Day At The Track

Chasing some Group One delight

09:24 AM 12 May 2017 NZST
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Delightful Memphis and Blair Orange
Photo by Bruce Stewart

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

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