Habibti Ivy gets job done


Classy mare Habibti Ivy gave Leeston trainer Paul Nairn four career wins in the $30,000 Alabar DG Jones Trotting Cup (2810m) at Motukarara on Sunday when she led for the last 1200m and narrowly held out Destiny Jones.

Nairn had previously won the time-honoured feature with Call Me Now in 1994 and that horse’s son Call You Later in 2002-03.

Habibti Ivy broke badly from behind the mobile at her last start at Addington and Nairn, a master trainer with squaregaiters, advised stewards that he had her hocks injected and she had worked well since.

Habibti Ivy ($1.90) has now won nine from 19 starts and the gritty six-year-old Love You mare won’t be out of place in the Group One $300,000 Dominion Handicap (3200m) on November 17 at Addington.

She settled back off 10 metres for driver Blair Orange before looping the field and taking the lead from Destiny Jones, who challenged hard in the final 200m on a dead grass track and came up half-a-neck short for driver Ricky May, with Monty Python running on well for third.

Orange made it 27 wins for the new season in the last when favorite Goodlookin Chick ($3) scored impressively in the R60 mares pace (2000m mobile) after sitting three wide for the last 800m.

Earlier, last season’s national champion Dexter Dunn moved to 11 wins when Run Boy Run took out the R56-70 pace after a copybook lead-then-trail drive, Dunn’s fourth success of the weekend as he tries to make up for lost time after a delayed start to the season.

Gavin Smith made it 10 driving wins for season when he reined Dundee Lady ($3.30) to win a 2000m mobile maiden narrowly over Bettor Than That and Mongolian Mars.

Smith has won seven races in September alone, including two on Friday night at Addington.

Dundee Lady’s trainer Phil Burrows has made a strong start to the grass-track season after producing Friend to win impressively at Methven two weeks ago, where American Ideal four-year-old mare Dundee Lady ran a fast-finishing second on debut.

She ran on powerfully yesterday to beat in-form Bettor Than That by half-a-neck.