4, 3, 2, 1 - 100!
To use cricketing parlance Johnny has been stuck in the "nervous 90's" for the last couple of weeks. He managed to add one to his season tally last week, courtesy of a "walkover" victory gifted to him a Breeders heat by the Andrew Stuart trained Angelas Image. There were high hopes with a couple of stable runners, but it wasn't meant to be.
This week, friends, supporters and in general great racing people have been coming "out of the trees" to help John. With 20 confirmed drives, including another walkover victory in Safedra - thanks CT! - John must have a great chance of getting his 1st century into the record books.
For those following John (Forbury - Thursday, Addington - Friday and Ashburton - Sunday), here is my take on his chances.
Forbury - Thursday
Race 1 - Priscilla P. Trained by great mate in Gavin Smith, this mare has been racing well in much stronger company. She must rate at worst an eachway hope.
Race 2 - Brazilian Smile. John had his 1st drive on this mare last time out in a strong maiden field. She had some issues, but he quite liked her and has stuck with the ship. From a handy draw, she is another eachway hope.
Race 3 - Beaudienne Clemintyne. Trained by Murray Brown, this filly has been consistent in a short career. She recorded a nice victory for Dexter last time. This is a big step up and the draw is not ideal. In syaing that Murray usually has them ready to go.
Race 5 - Bert Powell. Manners are the key for this fella trained by father-in-law Craig Edmonds. If he trotted all the way, a huge winning hope.
Race 6 - De Malmanche. Bob has decided not to go south and as a result, John picks up what looks to be a great winning drive. The draw is good, the quality of this field is poor. Say no more!
Race 7 - Montecrengle. Thanks to the Kennetts, John gets the steer on an old mate in Montecrengle. He returned to his very best last time winning at Oamaru over 2600m in 3.15, a good time for winter and for an amateur drivers race. If he fronts again, a big hope.
Race 8 - Taieri Wings. A good catch drive for Chris Gerken. While he is the back marker off 20m, it was a top run in finishing 3rd to Texican last time. Don't leave him out.
Addington - Friday
Race 1 - Flying Frances. Has been going really nice races, but probably running for place money again.
Race 2 - Johnny Eyre. This 2yr old trained by Mike Brown has only had the one start, 5 months ago in the Sapling Stakes. If he has improved at all in the interim, clearly a big hope.
Race 3 - Burano. Dex steps aside and John is reunited with another old mate in Burano. He has gone super in all 3 races since a long spell and will appreciate the let-up in the handicaps. He'll give a good sight.
Race 4 - Lionels Meddle. Great run 1st up, but strong field again. Definitely a place hope.
Race 5 - Comenche. Huge again last time and if he can overcome the draw another win on the cards.
Race 7 - Fiery Lustre. It was John's 1st drive on this one last time and he liked the horse a lot. He has been out of form for some time, but appears ready to notch another win at short notice.
Race 10 - Kotare Mahal. Looking for better luck after last week's disapointment. Clearly has the motor. Go again!
Ashburton - Sunday
Race 1 - Prince of Gems. This is a 1st starter out of Gav Smith's stable and has been seen to good effect at trials. Never easy 1st up, but they are usually ready to go.
Race 2 - Classic Vogue. As per above comment. Another 1st starter for Gav.
Race 3 - Midnight Mayhem. Ran a top race for 2nd at Rangiora two back and no luck last time. If he reproduces the Rangiora run and from a good draw, clearly a winning hope.
Race 8 - Blazin N Cullen. We all know what this fella can do when right and given one run at them. Sure to be set to go.
Best of luck JR! There are plenty of people out there following your progress. Lets hope this mark can be put to bed this weekend.
Posted: Wed 17 Jul 2013