SATURDAY WORK AT ROLLESTON
Overnight rain changed a few plans at Rolleston on Saturday. Some horses scheduled to work in pairs worked solo because of the “kickback” from the track affected by the rain. But a good bunch got through their assignments in the usual efficient style.
*FUNATTHEBEACH and Winterfell worked on the straight track last 800m section in 1.02; Jesse Duke and Ultimate Sniper ran 2400m in 3.25 home in 1:02. Spankem the Miracle Mile king ran an even 3200m in 5.00 and Chase Auckland and Ashley Locaz had similar assignments
ON YOUR KNEES-IT IS ABOUT THE POWER OF PRAYER
Mark described The Power of Prayer “ a real surprise packet” after the Mach Three youngster scored easily at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday.
“Tim gave all our triallists a rap for their runs but this was probably the star among them. He has really come on in the last month as two year olds can do and he is in a good place”
The Power of Prayer,surprise surprise,races in the same colours as Hands Christian, Have Faith In Me, All U Need is Faith etc, majority owned by Dennis and Mark Dunford.
This one would have been no problem to name. As a son of the mare Bishop’s Blessing he is a brother to Devil Dodger and a half to The Devil’s Own a former top two year old now in training in the North Island.
He cost the Dunfords $50,000 at the Yearling Sales a reasonable price considering the family background.
He has had just the two trial outings, qualifying in the first and winning on Wednesday easily in 2.31 and change smart going for a two year old in those conditions.
He doesn’t lack for breeding either. His granddam, Atomic Lass, left a useful sort called AUCKLAND REACTOR so The Power of the Prayer is almost a three quarter brother to that champion.
It is early days but The Power of Prayer could be one to make his mark this autumn if he maintains his present progress
JIM AND ANNE SETTING THE PACE
It is probably true to say that Jim and Ann Gibbs, once entirely famous for their success with thoroughbreds, are at present best known for their standardbred ownership.
Since they opted in to All Stars Kennard Syndicates through Jim’s close association with Neil Pilcher their success has been striking. Take a look at some of the highlights.
ALTA ORLANDO -we think maybe the first headliner in the series and raced in partnership with Pilch. Alta Orlando won the rich PGG Wrightson Sales Final (LR) as a two year old. He later went amiss and was set for beach training. Still competitive at a high level but never better than as a two year old.
ANOTHER MASTERPIECE= won both the Harness Jewels Diamond and the PGG Sales Final as well as the Welcome Stakes (G2) He was the Two Year Old of the Year last season.
THE DEVILS OWN- He won a Sires Stakes heat and then the 2yo PGG Wrightson Sales Final ($195,000). He was third in the Sires Stakes Final and 2nd beaten a head by Ashley Locaz in 1.51.9 in the Harness Jewels. He has not raced since last February and no longer at All Stars.
SPANKEM - enough said. Winner of the Sires Stakes Final and this season the Kaikoura Cup and also a race called the Miracle Mile and worth $A1m. More to come
TURN IT UP- Auckland Cup (G1) in really just a handful of starts and gearing up for more of the same this autumn.
PACING MAJOR- winner of the Kindergarten and Sapling Stakes. He was one of the more unlucky juveniles at All Stars but very consistent. He ran second in the Young Guns final (to More the Better) ; 2nd in the PGG 2yo Final (to the same horse); 2nd in the Sires Stakes Final and then third in the Harness Jewels both G1 races. He has been a successful performer in the United States.
Jim and Ann raced other horses with Pilch who won races and were sold on but as a line up of really big ones, especially in the last 12 months, this list is hard to fault.