Jones team chasing big race starts
By Jonny Turner
After teaching older horses a lesson, Burnham Boy has his sights on his own age group at Addington to solidify his New Zealand Derby prospects.
The Bettor’s Delight pacer is one of a line up of promising 3yr-olds that will attempt to boost their hopes of starting in next month’s group 1 classic in the Johnny Globe Stakes tonight.
Burnham Boy has little to prove against older middle grade horses after his good fresh up win in the Cheviot Cup.
The victory came after Jones chose to give his 3yr-old opportunities in graded events to improve the pacer.
And judging by the Burnham Boy’s recent progress it has paid off.
“We have tried to toughen him up a bit and see if he is good enough for the classic races,” Jones said.
Burnham Boy will revert back to racing his own age in tonight’s 1980m feature.
Jones hopes the pacer can prove himself worthy of a New Zealand Derby start with a solid performance.
“He won’t disgraces himself, but it is one of those cases where we will chuck him in the deep in and see if he can swim.”
Heroes Square will attempt to continue the impressive start he has made to his career and shore up a derby start in tonight’s race.
Leading contenders Cloud Nine, Steel The Show and Minstrel will do the same.
Smooth Deal will not need to prove his derby credentials when he backs up a week after his sound fourth in Line Up’s New South Wales Derby in the Johnny Globe Stakes.
Jones has a big hand in tonight’s Nevele R Fillies Series heat.
Plutonium Lady will start from 2 in the 1980m event, with stablemate Lulu Le Mans outside her in barrier 8.
Plutonium Lady will get no rest from chasing a smart All Stars filly after running on well to claim second in her last start in Amazing Dream’s Northern Oaks.
This time, she takes on Stylish Memphis in what will be her first start for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.
Plutonium Lady’s premium draw and the way she has worked since returning from Auckland has Jones hopeful the filly can produce a strong performance.
“She has got good gate speed and she is probably good enough to push forward and make her own luck,” the trainer-driver said.
“She has come back good from Auckland and gets her chance to qualify for the final.”
Lulu Le Mans is stuck out in barrier 8 under the conditions of tonight’s heat after winning a previous qualifier.
Though she goes in to the race after producing a powerful victory at Ascot Park, that draw will have a big effect on her winning chances.
“Three starts ago we didn’t know where she was at, then she won a conditioned heat,” Jones said.
“But her win last start was good, so she is definitely improving.”
“Just from that draw she will find it extremely hard with Stylish Memphis and Plutonium Lady in there.”
Jones officially prepared Stylish Memphis until recently, when his training partnership with Brendon Hill ended.
The filly has been in the care of Mark Purdon while campaigning in Australia for the past two months.
Stylish Memphis will start for the first time since her tough win in last month’s New South Wales Oaks in tonight’s race.