Mark is finding life really busy just now.


He is working away with his four gallopers on his special project beside aiding the action on the harness stable but the need for Nathan to be based in Australia with four youngsters has meant extra responsibility for Mark meaning extra time to cover both stables and, with Blair still away on his World Driver’s Championship, xtra driving.

Two of his drives Friday are of special interest because they feature clashes between stablemates whose outcomes may be testing punters thoughts pre-race. 

The first is in the Nevele R heat (R5;7 pm) where Amore Mia makes her race debut for the stable after a recent sale and looks well placed off the ace gate.Well placed enough to be likely favourite.

But while it looks good its not that simple.

On her back is Luvstruck with Natalie in the cart and what happens in the next 100m or so is critical to the outcome of the race.


“Luvstruck seems to have the speed to follow us out. The question is whether Amore Vita can hold up. If she is headed and Luvstruck is three back that makes her task more difficult and leaves Amore Vita in a better place.So that will be a factor.

Amore Vita has settled in well and won a heat of the series earlier though this could still be a step up for her on the clock  If the race works out for Luvstruck, on her work she may be a threat with her two year old experience”


Major Hot and Vessem clash in the two year old event but in this case Mark,who drives Major Hot, presents more clarity.

“Major Hot has had a race,he went well and he has improved since then. Vessem has just had a trial. But on class alone,as he is shown he is still going to be the one to beat”

There’ s confidence in the camp  over Anything Goes in the Maurice Holmes that can give him a guaranteed start in the NZ Cup, and whom Natalie reported in these columns on Sunday had worked in outstanding fashion on Saturday.

“He’s in a good place” Mark said

Natalie looks to have two other top drives.With Style  about which she was enthusiastic in her weekend summary,looks a strong chance in Race 3 ( Carrera Rapido didn’t manage to win one at two but raced in the best company and his trial suggested maiden company will not hold him long. He has had two solid trials though this will be his first race start since December.And Mystic Max who Mark says has pleased Michael this week,gives Natalie the option of  huge night in the trotting free for all in company which will not embarrass him.

Her perfect night adds up to 6 wins.Or perhaps five if Mark spoils any of the party.


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