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The racing future of Hunter Cup winner Bling It On remains uncertain after a nasty fall in his comeback race at Albion Park on Saturday night. A pick-up drive for Kiwi reinsman Mark Jones from a thrill to a nightmare when Bling It On was looming into the race on the final bend, but copped a check and crashed heavily to the track. It was an ugly fall and Bling It On appeared to land heavily on his knees. The Craig Cross-trained star was rushed to the Gatton University veterinary section where his legs, especially his knees, were cleaned and treated. “In short, he’s got two badly injured knees,” owner Peter O’Shea said. “The left knee is in a splint and the right one is heavily bandaged. He will spend at least the next two weeks at Gatton University recovering. “The vets think he will be ok as long as there is no infection.” Stable spokesman and regular driver Luke McCarthy said making Bling It On comfortable and giving him every chance to recover was the first priority. “He’s obviously out of the rest of the Winter Carnival, but beyond that time will tell as far as racing again,” he said. The race was Bling It On’s first start since the Miracle Mile at Menangle in late February. Bling It On’s crash was just one ingredient of a truly odd race. The first twist came when experienced driver Chris Petroff, aboard the leader Hokonui Ben, appeared to mistake the laps and go for home when there was still a lap to run. Stewards suspended him for six weeks. Petroff’s drive played a big part in the race being run upside down with a 57.7sec middle half, which suited grand old stayer Avonnova who simply out-toughed his rivals in a 60.1sec last half and 30.6sec closing quarter. The rising 11-year-old Avonnova has posted two wins and two seconds from four runs since being plucked out of retirement by trainer Ian Gurney. Adam Hamilton

Triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova proved triumphant in the Listed $25,500 Lucky Creed Open Pace at Albion Park tonight (Saturday) in the most dramatic circumstances. The mobile start 2680m mobile start feature was packed with action, largely owing to the fall of race favourite Bling It On at the home turn. The millionaire pacer was handled for the first time by stand-in driver Mark Jones and was making his move wider on the track before being checked by Watch Pulp Fiction and then falling heavily. Driver Pete McMullen was later suspended for three weeks. Having his first start since being unplaced in the Miracle Mile back on February 25, the Craig Cross trained star was taken off the gate at the start and settled towards the rear of the field while the pace was genuine throughout. Hokonui Ben led the event and repelled challengers from both Ideal Scott and Alleluia before giving ground quickly with a lap remaining. Driver Chris Petroff was later suspended for six weeks. Entering the back straight on the final occasion, Ideal Scott held a narrow lead from his stablemate Avonnova while Alleluia, Joys A Babe, Watch Pulp Fiction and Bling It On sat just off the pace. With many feeling the pressure at the top of the straight, Bling It On looked set to unleash his trademark sprint before coming to grief. Bling It On quickly got to his feet before being attended to by officials before then being sent to the Gatton University for further analysis on his knees. Sadly, his Brisbane winter carnival is now over. At the finish, Avonnova lasted by a 1m from Alleluia while Joys A Babe finished a neck away in third. The mile rate was 1:57.3. “It was tough performance but a race filled with drama, it got a bit crazy at the home turn.” Winning driver Shane Graham said. It was back to back victories in the Lucky Creed for the Ian Gurney trained free-legged star after winning last year in a nail biting finish over Ultimate Art. The ten-year-old Art Major gelding has now banked more than $900,000 in prizemoney and is exempt from ballot in the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 15. Next week, the Listed $25,500 Wondais Mate will be staged over the 1660m. Hoofnote; Driver Shane Graham was suspended for two weeks for his drive aboard The Charging Moa from the $15,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final, race two on the program. Chris Barsby

The Queensland winter working holiday for harness racing trainer driver Mark Jones is off to a great start. And that’s before it actually starts. The former world driving champion touched down on Brisbane soil last Sunday night and greeted his pair of troops in Delightful Memphis and Kowhai Monarch on Monday morning. Both Delightful Memphis and Kowhai Monarch travelled by road from Sydney and took no harm while classy mare Rocker Band remained behind to contest the Gr.3 $31,800 Garrards Frith Stakes at TABCORP Park, Menangle on Saturday before heading north. Jones heads to Albion Park this Saturday night and looks likely to strike early. “We’re off to a good start and both horses have arrived in good shape and look ready to kick-off their Brisbane campaign this weekend. Both have come up with good draws and should prove very competitive, obviously it’s hard to line up the form of the rivals but I’m told they look well placed.” Jones said. Classy filly Delightful Memphis is the ace in the pack for Jones and will chase the Listed $25,000 Egmont Park Stud Provincial Oaks at Albion Park on July 1 before starting in the Gr.2 $75,000 Queensland Oaks the following week. A last start runner-up behind arch rival and freakish filly Spanish Armada in the Gr.1 $150,000 Diamond on Jewels day at Ashburton in 1:52.1 on June 3 will start from gate three in the final event, the APHRC Winter Carnival Begins July 1 Mares Pace over the 1660m. Boasting a record of 6 wins and 15 minor placings from 22 starts to date, Delightful Memphis has finished as runner-up behind Spanish Armada on ten occasions. It was expected Spanish Armada was also Brisbane bound before injury forced a change of plans. And that news has Jones with an extra spring in his step. “Look it’s very disappointing for connections and fans alike that we won’t see this super filly competing but it certainly gives us a chance of securing a big race victory. The whole reason for this trip for us was to pick up an Oaks title and when it was announced that she was also coming, we certainly had reservations. “You can’t run and hide forever and obviously we made the trek across the ditch, we’re here now and things have certainly fallen in our favour. This run this weekend will have her ready for her two main targets. “We’ve been so close in many major events this season but it would be great to end her three-year-old term with an Oaks victory, I think she deserves it.” An added bonus for Jones this weekend is securing the drive behind millionaire pacer and Craig Cross trained Bling It On in the Listed $25,000 Lucky Creed Open Pace. The Hunter Cup winner resumes and is being readied for the Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint on July 8 followed a week later by the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake. “I wasn’t expecting this drive, it came as a real shock and I’m quite humbled by it actually, he’s a mighty horse with a great following. “He’s had a couple of trials and looks nicely drawn off the front-line (gate 5) but there looks to be a number of hardened runners in the field.” Regular reinsman Luke McCarthy has elected to remain in Sydney where he has a number of key bookings including the richly talented three-year-old colt Vincent for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen in a semi-final of the Breeders Challenge series. Chris Barsby

Former World Driving Champion Mark Jones is headed to Brisbane for the winter carnival. And the star harness racing horseman will bring a talented trio to the Sunshine State. Spearheading his team is the richly talented three-year-old filly Delightful Memphis, a last start runner-up behind archrival Spanish Armada in the Gr.1 $150,000 Diamond on Jewels day at Ashburton last Saturday. It was the 10th time Delightful Memphis has filled that role against her nemesis during her career. And while Delightful Memphis has beaten Spanish Armada this season, it’s quickly developed into one of New Zealand’s great rivalries in recent times. Delightful Memphis touched down in Sydney today (Wednesday) and will complete her journey to Brisbane this weekend. “The Brisbane trip has been on the radar for some time and while it’s likely Spanish Armada is now headed this way too, we’re going to stick solid and give it another shot. It might be different on neutral ground and with a more aggressive racing style this time around.” Jones said. The Bettors Delight filly will race on Saturday week (June 17) at Albion Park before taking in the $25,000 Provincial Oaks (July 1) followed by the $75,000 Queensland Oaks (July 8). Boasting a record of 6 wins and 14 seconds from 22 starts, Delightful Memphis has paced a lifetime best time of 1:51.9 this season when successful at Wairio. “Her season has been very good with the exception of running into Spanish Armada far too many times, I thought her run was very good in the Jewels and probably a little stiff not to hold the lead which put us one extra spot back on the inside. Her effort to make ground on the other filly in a 25.5 final quarter was quite unbelievable. “She’s come through that race really well and the trip away shouldn’t worry her, she’s a seasoned traveler and should actually thrive on the Australian style of racing. I’ve driven at Albion Park and they don’t back off, I think that will suit my filly. “Obviously barrier draws will play a huge part in the race but I’m confident my filly can turn the tables on Spanish Armada. I think it will be rather interesting in the coming weeks.” Jones is also sending proven Group One winning mare Rocker Band and last start TABCORP Park, Menangle winner Kowhai Monarch to Brisbane. Rocker Band, a regally bred daughter of Rocknroll Hanover from the New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner, will trial tonight (Wednesday) at Bathurst under the watchful eye of Ashlee Grives. At her most recent start, Rocker Band finished second behind star performer The Orange Agent in the Gr.1 $100,000 Queen of the Pacific at TABCORP Park, Melton on May 20. Jones has a number of options for Rocker Band during her Brisbane campaign. The last time Jones competed in Brisbane was back in 2013 when successful aboard Caesar Augustus in the Albion Park Invitational Drivers Championship. Chris Barsby

Senorita Margarita broke a fourteen year old track and Southland harness racing record when she won at Ascot Park yesterday. The three year old filly by Vintage Master has only been in the south for six weeks after being leased out of Mark Jones stable. Her 2-46.5 for the 2200 metre stand bettered Precious Title’s 2-47.1 set in 2003. The time also created a new all-comers record. Now trained by Kirstin Barclay, Senorita Margarita began well and lead all the way for stable driver Andrew Suddaby. “She stepped good. We weren’t too sure how she would go from a stand because both of her workouts had been from the mobile. I got her on the right foot and she went away good,” he said. Suddaby was quick to assess the situation and with Spoilsport on his back - the rest of the field split into two bunches and strung out, he didn’t allow the chasers to make up any significant ground. “I didn’t think I was going that quick but running 2-46 is probably why they were strung out. I had a look a few times and we were (the first two) out by a wee way so I just kept the pedal to the metal and it worked in the end.” The winning margin was three quarters of a length with Ideal Art running second. Senorita Margarita winning        - Photo Bruce Stewart “At the top of the straight I thought the others were going to get past me. She may have knocked off a bit and was waiting on the others. If we’d gone another 100 metres I still think she would have held them out (anyway).” Senorita Margarita is out of the nineteen win Holmes Hanover mare Oaxaca Lass. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

One of the hottest favourites of Jewels day could be in for far more of a war than punters expect. Because rival trainer Mark Jones has declared his filly Delightful Memphis will park out $1.25 chance Spanish Armada rather than concede the $150,000 three-year-old fillies final. Delightful Memphis must be sick of the sight of Spanish Armada, having run second to her nine times in the last 14 months in one of the great two-horse dominations of recent New Zealand racing. But she has beaten her home a couple of times, including once at Auckland in December, albeit with Spanish Armada was unlucky. The pair worked in private with fellow Jewels rival Partyon at Addington on Monday morning and Jones is adamant Delightful Memphis had Spanish Armamda covered after coming off her back. But that isn’t the only reason he will be instructing driver Blair Orange to stay in front from the ace draw on Saturday. “Her work on Monday was great even though we all know Spanish Armada is better on raceday,” said Jones. “But I couldn’t be happier with my filly. She has had a long season and the only time she has really felt 100 per cent on top of her game was in Auckland before Christmas and I honestly think she is back to that now. “Her recent work has been super and the fact she missed the Oaks last start because she was a bit crook probably helped her. “So we know she is well enough for a hard run and the shorter distance helps us because Spanish Armada is such a good stayer. “I think everybody knows Spanish Armada is the better filly but we have the draw to park her and that is our best chance of winning. “It also means the others back in the field will probably be reluctant to move because they won’t be able to get parked, whereas if we let Spanish Armada run to the front then there will be more moves. “That would mean we give up our advantage to not only one horse but a couple. So it makes sense to stay in front.” Delightful Memphis got as long as $8.80 with TAB bookies this week, a very generous price and over double the quote she has been with other bookmakers betting on the Jewels. The pair look set to dominate the front end of Saturday’s race after their best performed rivals, Bonnie Joan and Jewels defending champion Partyon, drew the second line. Trainer Mark Purdon was happier with Partyon’s work on Monday after two moderate recent performances and she downed both Delightful Memphis and Spanish Armada at last year’s Jewels, but that was when leading. Saturday could be Delightful Memphis’s last start in New Zealand as she is booked to fly to Australia next Tuesday for a three-race Queensland campaign before racing in Sydney next season. “I’d love to win a Jewels with her before she goes,” says Jones. “I’ve only won the one, with Rocker Band last season, so they are hard to get." Michael Guerin  

A second line draw for the likely pre-post favourite and an outside of the front line draw for her high class stable mate has done enough just to throw some murky cloud over Friday night’s Group One New Zealand Oaks at Addington. Last Friday night’s Nevele R Fillies Final winner, Spanish Armada was handed the outside of the second line as she shoot for a second Group One victory in seven days while Partyon has been given the much despised barrier of nine from behind the mobile arm. While a step up to 2600 metres should negate many of the issues for Spanish Armada, who has shown she is good enough to do work in her races and still find the required at the business end of a race, it does leave the door slightly ajar for her rivals. In particular Bonnie Joan, who showed she’s as good as anything else going around at the moment with her bold dead-heat effort for second with Delightful Memphis last Friday night behind Spanish Armada. With high early speed the Cran Dalgety trained filly should be able to get across and find the markers before any of her rivals in the $150,000 event. Delightful Memphis hasn’t been quite as well served in the draw as what she was a week ago, despite picking up the same marble. The Mark Jones trained filly will start from the inside of the second row for the second time in a week, but doesn’t have the luxury of following a favoured runner through on Friday night. Northern Oaks runner-up, Juice Brogden will bring fresh legs to the party after missing the Nevele R Final for her trainer Nicky Chilcott and will have the advantage of drawing inside Bonnie Joan with the potential to follow her across. With more than $750,000 worth of stake money up for grabs on Friday night there will be plenty of attention on Addington. Trotting star Enghien will make an appearance, and start a short priced favourite in the $80,000 NZ Yearling Sales Series Final for the three-year-old trotters while Alta Maestro and Spankem look well drawn to dominate the $170,000 Sires Stakes final for the two-year-old male pacers. Elle Mac, the unbeaten two-year-old filly will have to overcome an outside of the front line draw if she is to keep her winning record intact and win the NZ Yearling Sales 2YO Fillies Final. The night’s open class feature, the Winter Cup will see a number of those pointing towards next month’s Harness Jewels having another hit out with Piccadilly Princess needing a top three finish if she is to make her way into the Top 12 for the Four-Year-Old Diamond category. Matt Markham

Tonight’s Group One Nevele R Fillies Final at Addington is more about opportunities than it is chances for Delightful Memphis. The outstanding daughter of Bettor’s Delight will get her chance to finally crack a big race in the $140,000 feature tonight, but even her trainer Mark Jones knows there’s going to need to be quite a few things falling her way if she is to get past the might of Spanish Armada and Partyon in the first of two three-year-old filly features over the next two weeks. “You could say we have had our opportunity to beat them in the past, particularly Spanish Armada,” Jones said. “And we haven’t been able to do it which makes it quite tough to say that we might be able to do it this week. “But it looks like we are going to have the right draw to give ourselves a chance and I think if I’m being realistic a top two finish would see us over the moon.” Unsighted since finishing second to Bonnie Joan in the Southland Oaks a fortnight ago, Delightful Memphis has been ticking over at home and her trainer can’t fault her preparation, despite being disappointed in the Southland Oaks performance. “I thought she probably should have won it from the trail, but it wasn’t to be. “She’s trained on really well since and we are going into this week pretty much exactly where we want to be so the rest is up to the horse on the night really.” From one on the second row, following out Spanish Armada, the path looks clear for Blair Orange to throw out the tow-rope and hope for the best. At worst he should settle three-back the fence with it being hard to imagine that Natalie Rasmussen, who is driving Spanish Armada, handing up to anyone other than her stablemate, and hot favourite Partyon. “That’s the way it looks like it should pan out, we just probably have to hope that Natalie decides to stay in front. “That will give us our best chance.” Rasmussen may be keen to make a statement with Spanish Armada ahead of next week’s Oaks and then the Harness Jewels, and over the 1950 metres she gets the perfect opportunity to do that. In her 16 start career, Spanish Armada has never been beaten when she’s turned for the judge in front with four of her five defeats coming from when she’s raced off, or outside the speed. With mobile flyer, Bonnie Joan drawn up on the outside of the second row, it makes it hard to see anything else throwing a cat among the pigeons and trying to cross the All Stars pair early so the first leg of a three-year-old filly triple crown should run pretty much to script. Jones has a chance in tonight’s other feature, the $200,000 NZ Yearling Sales Series Final with recent stable acquisition, Major Lucky. Purchased out of the All Stars stable by Greg Brodie and set to head to Australia the half-brother to More The Better isn’t that far behind the top four-year-olds but will need plenty of luck from his second row barrier draw tonight.   Matt Markham’s Addington Selections Race 1: Heaven Rocks, Classie Brigade, Piccadilly Princess, Buster Brady Race 2: Springbank Lachie, Paramount King, One Muscle Hill, Stress Factor Race 3: Mighty Santana, Dancing In The Dark, Rocknroll Magic, Vera’s Delight Race 4: Hilarious Magic, Bushido, Warloch, Sails Race 5: Wilma’s Mate, Gee Up Neddy, Habibi Inta, Tornado Valley Race 6: Lemond, Destiny Jones, Gershwin, Springbank Eden Race 7: Jack’s Legend, Donegal Carrickfinn, Sparkling Delight, Mongolian Hero Race 8: Spanish Armada, Partyon, Delightful Memphis, Bonnie Joan Race 9: War Spirit, Redwood Invasion, Muscles Galore, All Settled Down Race 10: Alta Maestro, Spankem, Aloka, Star Commander Race 11: Don Domingo, Whittaker, Rocknroll Princess, Late Mail Best Bet: Heaven Rocks (Race 1) Value: Don Domingo (Race 11

Southland harness racing trainer Kirk Larsen knew he had Bettor Ops right for today's bMac Sheetmetal Southern Country Cups Final at Diamonds Day.. “You always get a bit nervous when everything is going so good. I felt today he was 100 per cent,” he said. The four year old gelding stepped well and was soon setting the early pace. Larsen then handed up to the Mark Jones trained Glenferrie Classic. That runner took Bettor Ops to the passing lane and he shot up to beat the pacemaker by a head. “He was travelling good the whole way. It was just a matter of getting the gap. He ran up the passing lane really well but he can knock off, which he did today. I’m glad he hung on as he could have easily got beaten.” Bettor Ops beating Glenferrie Classic         - Photo Bruce Stewart. The gelding is raced by Sydneysiders Reg Turner and his son David and Larsen says although Bettors Ops might not be suited by the Harness Jewels distance of 1609 they will probably start in the group feature. However there are also other options. “We’ve gone this far so we’ll probably carry on. There’s a $40,000 race that the Sires Stake Board put on so we’ll probably look at that. The owners are from Sydney and they’re pretty keen to get him over there but he’s an M2 horse now so that could make it a wee bit different. He’s probably going to find it a bit easier here.” The win today, his fourth, elevates him to sixth in the 4 Year Old Emerald. Larsen says Bettor Ops has been a work in progress but he's improved a lots from when he first began racing. "He had a lot of trouble with his gait early on and even today he was getting onto his knee on the bends a couple of times especially on the first bend. But he’s getting better all the time.” Larsen previously won the Southern Country Cups final in 2004 with Howard Bromac.  Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing        

The late great Derek Jones achieved the feat with Rewa Scott in 1953. His son Peter did it in 1985 with Tussle, and grandson Mark Jones matched the accomplishment with Master Lavros in 2014. Now Leonne Jones, the wife of Peter, will be attempting to become the first solo female trainer to win the prestigious Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park on Friday night with Gee Up Neddy. "I'm very proud of her but in saying that Leonne did most of the work with Tussle when she won the Rowe Cup back in the mid-1980s,’’ Peter Jones said. "It was Leonne's idea to start "Neddy" in the Rowe Cup. It was her that convinced me to enter the horse and go for it. She said if we weren't in this year we might never nail it again.” By that the 60-year-old Canterbury horseman meant the race was very winnable. "The big guns like Monbet, Speeding Spur and Mark's Master Lavros aren't there so that makes it a very even field. "The horse is improving all the time and even though it is going to be tough to win it, he won't disgrace himself," Jones said. Jones decided not to renew his licence at the start of the 2015-2016 season. "Leonne taking over then meant I didn't have to do all the thinking and could just drive the team in work for her. Leonne is the brains and voice of the stable. "It's worked out real well. Leonne has done a fantastic job with the horses for years now and the only difference the winners are now in her name," Jones said. "I had some minor health problems and it's all worked out well," he said. Jones is staying in the North Island with Jim Cole at Pukekohe. His wife is training their team back in Yaldhurst. "If the brains trust of Jim Cole, myself and Leonne can't drum up a Rowe Cup winner together then no-one can," Jones joked. "You will be unlikely to get her on the phone back home either. She's a workaholic," he added. Jones was right about his wife. She was busy working the team when HRNZ tried to contact her (three times) but Jones said that was typical of his wife. "Leonne has always been such a harder worker both in the stable and at home. She often puts the horses before herself. I'd love her to win the Rowe Cup, If anyone deserved that she does," Jones said. Jones (Leonne) has trained 15 winners in two seasons - eight this season and seven last year. She has also had 21 place-getters and won $118,134 in stakes. Gee Up Neddy has provided Jones with two of her winners this season - at Phar Lap Raceway onDecember 29 and Addington Raceway on March 16. From 2010-2011 to 2014-2015 Jones also trained another 55 winners with husband.   Duane Ranger

The battle for female, three-year-old, pacing supremacy will return tonight at Addington with New Zealand’s three best fillies locking horns for the first time since they met in the Harness Jewels last season. And the three stars; Partyon, Delightful Memphis and Spanish Armada all meet under different circumstances in the heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series. Partyon comes in off the back of a shock defeat last week while Delightful Memphis is riding the crest of a wave after two impressive recent performances while Spanish Armada has just been doing what she does best and that’s consistently racing with distinction. For Partyon it’s a shot at redemption after she was beaten for the first time in her career at Forbury Park last week. “It wasn’t an ideal race for her first up on,” Mark Purdon said. “Sitting parked in those conditions, when running that sort of time just proved too much.” Natalie Rasmussen takes the drives on the rangy filly tonight and with the requirement a first or second placing to make the Nevele R Fillies Final it’s expected she will look to take luck out of the equation and try and dictate terms from the front. That leaves Delightful Memphis in an interesting position. The Mark Jones trained filly has been stunning in her last two starts down in the deep south including a breath-taking New Zealand record time win off a handicap against the older horses last time. That back up a 1:51 mile win a fortnight before. She’s qualified for the Nevele R Fillies Final, so there’s not quite as much pressure on Jones to get a result but the Burnham horseman will be keen to see whether or not recent racing has improved his charge enough to really push the two top fillies. Matt Anderson has been gifted the plum drive on Spanish Armada for tonight and the youngster will be looking to make the most of his opportunity albeit from an outside of the front line draw. Beaten one in her last six starts, the dour filly won’t have any problems making her own luck tonight although she is in a similar boat to Delightful Memphis in that she has already qualified for the final on May 12.   Super Selector for Addington Race 1: Woodstone, Majestic Moment, Spurred By Success, Ed Wood Race 2: Locked Out Of Heaven, El Gran Senor, Got A Beauty, Black Art Race 3: Crusher Collins, Grand Princess, Jaw D Nancy, One Over Da Skye Race 4: The Devil’s Own, Mach Shard, Cole Porter, Bailey Major Race 5: Power Surge, Errol Finn, Kayteeoh Denario, Titanium Race 6: Partyon, Delightful Memphis, Spanish Armada, Utmost Delight Race 7: Real Obsession, Franco Rebel, Mighty Santana, North Carolina Race 8: Sugar Cane, Beg Hall, Geena’s Success, Chivasion Race 9: Mighty American, Midfrew Tarpediem, Vera’s Delight, Enchantee Best Bet: Partyon (Race6) Value: Sugar Cane (Race 8)   Matt Markham

Trainer Mark Jones, who has won races on four different tracks in the past week, has Kowhai Whiz angling to extend his record at Forbury Park on Thursday night. Jones won a race at Menangle last Saturday with Kowhai Monarch, a half brother to Kowhai Whiz. Jones had won at Addington the previous night with Eyre I Come and added wins at Winton with Delightful Memphis and Rangiora (the 2-year-old trotter Castlereagh) on Sunday. “The results have been pleasing in the past week with four wins and two New Zealand records,’’ said Jones. “It makes up for losing Master Lavros and Saveapatrol.” Eyre I Come trotted 3.12.6 for 2600m and Delightful Memphis posted 2.55.5 for 2400m. Master Lavros has a hole in a tendon and Saveapatrol has gone amiss again. Kowhai Whiz finished eighth at Addington last Friday when resuming from a three month break. He was a winner at Forbury Park in October and has been placed in his other three starts at Forbury Park this season. “He (Kowhai Whiz) is a nice honest trotter suited to smaller fields,’’ said Jones. Kowhai Whiz (off 40m) has seven rivals tonight in race 3. Father Christmas (50m), a last start winner from a 40m handicap at Invercargill and Its Elvis (10m), who won at Forbury Park last week, could offer stern opposition. Kiwi Monarch was the first winner for Jones from a Menangle stable he has set up with Ashlee Grives, who drove the gelding. Grives has been based at Bathurst. Trainer Mark Purdon has one drive at Forbury Park tonight - Partyon in the heat of the Sires’ Stakes. Partyon  is unbeaten in 10 starts including the Harness Jewels at two, the New South Wales and Northern Oaks. She has won a workout at Ashburton on March 28 and finished second to Moonrock in a trial there on April 4 since her Northern Oaks win on March 3. Purdon trained and drove Sicario  and Motu Premier to win at Menangle on Tuesday. The 2-year-old Sicario ran 1.53.8, the fastest time in three heats of the Australian Pacing Gold. Motu Premier ran 1.53. The up and coming 3-year-old Bakari is now the sole stable representative for trainer Graeme Anderson in race 8 at Forbury Park. Motu Time To Shine has been scratched and she will go for a spell. “He (Bakari) is very well and if he goes away he is capable of running some time,’’ said Anderson. Stablemate Delightful Jay will wind up her current campaign in race 6. She is in foal to Washington VC and ruled out of further racing until the outcome. The 4-year-old mare has run creditable minor placings in two starts since she won at Forbury Park on March 9. Anderson has Titan Banner, All Star Magician and Hopes And Dreams engaged at Addington on Saturday. Eamon Maguire, who established his class with a third in the New Zealand Derby, is being aimed at the $45,000 Southern Supremacy Stakes Final on April 30. Honour The Bet (race 4) remained in the care of Anderson after finishing second to Miss Fandango at Forbury Park last Thursday.   Tayler Strong

Nothing Delightful Memphis does surprises driver Blair Orange and when she smashed the New Zealand Three Year Old Fillies record at Winton yesterday it wasn't a surprise either. Her time of 2-55.5 for the 2400 metre stand was over four seconds better than the previous record of 2-59.9 recorded by Talkerup at Ashburton. The time was also a new track and Southland record for three year old fillies and the fastest 2400 metre stand ever recorded on the Central Southland Raceway. The time also beats Adore Me's open mare record of 2-56.0 recorded at Ashburton in 2014. Sure, Orange had concerns about Delightful Memphis, a three year old filly fronting up against the hardened mid-grade horses for the first time. But that wasn't the only concern.  "The stand was always going to be a concern. She'd never had one (standing start practice) at the trials, workouts or anywhere but she went away really nice today," he said.   Once away Orange settled the Better's Delight filly in the outside running line. With 600 metres to run when he saw Royal Counsel starting to make a three wide run, he decided it was time to go and progressed forward three wide. With 400 metres to run he'd joined pacemaker Torrid Bromac and these two cut away rounding the final bend. Half way down the lane Orange pulled the ear plugs and Delightful Memphis sprinted away to easily beat Bettor Ops by a length and a quarter.   Easy as - Delightful Memphis winning at Winton     - Photo Bruce Stewart. "We settled close to the front so her speed was always going to bring her into it whenever she needed. I just let her slide from the 600 and she kept it up all the way to the line. Her forte is probably her speed. A couple of times I 've asked her to run tough and she's always hung on in there. She's pretty versatile and you just drive her the way you need to in a race."   The win cements Delightful Memphis as the early favourite for the Nevele R/ Macca Lodge Southland Oaks Final on Diamonds Day at Ascot Park on Sunday 30th April. This year's final is one of the most competitive in years. The Bettor's Delight filly now holds two Southland records, having broken the Southland 1609 metre mobile record at the Wairio meeting at the end of last month. The win was her sixth for owners Wayne Higgs, former New Zealand Cricketer Simon Doull, Sir Loins Limited and Debra and Pete Smith   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Canterbury trainers Mark Jones and Regan Todd are both chasing the features at Winton on Sunday with favoured runners and both have realistic chances. Todd's representative in the $20,000 final of the Southern Belle Speed Series for mares four year old and older is Kayteeoh Denario who has the right credentials to win. On hand for the first race of the series at Winton in December, Kayteeoh Denario drew one but was crossed and shuffled. She had a wall in front of her turning in, waited, then flew for third.  At Wyndham on 5 February for the third heat, she was clearly superior when winning in 1:54.9, and didn't race again until the Addington meeting on the last day of March. From the 13 draw over 1950 metres, the mare sat back, joined the three-wide line, bided her time and ran home strongly for second out wide.  “She seems on song for this week,” Todd said, “we ran at Addington with the Southern Belle in mind, with a bit of luck she won't be far away.” Glenferrie Classic, daughter of Mainland Banner and part-owned in the south, is the Jones entrant. She won the Winton heat in December in 1:55.9 and raced on until a disappointing result in the Waikouaiti Cup on 12 February.  As preparation for Sunday, the four year old reappeared at the Addington trials on 27 March. In the hands of Jones and up against the stars in murky conditions, the mare sat fourth in line until asked to sprint from the 400. Waikiki Beach, who had dictated in front, reeled off a final 400 on the easy track in 27.8 and although Glenferrie Classic chased in vain, she looked solid to the end. Another Canterbury visitor in contention is the Brad Mowbray-trained Ultimate Desire who also contested the December heat at Winton. Drawn outside on the second line, the daughter of Real Desire ended up parked for the majority of the trip and was swamped late finishing sixth in 1:56.3. In the second heat, at Ascot Park, Ultimate Desire drew the outside of the front line, was parked briefly, got the one-one then snuck into the trail down the back. No explosive finish but she kept on for third. Another outside-of-the-front line draw at Ashburton on 4 February but with Dexter Dunn in the sulky she was soon in the one-one, applied the pressure across the top and held to win in an impressive 1:52.6. Although she goes from the outside of the front again on Sunday, Dunn will have the reins. “Dexter asked where we were going and when he knew, he was happy to stick with her,” Mowbray said. “She's good enough to lead or follow and Dexter's the expert, I'll leave it to him.” In her latest start, Ultimate Desire took on the top liners in the group one Breeders Stakes, again went from wide on the front line, sat back and ran home gamely along the poles for sixth. In the $14,000 Winton Businesses Cup, all eyes will be on top filly Delightful Memphis. Last time on the track, on Wairio Mile Day, she ran home from the back of the small field to stop the clock in a provincial record 1:51.9. On Sunday she has to go from a stand in public for the first time in her career.  In her favour, Delightful Memphis will be alone on the 20 metre back-mark and she has the services of top driver Blair Orange. Given a safe and not too tardy beginning, class should be enough to see her retain her unbeaten record in Southland. Just by starting, she will become eligible to run in the group two Southland Oaks at Ascot Park on April 30. Todd's Cup entrant is Torrid Bromac who was previously with Steven McRae and ran fifth behind Heaven Rocks and Classie Brigade in last season's Southern Supremacy Stakes. He has the services of Dunn on Sunday. “Dexter drives a few for me, he's never driven Torrid Bromac but I was talking to him at the trials and he's got the job,” Todd said. “There was no race for him at Addington so we thought we may as well have a crack. He's race hardened and should be competitive in that field. Take Delightful Memphis out and its fairly even. He goes from four on the 10 metre mark, outside the locally-bred half-brother to Fight for Glory in G I Joe. The Butterworth-owned four year old, now with Brett Gray, hasn't raced since July but won a workout at Wyndham in 3:02.8 last Saturday, beating race rivals, Bettor Ops and The Big Boss.   Mac Henry

Mark Jones only had to look from left to right last night to see just how unforgiving the racing game can be at times. On his right stood Eyre I Come, his latest Group One winner having just surprised more than a few when he unwound with some purpose to win the Fred Shaw Memorial New Zealand Trotting Championship at Addington. Then, to his right, stood his champion trotter, Master Lavros. With one hind leg slightly raised in the air and his balking frame being supported by his other three legs, the big gelding stood quietly while veterinarians fussed around him. Jones stood quietly too. Watching intently, all while knowing full well what the verdict was going to be. “I felt him break down the 600 metre mark,” he said. A suspected suspensory injury was diagnosed although Jones still wasn’t ruling out more serious damage. And just like that, the career of a grand trotter was over. “Probably my biggest regret will be that he’s not going out sound,” Jones added. Despite the injury, Master Lavros still showed all his incredible braveness to pick himself up off the canvas to run a gallant third beaten by narrow margins by Eyre I Come and Wilma’s Mate. “But true credit to him, his leg went a long way from home, but his heart carried him all the way to the winning post and he fought so incredibly bravely. “He was travelling so good at that point too, I really believed I was going to win it going down the back straight.” While gutted by the prognosis of Master Lavros, Jones was trying to put on a brave face for everything else, including the win of Eyre I Come. “It’s bloody hard. I want to be over the moon that this horse as won, because he’s been through so much as well and his owner has been so patient, but there’s a lot of mixed emotion.” The result of Eyre I Come was a fitting result for part owner Grant Hatton who shares in the ownership of the horse with Merv and Meg Butterworth. Hatton’s star pacer Saveapatrol, who has also had a lot of injury troubles, was set to make his resumption at the meeting but another setback has left his career in limbo too, extending the rough week for Jones. “It’s been 48 hours from hell, but this is going to go a long way to fixing it,” and ecstatic Hatton said. A day to day prospect, Eyre I Come looked set to be a major player in the open class ranks when he burst onto the seen. Many remember his win in the two mile trot on Cup Day fondly, but since then it’s been battle after battle. Beautifully handled by Blair Orange last night, the gelding stalked the pace and unleashed through a gap at the top of the straight and wore down Wilma’s Mate and Master Lavros in the shadows of the post. “It’s a shame he’s had such a bad run of injuries, because he’s such a good horse,” Orange said. The win gave Orange his second Group One open class trot success after Superbowlcheerleader won the ANZAC Cup in 2014. Both Jones and Orange paid huge credit to Woodend Beach stable foreman, Regan Todd who has done a huge amount of work with both trotters. Eyre I Come will now head north for a further depleted Rowe Cup Carnival where, if the opportunity presents itself again, a further big race win isn’t out of the question.   Matt Markham    

He knew she was better than average, but even Mark Smolenski couldn’t help but be surprised by the debut effort of Miss Ethel Sunshine last week. And the filly, who credited Auckland Reactor with his first New Zealand success as a stallion, will get the chance to show her trainer again when she steps out in the time-honoured Leonard Memorial this afternoon at Addington. It will be another step up for the rangy filly, but everything she did on debut would suggest she is more than capable of handling the challenge from the inside of the second row. “She probably doesn’t show that much at home,” Smolenski said. “But we did draw a bit of confidence from a trial run at Ashburton where she ran a bit of time and you always know you are going ok when Dexter is happy with things.” Dexter is, of course, Dexter Dunn and Smolenski has long given up on being surprised when the champion reinsman gets on one of his horses and says they are in with a show. “He’s done it a couple of times on my horses before, he’s jumped in the sulky and said that he thinks we can win this when I have been thinking we didn’t have much hope. “And he’s usually pretty right too.” Dunn will have to call on all his skills with Miss Ethel Sunshine from the barrier draw especially with her apparent strongest rival, Liberty Rose, drawn up well on the front line. The Mark Jones trained filly made up stacks of ground behind Miss Ethel Sunshine to finish second and with a little more luck this week, she’s expected to be quite hard to beat.  The Geoff Dunn trained, Rohza, who was third in the same race has the advantage of the inside barrier draw which will see her come right into contention although a lead all the way approach would leave Miss Ethel Sunshine most likely sitting on her back. Today’s other feature, the Cheviot Cup will see Locharburn back in action. The big pacer, who has been plagued by injuries all season, will reunite with Dexter Dunn for the race, starting off 35 metres. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have a strong hand in the race with Motu Premier and Alta Ronaldo both in action while Maverick and the Robert Dunn pair of Alta Orlando and Letspendanitetogetha have all got chances as well. Super Selector – By Matt Markham Race 1: BD Khaosan, Izmok, Bonnie Highlander, Spurred By Success Race 2: Debnita Rose, Little Bad John, Sharknado, Scotlyn Harry Race 3: The Foot Tapper, Agatha Tyron, Sugar Cane, Daiquiri Race 4: Rena Bay, Algranco Albyone, Patanjali, Honour The Bet Race 5: Redwood Invasion, Brad’s Kenny, Missandei, Idle Monkey Race 6: Trailer Park Girl, RR Sand Dollar, Port Delight, Ollayntambo Race 7: Quite A Moment, Eyre I Come, Everybody Knows, Belle’s Son Race 8: Locharburn, Motu Premier, Alta Ronaldo, Alta Orlando Race 9: Miss Ethel Sunshine, Liberty Rose, Rozha, Sheeza Sport Race 10: Cable Beach, Gotta Go Ya Hu, Celestial Arden, The Honey Badger Race 11: Articulight, She’s A Flyin, Hard Day’s Night, Booming Jet Best Bet: Cable Beach (Race 10) Value: Redwood Invasion (Race 5)

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