Ottley shooting for 700th at Mot

By Mike Love

Samantha Ottley is poised to bring up her 700th driving win today at Banks Peninsula with seven solid chances.

Coming into today’s meeting off the back of a Timaru Cup victory yesterday behind Deny Everything, Ottley is sitting on 699 wins in the sulky, and is hopeful of some success today.

“I had been sitting on 698 for a while until yesterday, so now on 699 it’ll happen when it happens and it will be what it will be. But hopefully I'm not stuck on it for too long!

“I have a handy enough book today without having any real standouts.”

Race 2 Rockcent for Rodger Austin is second up after a handy debut 5th at Ashburton during cup week.

“Has a good draw to work with. It’s an even field, so I’m sure she’ll be thereabouts if she’s improved from her first run.”

Race 3 longtime maiden Ambleside Drive for Peter and Mitchell Robertson will be looking to break through, and the Auckland Reactor mare brings some solid form into today's assignment.

“She’s knocking on the door. Hopefully today is her day! She’s been racing in stronger fields than this.”

Race 4 sees Kilauea go around for Ottley’s employer Mark Jones. The 5 year old Sportswriter gelding has been racing fairly and brings solid grass track credentials into today's race, having won 1 and placed 4 times from 10 starts on the grass.

“He was good fresh up. It will just be a case of him doing things right, but hopefully he should be a top 3 chance.”

Race 5 Holly Highlander for Kevin Fairbairn is another with strong grass track form having won 2 and placed 1 time from 6 starts on the grass.

“She’s been really consistent lately. This is a little bit of a drop back for her. If we can land a handy spot she should be a player.”

Race 7 last start winner Poetry In Motion for Mark Jones will be looking for luck from her draw of 14.

“She has a bad draw which will make it tough. But she’s a happy horse and won well last start, but will need some luck.”

Race 9 Helloveamoment for Mark Jones raced competitively enough through cup week to warrant a good chance today, despite a tricky draw of 17.

“Another with a bad draw but also a bit of a drop back. He loves the grass, and usually has manners. Could be a value bet.”

Race 10 sees Ottley round out her day with American Sniper for Henderson Hunter, who will look for luck from his second line draw of 11.

“He’s a one trick pony, likes to have one run at them and he has the draw to do it. He has a wee bit of form going into it, so he shouldn’t be too far off them.”

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