Brett Gray ready to "rock" at Uncut Gems

By Jonny Turner

Southlander Brett Gray is sticking with a tried and true method as he prepares Joes Rock for the Rico Lodge Uncut Gems Mares Classic at Addington on Friday night.

The speedy mare returns to Christchurch for the first time since her Group 1 placing in the New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Stakes in February.

Joes Rock came into that race fresh, just like she did when heading into her last start win in the Southern Belle Speed Series Final.

“It seems to work when we come in fresh,” Gray said.

“She is only a wee girl and if we can give her a few days off and look after her she seems to thrive off it.”

“It worked well in the Group 1 and in the Southern Belle, so there is no point in changing it now.”

Joes Rock starts from barrier 7 under the Uncut Gems Mares Classic’s preferential barrier draw.

Gray will be leaving all tactics to Nathan Williamson.

“Hopefully he can go out there and do his GOAT stuff, I don’t tell him how to drive.”

Joes Rock has headed north in great shape after impressing in her work this week.

“We are rapt with the way she has been working.”

“She seems very well, we have just got to hope she gets a bit of luck and she should go a good race.”

Peregrine will be out to clinch a deserved win for the Gray stable in the NZB Standardbred Uncut Gems Trotters Classic on Friday night.

In an incredibly consistent run of form, the trotter hasn’t missed a top 4 placing in her past 14 starts.

Peregrine has been chasing from handicaps recently and is again faced with a 20m mark on Friday.

But Gray feels it is a more workable handicap than she has faced in some of her recent starts.

“The handicap seems not too bad for her last week.”

“She went a pretty good race last week, she had an easy weekend and Tim (Williams) is really happy with her.

“She didn’t steer as well as usual last week, so we have worked on that.”

Gray also starts Julie Jaccka among a capacity field in race 6, the Livamol Handicap Trot on Friday night.

The trainer is hopeful the mare can improve on her last start third at Ascot Park.

“She is actually working really well.”

“It is more about her having this trip away, I quite like this mare.”

“She might have been a little under done for her last start in hindsight.”

“But she has certainly been working very well since then.”

Nathan Williamson also takes the reins behind Julie Jaccka.

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