Q What is the Free for All run for TURN IT UP all about ?

He was originally going to run in the lower grade race until Dream About Me came out of the Free for All after we though the Cup was enough for her heading uup north and I changed my thinking. You know he beat Spankem at Ashburton and Spankem is a good horse who went on to win the the Kaikoura Cup.He is going to be a good hope in this too. It will actually be very interesting this race. For me as much as anyone. It is a race that can be very tricky and you get some odd results and tactics at times. I am looking to see how he comes out of it and how it all goes. I thought this was a good time to find just where he is at”

Q What does that say about the other ones in it ?

Nothing really. CRUZ BROMAC went a great race in the Cup and to be fair he was a wee bit unlucky as it turned out. Like all of ours he has come out of the first day well. He is a really good chance. EAMON MAGUIRE went ok in the Cup I thought when you look at it overall and the shorter trip will suit him. He will go a good race too and maybe a bit underrated.

Tiger Tara has drawn wide. As I said sometimes this race is not run as you expect and he is not going to find it easy from there. I know from experience. Does he just press on, or take a sit early ? A tricky situation for him but we know how good he is and I am not underrating him. But it could be a very interesting race.

Q Kingslanding. Come thru it well enough to win again ?

I think so yes. He did it well on Tuesday and it hasn’t taken much out of him. Very well. Be very hard again.

Q Bettor My Dreamz’s form speaks for itself . What about Anthem ?

His work has been really good. Raceday hasn’t been quite what we hoped but this is a drop in grade for him. I don’t like the draw but I think he can be right in this and might be some value.

Q Is ALL U NEED IS FAITH the best in the lesser free for all ? And what do you make of ELLE MAC in a small field ?

Elle Mac went a really good race on Tuesday. She is looking at the features at Auckland but I think those two runs have her just about ready here. All U Need is Faith is hardest again. Ashley Locaz is a lovely horse and he was good on Tuesday. He has the firepower to cause problems if things go his way. Some of the others have better draws than Tuesday and that will make it a little harder for ours

Q Bettor Be Gold was a touch disappointing on Tuesday? Fair comment?

I expected better though he was not that far away in a good time. It is a stronger field here perhaps FUNATTHEBEACH is in it though and he went a big race on Tuesday. Even from 20m he should be hard on that run behind Turn It Up even from a stand.

Q Having the Faith you gave a great run to on Tuesday and he got up nicely. Go again ?

He got quite a soft run but there was a lot to like about the effort. He was a little green in the straight and he gives me the impression he can do work in a race and still win it. So I believe he can step up and win in a higher grade, yes.

Starters Friday

12.47: Bettor My Dreamz (11) Natalie Anthem (13 Mark

3.10 Ashley Locaz (3) Tim All U Need is Faith (5) Natalie Elle Mac (7) Mark

3.45: Kings Landing (5) Mark

4.20: Funatthebeach (6) Tim

6.04: Turn It Up (2) Mark-Spankem (4) Tim-Cruz Bromac (6) Natalie- Eamon Maguire (7) Blair

6.34: Living the Faith (11) Mark


Mark and Natalie both got holidays from November 17 to November 30 at addington yesterday but must feel it was worth it.

They also had reason to think of their old mate Neil Pilcher whose influence seems to extend past our universe with the stable success.

Jim and Anne Gibbs also remembered Neil. Mark selected TURN IT UP in Australia for the partnership.

“Neil wanted the best Courage Under Fire in the sale” Mark recalled.

On Neil’s passing Mark took over his share and gifted some of it to Neil’s brother, Lee. An appearance in the NZ Cup next year is not without possibilities the way he is shaping.

Mark and Natalie both starred in a brilliant start for All Stars at Addington yesterday. The stable won the first three races it contested, LIVING THE FAITH, SLINGSHOT and PORTALEGRE making a trifecta of the maiden and ALL U NEED IS FAITH and SICARIO dominated the Junior Free for All. The stable won five races on Cup Day last year and EXTENDED THAT TO AN ALL TIME RECORD EIGHT WINS by the end of the day.

Mark drove brilliantly to win the maiden event a race which has become an All Stars special in recent years capitalising on the best run to run down a game Slingshot.

“He was massive” Natalie said of the runner up . He had to cover all the extra ground and still nearly got there” The went a sharp 2.22.8 for the 1980m.

For reasons beyond his control owner Dennis Dunford could not be present and also missed All U Need is Faith’s powerful win in the FFA

Portalegre an early leader, fought on well for third.


Its a freakish stat that All Stars have four horses in the NZ Cup and and all have drawn in the first five. But it would be no surprise to the late Neil Pilcher.

Neil used to repeatedly point out that while the draws were done by computer All Stars runners had a high percentage of multiple starters being drawn next to one another. And he was right. But this Tuesday is smasher for the theory.

Two runners on the front line and two on the second line in the Sires Stakes Final start alongside each other but in the Cup three Thefixer, Cruz Bromac and Eamon Maguire (to be driven by Blair Orange) start alongside each other. That hasn’t happened before and probably not to any stable in the history of the Cup.

Adore Me (13) and Arden Rooney (12) drew alongside in 2014 and two years earlier Major Mark and Sushi Sushi started side by side when we had five starters in the race

Away back in 1995 when Mark won his first Cup with Il Vicolo,stablemate Brabham started next to him and in 2001 Cigar (12) and Bogan Fella (13) were next door.

Bear in mind that some years also have included unruly runners not in the main draw to reduce the chances and handicaps still applied in earlier. But never three together and certainly not three drawing one two and three !

Tuesday 24 starters over 9 races

8 winners

4 seconds /quinellas

2 thirds (1 trifecta)

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