Johnson Scores with Bletchley Park
Young reinsman Mark Johnson celebrated his first drive behind smart Victorian-bred four-year-old Bletchley Park by landing the stallion a decisive winner of the 2130m Larkhill Vets Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Bletchley Park, third favourite at $4, impressed in finishing powerfully from eighth at the bell to burst to the front 100m from the post and score by just over a length from Valbonne, rating 1.56.9.
Valbonne ($12) ran home powerfully from tenth at the bell to give prominent owner Albert Walmsley a quinella result. It also gave Bunbury trainer Stephen Reed the first of two winners from two starters on Friday night. He was also successful with the promising Walmsley-owned Lord Roscoe, who was driven by Aimee-Lee Wood to a dashing all-the-way victory at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park.
Bletchley Park has had 29 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $197,345. By American Ideal, Bletchley Park is out of the Caprock mare Alldatglittersisgold, a dam of eight winners of 119 races, including star performers Baby Bling and Bling It On.
Baby Bling raced 55 times for 21 wins, ten placings and $854,490 in stakes. Her major Group 1 successes were in a Mares Classic at Gloucester Park, the 2011 Australian Oaks at Melton and the 2013 Miracle Mile at Menangle.
Bling It On amassed $1,833,597 in prizemoney from 48 wins and 20 placings from 95 starts.
Marquisard, an easy all-the-way winner of 2130m the previous week, was favourite at $1.95 from the No. 1 barrier. After a modest lead time of 38sec., Marquisard set a solid pace before wilting in the home straight to finish third. Another last-start winner in Pradas Ideal Dahling was second favourite at $3.90, but he disappointed in fading to last after racing without cover throughout.