Dewe's dual chances in feature pace at Invercargill today

By Jonny Turner

With two evenly matched horses, Tyler Dewe thinks race patterns could split his pairing of Jordy and South Seas Rock at Ascot Park today.

The two pacers are set to start the first and second favourites for race 9, the meeting’s feature pace.

Moving from standing start racing looks like a big advantage for Jordy who has missed away in several recent standing starts.

After staging big recoveries in those recent runs in tougher fields, the ex-Canterbury pacer looks right up to winning today’s 2200m event.

“The mobile should be a big help for both horses, but definitely for Jordy,” Dewe said.

“Jordy has been flying lately, but he is his own worst enemy at times.”

“He can miss away and sometimes he doesn’t fully concentrate on the job, but he has still been running great races.”

“I thought his last run at Wyndham was a little bit plain but his work this week has been super and I am expecting him to run a very good race.”

South Seas Rock was a dominant winner of his last start, as well as his last trial outing, at Ascot Park.

Dewe has high hopes the pacer can show that kind of form he displayed at the Invercargill Cup meeting in January, when he returns to Ascot Park today.

“He wasn’t quite ready a couple of starts ago, so I took him back to the trials and he trialled super,” the trainer said.

“Last start, he got back but he was hitting the line as good as anything at Wyndham last weekend.”

“He has worked super this week and I think he is back to where he was won on Invercargill Cup Day.”

Though his horses are closely matched, Dewe thinks today’s race could play out in South Seas Rock’s favour.

“I think the way this race might pan out, it should map for South Seas Rock.”

“He has got gate speed and he can run time in front.”

“He loves the track, he gets around it like a greyhound and he could run somewhere between 2.40-2.42 (for 2200m) and he will get home in about 56sec (last 800m).”

“That should make it hard for horses at the back.”

“And that is probably going to make it hard for Jordy.”

“They are both really well and there isn’t much between them, it just looks like it could pan out for South Seas Rock.”

Sarah O’Reilly takes the reins behind Jordy today while Hayden Douglas will be out to secure his first win in the sulky with South Seas Rock.

That is if the reinsman doesn’t win with one of his three earlier drives at today’s meeting.

Racing journalist Jonny Turner has had his eye on five horses who look well placed at Thursday’s Ascot Park meeting which will kick off a big month of harness racing in Southland.

Haley Jaccka : 

A sharp 27.1sec final 400m split in her latest trial appearance at Ascot Park showed Haley Jaccka has the speed to make the most of her sweet draw in her debut on Thursday.

The three-year-old has impressed in her recent trials, having finished in the first two in her last three appearances.

Haley Jaccka clashes with Artmore who looks the early leader in the race and if she can handle her first mobile experience well, she could slot into a perfect spot behind the mare drawn beside her in barrier 3.

Regardless of exactly where she finishes up, Haley Jaccka looks to have the game to make a big impact in her debut.

Ward Lamon : 

After copping barriers 6, 13, 9 and 10, the number 2 draw looks a major luxury for this progressive three-year-old on Thursday.

Ward Lamon has last been seen charging home out wide, firstly winning and then running second, in his last two starts at Wyndham.

The pacer gets the relative luxury of stepping up into a one-win race, rather than straight into ratings company where he would have had to take on much more hardy types.

Expect trainer-driver Kirk Larsen to have Ward Lamon schooled well enough to make use of barrier 2 and take plenty of catching.

Louies Girl : 

This classy three-year-old clearly isn’t the best betting proposition of the Thursday given she is likely to start at red-hot odds.

But most importantly, Louies Girl will be out to qualify for the Southern Oaks with another strong heat performance.

With the speed she showed in her fresh-up win at Wyndham, the three-year-old should take a power of beating in what could be her last race before the Group Two final of the series.

While some of her main rivals have taken different paths into the race, trainer Craig Ferguson has chosen a late qualifying run with his classy filly.

Come final time, there may be queries on where those rivals are at but it should prove that Louies Girl will be on a one-way, upward trajectory when Diamonds Day arrives.

Lorton Vale : 

At stages of his career, Lorton Vale hasn’t exactly looked the type worthy of much media attention.

But the pacer has charged home from the rear in his last two starts after drawing barrier 8 on each occasion.

Slotting into barrier 3 on Thursday looks a key factor for the pacer, as does slotting into a winnable race and field.

Though far from any kind of racecourse certainty, Lorton Vale looks to get his winning shot this week.

Jordy : 

Jordy drops significantly in grade on Thursday after roughing it with classy types in recent Country Cup races.

Switching to a mobile event is a huge advantage for the pacer who has been making errors and then running big races recently.

Somewhat ironically, Jordy stepped away in his last start and didn’t run as well as he did in some of his prior efforts.

But I am willing to overlook that effort on a testing Wyndham track.

With some gear changes and the big drop back in grade he faces on Thursday, I am expecting to see the real Jordy.

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