Addington appetiser ahead of Jewels for Jones
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Mark Jones is looking forward to the IRT Harness Jewels at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday, but before then he will have three contenders at Addington Raceway on Thursday.
The Burnham horseman will line-up last start winner Sioux Princess in the Woodlands Handicap Trot (2600m) where she will once again meet With Ice.
The Bob Butt-trained and driven gelding came to within a half head of Sioux Princess last start, and with both horses starting from behind the 10m tape, Jones believes With Ice will once again be the one to beat on Thursday.
“Sioux Princess has been racing well and got the perfect run (last start). We were lucky to get the win,” Jones said.
“We may struggle to beat With Ice this week back on equal marks and he has been racing pretty well, so they will probably be the hardest to beat. But if she does things right, she won’t be too far away.”
Jones will also have a two-pronged attack in the Fahey Fence Hire Trot (2600m) with Kowhai Sundown and Michelle.
“Kowhai Sundown has been racing well and he is always a chance in that type of race, so with any luck he is a chance,” Jones said. “Michelle is doing things wrong, so she is one to take on trust.”
Jones will be watching his runners from Pukekohe where he is overseeing the final preparations of his four Jewels runners.
His quartet received a mixed bag at the barrier draw last week, but La Rosa was the biggest winner from the Jones Barn, drawing gate three in the Gr.1 Dunstan Horsefeeds 3YO Diamond (1609m).
She has importantly drawn inside archrival Bettor Twist, who will start from the outside of the front row.
La Rosa finished runner-up behind the Jewels leader in the Gr.1 New Zealand Pacing Oaks (2600m) at Addington last start, and Jones is keen to turn the tables this weekend.
“The good draw helps,” he said. “It is a bonus to draw inside the other one (Bettor Twist) and we get our chance.
“She went super in the Oaks, we couldn’t do anymore. She got driven perfectly and just got beaten by a better horse on the night.
“She has travelled up good and is fit and well. Things are on track ahead of Sunday.”
Stablemate Kowhai Sunset has also drawn the same gate in the Gr.1 Montana Food & Events 2YO Ruby (1609m) and Jones said his biggest asset is his good manners.
“Kowhai Sunset is a nice horse,” he said. “He is flying under the radar a bit. I don’t think he has the share brilliance of a two-year-old as the top three, but in saying that he normally does things right and he wouldn’t be without an upset place chance from the draw, he is quite a nice horse.”
Braeview Kelly and Plutonium Lady have been less fortunate with their draws, with Braeview Kelly drawing the outside of the second row in the Gr.1 Dunstan horsefeeds 3YO Diamond (1609m), and Plutonium Lady drawing one place inside that in the Gr.1 Woodlands Stud 4YO Diamond (1609m).
While unhappy with the draw, Jones has been pleased with Braeview Kelly’s form heading into Sunday, with fourth placings in the New Zealand Pacing Oaks and Gr.1 Nevele R Fillies Series Final (1980m) in her last two starts.
“She raced great both nights at Addington but the draw just makes it near impossible around Cambridge over a mile,” Jones said.
“You kind of feel sorry for the horse, she is going as good as any of them, she is just having no luck.”
Plutonium Lady is in the same boat with the draw, but Jones said she has thrived since she has been in the north, and rates her a place chance on Sunday.
“She is the one that has thrived up here the most, but it makes it hard from the draw with Need You Now drawn where she is (6), and Amazing Dream is the best horse, so third would be a good result for her if she can run there.”