Negus and Young-Grant out for more
By Jonny Turner
Trainer Bruce Negus and driver Jessica Young-Grant will attempt to continue their fine summer form at Motukarara on Sunday.
The combination have been regulars in the winner’s circle recently and that could continue when they start four horses on the popular grass track.
Much of Negus and Young-Grant’s form has come with horses the trainer purchased as weanlings and his judgment has been paying off lately.
“I can’t complain, obviously the ones coming through at the moment were the ones Bruce bought at the weanling sales a couple of years ago,” Young-Grant said.
“He has got a few coming up, so it is good.”
Negus and Young-Grant look to have an excellent winning chance in Dashtothebeach in race 11.
Young-Grant was reunited with the three-year-old in her last start third at Ashburton and was impressed by the feeling she got.
“Obviously I hadn’t driven her for a while because Jonny Cox won on her and kept the drive for a while,” Young-Grant said.
“I said to Bruce she is a completely different horse to what I drove when she first started racing,” Young-Grant said.
“She has improved so much, with her gait and everything.”
“So she should go close.”
Buffy Northstains was a good last maiden winner for the Negus and Young-Grant combination in her last start at Rangiora.
Though she is capable of stepping up in grade in race 6, Young-Grant is a little cautious of the filly’s inexperience.
“Ability-wise it wouldn’t really worry her at all.”
“But she doesn’t really know anything.”
“Last time she was first out, she loves being in front and she just bowls around.”
“That is how she qualified.”
“But she has never been in a field and raced like a proper racehorse.”
“If she trotted the whole way and was roundabout she goes quite good and she would be thereabouts.”
“But she has got a bit to learn.”
Phone Tap looks a place or eachway chance for Negus and Young-Grant on the strength of her debut fourth at Motukarara.
The filly broke in her next start when failing to handle switching to the Rangiora all-weather.
“She has always had a wee bit of a gait issue and that obviously showed up on the all-weather the other day when I went pretty hard out of the gate,” Young-Grant said.
“She really doesn’t know what she is doing, that first start she was running on adrenaline, she had no idea.”
“She has got the motor but the brain isn’t with her at the moment.”
“It will depend on what kind of mood she is in.”
Young-Grant also drives the Joseph Gray trained It's A Shawthing, who looks a rough hope in race 5.
Sunday’s feature sees an even line up do battle in the Motukarara Cup.
Blue Chip Delight looks a strong eachway hope for driver Jo Herbert on the strength of two good efforts to run third and fourth at last month’s Westport Christmas meeting.
The Colin and Julie DeFilippi trained pacer just needs to pace over the Motukarara track crossing, which he did in his last visit to the track.
Blue Chip Delight jumped the Westport track crossing in each of his last two starts.
“On the first day, he jumped it higher and actually came down pacing,” Herbert said.
“The next day I couldn’t believe my luck that I was left parked and I knew it was coming.”
“He made a mess of it, but to gallop and finish where he did was a good effort.”
If he can get back to normal transmission, Blue Chip Delight will have winning claims.
“I would say he would go a pretty good race, it is not an overly strong field,” Herbert said.
Cheezel looks the hardest horse for Blue Chip Delight to beat.
The Regan Todd trained mare starts from a 10m handicap in Sunday’s 2810m feature.