Hurrell starting work on second ton
By Jonny Turner
After notching career victory number 100 at Cromwell last week, Mark Hurrell will start work on his next century of wins at Ashburton on Tuesday.
Hurrell reached 99 wins with Aveross Majesty before landing his first ton in the sulky just a few races later with Tad Lincoln.
A flourish of his whip near the line showed just how much the milestone meant to the junior driver.
“It was good,” Hurrell said.
“It was good to get it done straight away after winning the 99th instead of waiting around for weeks on end to try and do it.”
Win number 100 has come after Hurrell moved to Waikouaiti to work for trainer Amber Hoffman several months ago.
The shift closer to his native Southland after a stint in Canterbury has proven to be a winning one.
“It has been a good move for my career, I have come down here and Amber has given me most of the team to drive.”
Hurrell and the Hoffman trained Jonique will be out to complete a hat-trick of wins in race 8 at Ashburton on Tuesday.
Drawing barrier 8 will not make that assignment easy, but the reinsman still expects the five-year-old to go a big race.
“She is going really well, she tries her wee heart out every week and I would say she is a good chance.”
“I drove her quite hard last time, we will probably not look to drive her as hard, but she will be there or thereabouts.”
The Hoffman stable also has Trinity Star in race 8, who is rated as highly as Jonique.
“I would say they are both on par, Trinity Star has got a better draw (6) and I have got a bit of an average draw (8),” Hurrell said.
Hurrell combines with longtime maiden Aveross Spitfire, who has his first start for the Hoffman stable in race 3.
The way the horse has worked leading into the event suggests he may not be a maiden for much longer.
“He is probably my best chance of the day,” Hurrell said.
“His work has been really good and it is not a strong field and he has got a good draw (3).”
“He is not the worst, he feels like he will win a race or two.”
“So in that field, he should be a good chance.”
Hurrell drives In Sequence in race 9, a highly competitive middle-grade trot.
The six-year-old comes into the race after she peaked after starting what looked to be a winning run in her last start at Winton.
“She just got a little bit rough up the straight, they sprinted a 28.6sec quarter (400m) and she probably had to go a little bit fast to catch the leaders.”
“So, I had to sit up on her a wee bit.”
“But she is pretty genuine and when she trots she is not a bad wee horse.”
“It will just depend on how far back we are, we could be last at the 800m.”
“But she is pretty versatile all the same, I wouldn’t be afraid to put her in the race.”
Ultimate Sassenach disappointed in her last start at Motukarara after footing it with smart types in her prior runs.
The five-year-old has been freshened in the hope she will bounce straight back to her good prior form in race 6.
“She has been going good, but that last start she didn’t feel 100% so we have backed off her a wee bit,” Hurrell said.
“It is her first standing start is the only problem we are going to have.”
“But her form behind Ragazzo Mach and Freddiesam stacks up not too bad.”
“So, if she can get back to that I’d say she is a place chance in that field.”
Hurrell will reunite with To Ri Caitlin in race 10.
The reinsman thought he was on a winner in the six-year-old’s last start before she broke at the 600m mark.
“She was travelling super and the winner was only two in front of me and I thought I would have been able to run it down.”
“She can just do that, she gallops for no reason, she has been there to win a couple of times in her career and she has galloped for no reason.”
“If she goes as good as she did at Forbury two starts ago she would be a chance, but cross your finger she does everything right.”
Hurrell also combines with Son Of Majestic in race 1, Owes Me Dough in race 4, Jaccka Jeorge in race 5 and Dalness Arizona in race 7 at Ashburton on Tuesday.