Jennabella thriving in amateurs
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Jennabella appears to have found her grade in the amateur ranks and now trainer Matt Purvis is hoping she can find winning form.
The six-year-old mare has finished runner-up in her last three starts, including two amateur races when driven by Andrew Fitzgerald, and she will team up once again with the hobby reinsman at Addington Raceway on Sunday when they contest the Box Seat ‘Every Wednesday’ (Amateur Drivers) Mobile Pace (1980m).
“She has found her grade in the amateurs and has been racing ultra-consistent,” Purvis said. “I can’t ask much more from her, she just seems to find one better every week.”
Purvis highlighted integrating swimming into her training routine has paid dividends.
“She just lives in the swimming pool. Her form has turned around from it,” he said.
The daughter of Bettor’s Delight has drawn barrier six on Sunday and Purvis said she will once again be driven cold.
“She has got to have that perfect trip,” he said. “She is a high-speed mare and only has it for about 250m, but she will be driven with one run, like every other start.
“We just have to hope that they roll along up front for her.”
Jennabella will be joined in the race by stablemate Arnies Army who Purvis is hoping will recapture some form.
The four-year-old gelding has overcome a virus that went through Purvis’ stable, and while fighting fit for Sunday, he will have to overcome his outside barrier on the second row.
“He hasn’t had the greatest prep since his win and fourth,” Purvis said. “He got a virus like the rest of my team and last start I was tinkering with hind shoes with him and it was the wrong decision for him. I have just gone back to what I used to have on him and his work has been good.
“Hopefully he can reverse his form a bit.”
Later on the card stablemate Rocknroll Mama will be looking to go one better than last start when she lines-up in the Woodlands Stud Mobile Pace (1980m).
She finished runner-up over 2000m at Rangiora in her first start for Purvis and he is hoping she can continue their strike-rate on Sunday.
“Her first-up run for me was super,” he said. “She has really bounced since arriving at the beach. Hopefully she can repeat what she did the other day and she shouldn’t be too far away.”
Meanwhile, Purvis is looking forward to summer racing with his 16-strong team, particularly the West Coast circuit over the Christmas-New Year period.
“I should have a big team ready for Westport,” he said.
“Going to the Coast is a good mental refresher and the horses enjoy the trip away too.
“Over in Westport everybody comes together and after the races they have drinks and platters in the bar for the trainers. You don’t really get that anywhere else.
“They welcome you in and make you feel a part of it.”