Thornley has strong book of drives at Westport

by Jonny Turner

Sam Thornley is keeping his feet on the ground ahead of combining with a strong book of drives at Westport today. 

The junior reinsman will link up with two genuine hopes in both the feature pace and the feature trot at Patterson Park.

Just Ask Paddy comes into the Kawatiri Cup after a spectacular win in his last start at Waterlea in which he fell after passing the post.

Thornley is hoping to see a more polished version of the pacer when he returns to grass track racing today.

And with manners, the pacer trained by Tony Thomas must rate a handy chance.

“He must have shied at the winning post in that last start, but he’s won two of his three starts and run third in the other,” Thornley said. 

“It is great to get the drive for Tony, he stays with us at Ken Barron’s and he is a good fella.”

“If the horse can do things right, he should be a pretty handy chance, but there are a couple of good ones in there like Mo’unga and Helium.” 

Thornley also links up with Muscle Bank for the first time since they won on both days of the January meeting at Waterlea. 

The mare trained by Tom Bamford looks a serious winning chance in race 7. 

“She went great at Marlborough and if she races like that she should be a good chance.”

“Tom seems pretty happy with her, she has had two trials and she has gone pretty good.”

“She has got a lot of high speed, so hopefully there is a bit of pace on and she can be finishing over top of them.”

Barrier 8 in race 5 is far from ideal for the consistent Jaccka Opa, but his excellent recent form suggests he is an eachway threat for Thornley. 

“He has been going good, but he wasn’t as flash in his last start.”

“But they ran home in fast time at Addington which probably wasn’t his go.”

“If he can get a bit of luck from the draw he should go better.”

Proven grass tracker Judgement Bay is another of Thornley’s drives who looks capable of featuring.

“She hasn’t been as good in her last couple of starts, but on her best form she would be up with any of them in that field.”

Rakero Lightning slots into barrier 2 in race 4 for Thornley which could help her boost her form.

“I drove her at the trials and they ran home in fast time and she kept finding the line.”

“She is definitely not the worst.”

Miley Ace in race 11 looks the roughie among Thornley’s six drives at Westport.


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