by Jonny Turner
Destiny Jones will attempt to continue the resurgence of her form by defending her crown in Sunday’s Group 3 Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup at Motukarara.
The 8yr-old nosed out Monty Python, who also returns for this year’s running, in an exciting finish to the 2018 edition of the 2810m grass track feature.
The Dean Hunter trained squaregaiter ran the best race of her campaign when running second to Sundees Son in the Group 3 Ordeal Trotting Cup at Addington, earlier this month.
The run signalled Destiny Jones was back to her best after her form tailed off at the end of last season and producing a fair resuming run, two weeks prior to her Ordeal Cup effort.
“The last run was good, she certainly stepped up,” Hunter said.
“The harder they go it suits her and when Sundees Son went such a good time it really suited her.”
“She just keeps trucking and if she had been able to get on to Sundees Son’s back around the home turn she would have been even closer at the finish.”
Destiny Jones’ return to form came after her hocks were treated while she had a short winter spell.
It has been evident the mare has been feeling better in her recent work following the treatment, Hunter said.
“She’s been working really, really good so I just hope it continues.”
Hunter is hoping for a repeat of last year’s performance in Sunday’s 2810m feature, but much different fortunes for Destiny Jones than she was dealt after her win.
Destiny Jones had a troubled spring and summer following after she suffered a lingering lung infection.
The trotter bounced back to her best form later in the season and went on to run a big fifth behind Sundees Son in the Rowe Cup, after botching the start.
Destiny Jones and Monty Python will clash with a mixture of established open class trotters and those who have recently graduated to the open grade.
Winterfell opened a short priced favourite for the race with bookmakers after his impressive effort to take ground off rising star, Oscar Bonavena, on fast closing sectionals at Oamaru, last weekend.
The main concern for his backers should be that Winterfell has just had that one soft run to prepare him for Sunday’s 2810m grass track staying test.
However, it would be unlike the All Stars stable not to have the horse ready to run a big race.
Valloria went and put in a sound effort when running third behind Oscar Bonavena at Oamaru and he looks a genuine race contender.
Fellow hopeful, Habibi Inta, set up the very strong pace of Sundees Son’s Ordeal Trotting Cup before fading to run a sound third.
The horse looked in need of racing to reach full fitness when also running third behind Sundees Son in his prior run.
The Paul Nairn trained trotter‘s condition should be much improved following his two starts this season and he looks a genuine threat to Winterfell.
The Greg and Nina Hope trained duo of Matua Tana and Enghien add plenty of interest to the race.
Matua Tana impressed in his first start for the Hope stable with a good win against middle grade trotters at Addington earlier this month.
Enghien has failed to flatter in his first two starts this term after missing all of last season’s racing.
Those two starts should have helped the trotter edge back to peak race fitness ahead of Sunday’s race.
The Dominator and former Dominion winner, Amaretto Sun, add a complex Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup.