Samantha Ottley to stay with Woodend stable
Samantha Ottley, the leading junior driver last season, is remaining with the Woodend Beach stable of Robert Dunn.
Ottley, who is now an open driver, transferred to the Dunn stable from Colin and Julie De Filippi at the beginning of June. She has since won races with Dunn-trained horses Secret Lotion (two), Art Critic, Donegal Jimmy Dave and Madiba Magic.
She ended the season on Thursday with 52 wins, the highest tally by a leading female junior. Other females to lead the junior drivers premiership are Kirstin Green (now Barclay) with 32 wins (2003-04) and Jo Herbert (26 and 39 wins in 1996-97 and 1997-98).
Ottley won 122 races in five seasons as a junior. She is the first female to reach 100 wins.
"It has gone well from the Dunn stable and I am looking forward to the challenge as an open driver," Ottley said.
Trainer Dunn had his best season with 103 wins, assisted by his son and right-hand man, John, who won 94 races as a reinsman.
The junior driver Loren Lester is now with the De Filippis.
Sonova Gun, a nominee for the Invercargill meeting on Sunday, is now trained by Brett Gray at Ryal Bush. Sonova Gun, who has not raced since February, won at Ascot Park in November when trained by Tony Stratford.
Jaccka Len, a first-up winner for Gray at Winton in September, is now with Tony Herlihy at Papakura. Jaccka Len was transferred to Mark Jones after his win and subsequently had minor placings in 11 of his 13 starts.
Donaldson, who has not raced since January, is among six horses Woodend Beach trainers Greg and Nina Hope have entered for the Invercargill meeting. Donaldson, the winner of five races is assessed at c4.
Majestic Major, who was exported in February, won the Group III $40,000 Redcliffe Cup on Saturday. The Art Major-Seaswift Franco gelding, now trained by Grant Dixon, won his two starts from the stable of Jonny Cox and Amber Hoffman at the start of the year after a win for John Howe.
Majestic Major was bred by Mike Prendergast, of West Melton.
Maximan, formerly trained at Edendale by Craig Laurenson, won the $25,000 Melton Cup Final on Saturday. Maximan was sold after winning the Westport, Reefton and Manawatu Cups last season for owner Russell Nieper out of the Templeton stable of Jim Curtin. The Armbro Operative-Clifton Beauty gelding won four when trained by Laurenson for Balclutha breeder, Ian Bennett.
Trainer Ken Ford dedicated the win of Zachary Binx at Oamaru on Sunday to his long-time friend, Peter Robinson, who died on Thursday.
"Peter spent a lot of time with us and the horses," Ford said.
Zachary Binx, who was having his first start, finished boldly in the hands of Amanda Tomlinson, the co-owner with Ford, her father.
They bred Zachary Binx, a 4-year-old by Sundon and the first foal to race out of Zsa Zsa, the winner of six races for the same owners. Zsa Zsa is a sister to Midnight Invasion (10 wins) and half sister by Armbro Invasion to Zuri (12), Aramid (10) and Bede (three).
The Southland Times