Trainer enjoys more Ellerslie joy

Mark Blackie has yet to sign off on a summer programme for his smart sprinting mare Joy Anna, but it’s a fair bet that Auckland will be figuring prominently in his plans.
The lightly-raced star of the Tauranga trainer’s boutique stable has already displayed a fondness for the premier course with two wins from three visits.
Joy Anna was successful in a Rating 65 contest on the track last month and on Saturday she coped admirably with a sharp rise in class to put away a competitive Rating 85 line-up the Brookby Stables Handicap (1100m).
“She’s just taken a bit of time and she’s come to it now,” Blackie said. “I haven’t got anything worked out yet, but she really does like Ellerslie.”
Joy Anna has shown a propensity to lead in her races, but this time she sat back kindly in third spot before asserting her dominance.
“She’s pretty talented and she’s got a high cruising speed so it was nice to see her take a sit and learn a bit,” Blackie said.
He is also part of the syndicate that races Joy Anna with the Hawkins family, who operate Wentwood Grange and bred the daughter of Iffraaj.
The four-year-old was ridden for the first time on Saturday by Mark Du Plessis, who had the mare coasting in third spot and bided his time in the straight before asking her to lengthen stride.
“She’s obviously got a lot of ability and she’s done a good job,” he said. “She travelled nicely and we had the last laugh.”
Joy Anna took control and she held the challenge of Selfie at bay by a long head for the fourth victory of her eight-start career.
Vanilla Moon made ground well from the back for third, as did the resuming JaJa Binks who came from last to finish fourth.

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