Elle Mac in capable hands
By Jonny Turner
Junior reinswoman Olivia Thornley has been paid the ultimate compliment by the All Stars stable by being charged with giving Harness Jewels favourite Elle Mac her final hit out before next weekend’s signature race meeting.
Thornley will partner the favourite for the four-year-old mare’s division of the Jewels, when she clashes with a talented bunch of free-for-allers at Addington on Friday night.
Thornley said she was looking forward to the challenge.
“It is definitely a huge thrill to drive a horse of her calibre, especially leading in to the Jewels.”
“It is just great for the likes of Jean Fiess to put me on each week and Mark and Nat to allow me to drive her.”
Friday night’s free-for-all is set to be a must-watch for Harness Jewels punters.
The two favourites for the four-year-old male division of the championship also have make their final public appearances before Queen’s Birthday weekend in the event.
Favourite, Turn It Up, will start at a short-price in what will be his first start since chasing home Spankem in the New Zealand Messenger Championship.
Ashley Locaz will be out to continue his recent dominance of the recent free-for-all races at Addington, on Friday.
Mixing it with the boys is nothing new for Elle Mac, who has been roughing it with them for much of this season.
She has a major advantage over her two main rivals in drawing barrier 1.
And Thornley is hopeful her charge can take advantage of that.
“We will definitely be coming out of the gate and when the right [horse] comes around we will be taking a trail.”
“She is a filly that always tries hard and she will always go a nice race, no matter who she is up against.”
Should it be Turn It Up that takes the front off Elle Mac, it would likely be game-over for his rivals.
Whether he gets there could be another matter.
The Robert Dunn trained Alta Orlando blasted the gate to lead in his last start in free-for-all company at Addington.
The tactic paid off when he went his best race for some time when running second to Ashley Locaz.
Friday night’s race is an all Purdon-Rasmussen and Dunn stable affair.
Alta Orlando will line up beside his new stablemate, Classie Brigade, who will start for the first time since August of last year.
Funatthebeach will start alongside Elle Mac, Turn It Up and Ashley Locaz for the All Stars stable.