News

Ottley gets early double

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Successful Overport Lodge driver Sam Ottley was the driver to follow early on Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup day, scoring wins with Sundons Flyer and Real Torque.

Ottley found the perfect trail in both races, delivering Sundons Flyer at 13-to-one for Burnham trainer Bruce Negus, who went into the race confident the consistent Sundon mare was a good winning chance.

Negus, who bred the chestnut mare and races her with Barrie Barber and John Gledhill, felt campaigning Sundons Flyer extensively on the south circuit last year made the mare as she grew in confidence.

Sundons Flyer again stepped swiftly from the inside draw, leading then securing the trail behind Jen Jaccka with 1400m to run, then finishing best along the sprint lane to score in 3:19.6 (2600m stand) in the rating 75-130 Airpark Canterbury Handicap Trot.

This was her eighth win, while she’s also picked up 15 placings in 49 starts, taking her earnings to $67,668.

Ottley, NZ’s top junior driver three years ago, racked up her 15th win of the season, when guiding Real Torque, for her employer Mark Jones, to justify her favouritism in the up to rating 63 RNP Homes Ltd Mobile Pace over 2600m.

Real Torque went one better than 12 months ago when the runnerup to American Tart in the same race.

Ottley used her gate speed to hold the early lead, then was happy to trail noted front-runner Debnita Rose over the last 1900m.

They were too good with a sprint lane finish, holding by three-quarters of a length from Highland Reign, who fought strongly after improving with a three wide trail over the final lap.

Real Torque, a half-sister to fast USA winner Statesman (1:50.4) and good West Australian winner Calais (1:55.3), was recording her sixth win in 36 starts for owners, Katherine Hatton, along with daughters, Emma, Gina and Kate.

Katherine’s husband Grant owns former Auckland Cup placegetter Saveapatrol, who is the early stages of a potential comeback for the Mark Jones stable after being prematurely retired last year.