Emotional Akaroa Cup win for Jones family
By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
A mixture of “joy and sorrow” is how Canterbury trainer Derek Jones describes yesterday’s Akaroa Cup win with Lulu Le Mans at Motukarara.
It came just days after the death of his father Peter, a well-known farrier and figure in Canterbury harness racing circles, aged 91.
“It was a funny feeling,” said Derek Jones of the win, “There was both joy and sorrow at the same time.”
After getting an economical run three back the fence Lulu le Mans was angled off the fence by Sam Ottley, and then produced a sustained run to beat favourite Riveered by a head.
“I was hoping for a win rather than expecting it,” says Jones, “and she drove her super.” The mare was 7/7 in the betting, and paid $16.60 and$4.70.
It was Lulu Le Mans’ ninth win in 49 starts, and her second in a row after winning at Ashburton in November. Stablemate Kiss the Girls also went a cracker of a race, finishing an unlucky sixth.
The Jones family are at the very heart of the sport in Canterbury, with Derek Jones’ uncle being his namesake, the legendary Derek “D G” Jones.
Derek Jones works a small team in the mornings before going to his day job as an adviser for Tegel Foods.
Fittingly Elusive Chick – Lulu Le Mans’ mother – has been his best horse.
Bought for just $3000 she had 13 wins from 58 starts, earning more than $400,000.
As well as Ottley wearing a black armband for yesterday’s Akaroa Cup, commentator Justin Evans also made mention of Peter’s death as the four-year-old mare crossed the finish line.
“That really meant a lot” says Derek Jones, ”I went home last night and listened to the commentary and it was very emotional.”
They plan to use part of the commentary at tomorrow’s funeral.