Kiwi horseman Mark Jones is returning to Brisbane.
The former World Driving champion campaigned for the first time in the Sunshine State last year and although went winless in the major events, he’s keen to right that wrong.
His major drawcard last season was the now North American based Delightful Memphis who chased home Shartin in the Queensland Oaks.
This year, Jones is sending a pair of talented three-year-olds in The Bus and Tres Vite.
Both will target the Derby and Oaks features in the coming weeks.
“They’re only three once and these race make strong appeal, both horses are fit and well and deserve an opportunity to land a big race result. I had a great time in Brisbane last year and keen to head back again.” Jones declared.
The Bus will start on Sunday in the Gr.1 $150,000 Breeders Challenge Final at TABCORP Park, Menangle but has drawn poorly and takes on the most exciting pacer in the country in Ignatius.
Young reinsman Chris Geary has the job of navigating a path from gate 11 while Ignatius has drawn ideally in gate 3.
Last start in the semi-final, The Bus finished a tidy second behind Ignatius in a time of 1:53.1.
The Bus will start in both the Gr.3 $$30,540 South East Derby on July 14 before tackling the Gr.2 $75,540 Queensland Derby the following week.
Tres Vite will accompany The Bus to Queensland and the talented filly will be set for the Gr.3 $30,540 South East Oaks next week before starting in the Gr.2 $75,540 Queensland Oaks the following week.
Unbeaten in both starts to date while in Sydney, the Bettors Delight filly scored an impressive victory via the passing lane at Bathurst last night (Wednesday) when handled by Ellen Rixon.
Tres Vite rated 1:55.8 after scoring at Penrith the start prior in a time of 1:57.4.
Earlier this season, Tres Vite finished second behind Dibaba in the Gr.2 $45,000 Southland Oaks at Ascot Park in Ivercargill.
“Both horses are above average and will acquit themselves well in whatever they contest. Given their current form, I’m keen to see if we get some black type against their names before seasons end.
“The Bus has always been held in high regard and it’s just a shame he’s got such a bad draw this weekend, I thought he went really well in the semi-final. He’ll need plenty of luck this weekend but he can feature in the Queensland features.
“We were undecided about Tres Vite and the Queensland trip but when she won again last night, we decided to go for it and I think she’ll race well. Hopefully we can get some luck with draws and then we won’t be far away, I think Sociable looks the filly to beat this season.”
Jones operates from Christchurch while also having a satellite stable at Menangle in Sydney.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | June 28