Consolation at Addington on Saturday, May 10.
Initally a $135,000 buy-back at the yearling sales, Ultimate CC was then purchased post the sales by Peter Chambers for under the six figure asking price.
Mr Chambers then on-sold her to fellow Australian Overport Lodge stable client Greg Brodie, who recently passed her on to trainer Mark Jones.
Mark had sold Mr Brodie a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover and 2005 New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner, which appears to have a more promising future, with the transfer of Ultimate CC to Mark’s WDC 03 (World Driving Champion 2003) Limited company as part of the deal.
“She was in a hard grade and Greg’s not interested in breeding them.” Mark said.
The Mainland Banner filly, named Rocker Band, is a half-sister to Peruvian Banner (1:52.1, US), Stunin Banner (11 wins, 1:59.5) and Return To Sender (four wins, 1:57.4 rate, 2400m).
“I’ve turned her out for a few months and she’s had an operation. She’s a nice type,” Mark said of Rocker Band, who qualified winning a Rangiora 2000m trial in 2:31.7 on April 7.
Mark was going to breed from Ultimate CC, but when a good offer came, he reasoned it wasn’t worth it for him waiting years to get her foals on the ground.
“Stuart Valentine arranged it. I don’t know who the new owner is but she’s off to Melbourne,” Mark said.
Ultimate CC, who picked up a $9000 winning stake on Saturday, has a bit going for post her race career with her breeding (Christian Cullen-TK Swift).
She leaves NZ the winner of three and five times placed from 15 starts for $24,086 in stakes and has a fastest winning mile rate to date of 2:00.3 (1800m) on the grass at Waikouaiti.
She has placed in a 1:58.1 rate (1609m) and ran a slick final 800m in 56.4s to win Saturday’s consolation.
Ultimate CC responded to a smart front-running drive by Mark, who was allowed an easy run front in the mid stages.
She kicked best in the straight to hold Armazem, Going To California and favourite Speights Girl (parked over the last 700m) by three-quarters of a length, rating 2:02.2 for the full 1950m.
The win was Mark’s 62nd training win of the season. He holds third on the NZ trainers premiership this term behind the Purdon/Rasmussen barn (130 wins) and Robert Dunn (79 wins).
SMOKE N SANTANNA SHOULD DEVELOP AT THREE
Overport Lodge trainer Mark Jones will give last week’s maiden winner Smoke N Santanna his chance in next week’s 2YO Garrards Sires Stakes Silver before tipping him out till next term.
“Hopefully he’ll be in the Consolation and then the paddock,” Mark said.
“He’s a very nice horse but its scary how good the two-year-olds are this season.
“He’ll be better at three,” he said.
Smoke N Santanna, a son of the smart racemare Smoke N Mirrors (10 wins for $189,675 in stakes), justified his $1.90 favourtism against the older maidens in the Avon City Ford Mobile Pace at Addington on Friday May 2.
He appreciated a significant class drop back after finishing unplaced in three two-year-old starts in April.
Driver Jonny Cox didn’t rush the Santanna Blue Chip colt early from the three gate for his maiden victory, being left parked.
Cox’s inquiry for the front at the 1200m was denied by Gavin Smith (San Diego) but Cox knew Smoke N Santanna was travelling like the winner down the back, letting him surge to the front at the 600m.
The favourite raced several lengths clear on the home turn and was allowed the luxury of easing down over the final 100m, winning untested by 3 1/4 lengths.
Smoke N Santanna rated 2:00.4 for the mobile 1950m, the leaders running their last 800m in 61.3s and final 400m in 30.7s.
He showed his promise qualifying in early December at Addington in a 2:02.5 rate (1950m).
Smoke N Santanna is raced by his breeders, Peter and Debbie Smith, and Peter’s mother, Patricia, who also race Smoke N Santanna’s year older half-brother Smoke N Grin, the winner of one from three from the Dunedin stable of Jonny Cox and Amber Hoffman.
The Mark Jones stable notched a winning Addington double, advancing to 60 wins for the term when Tuxedo Max also scored a clear-cut win in the C1-2 Blue Star Taxis Handicap Pace.
Tuxedo Max, a 3YO colt by former top pacer Elsu from Paris Hilton (by Village Jasper), appreciated the strong tempo over the 2000m stand.
He settled sixth for catch driver Jimmy Curtin, slotting into the running line, then hooked wide at the 400m to reel in Jericho, who had dashed clear the 500m.
Tuxedo Max sailed past the pacemaker at the 200m and was unchallenged in the run to the wire, scoring by 3 1/4 lengths in 2:30.4 (2:00.9 mile rate), the leaders last 800m in 58.9s and final 400m in 30.2s.
His time was just 0.9 of a second outside the NZ 3YO colts and geldings mark, set by Classie Mach in 2012.
“He’s doing a nice job. I can’t believe no-one has bought him!,” Mark said.
This was his second win from seven starts. He gets a chance to further his solid record in the C1 mobile pace at Timaru this Sunday.