Bonnie Joan in a previous win for Dexter Dunn and Cran Dalgety. Photo: Race Images
The curtain will come down on the racing career of classy mare Bonnie Joan at the Harness Jewels in Cambridge on Saturday.
Her Central Otago co-breeder and co-owner, Father Dan Cummings, says she will return home to Tuapeka Lodge in Lawrence next week and be served by super sire Bettor’s Delight in the Spring.
“This will be her last start.
“It was on the cards a year ago, but we gave her another season to give her a couple of starts in the open class mares’ races and the Jewels.”
The Cran Dalgety-trained mare hasn’t had a lot of luck this season, often being cruelled by bad draws, and that’s no exception on Saturday.
With the scratching of Australian invitee Carlas Pixel, Bonnie Joan will start from the inside of the second row, behind local outsider Christanna.
“She’s got a penchant for second row draws; she hasn’t had any luck at all,” said Cummings.
“That scratching has made things a heck of a lot harder – it was certainly frustrating when it happened.”
Bad luck with draws aside, Cummings looks on the bright side in so far as they’ve raced a 10-win mare that will have over $200,000 in earnings after she retires.
“We are very lucky to have had her; she’s given us some great thrills.”
The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere has been placed at Group 1 level three times, most recently in December’s Queen Of Hearts at Alexandra Park.
She is also a two-time Group 2 winner, including the Premier Mares Championship at Addington in February.
Cummings is hoping to get that elusive Group 1 win, though he won’t be able to watch it live.
“I’ve got mass in Bluff on Saturday night, so I won’t be able to watch it.
“In fact, I’ll be driving down at the time and I’m currently trying to organise for someone to record it for me.
“My sister, Julie, is going up to Cambridge though and will represent the family.”
It will probably come down to America-bound driver Dexter Dunn, and whether he can work his magic from an unfavourable draw.
“You never know what can happen, so we’ll just forget about it and enjoy the race.
“It might turn out to be for the best, you never know.
“He’ll have to earn his money to get her to win from there, that’s for sure.”
Bookies have drifted Bonnie Joan markedly from her opening quote of $3.40, her price resting at $4.80 as of Thursday afternoon.
“She’s become poison with punters after the scratching,” said TAB Bookie Richard Wilson.
Bonnie Joan is one of a handful of mares in the 4YO Diamond that will be lost to the local racing scene after Saturday.
Multiple Group 1-winner Partyon is also having her last career start for trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.
She’s amassed 16 wins and over $650,000 for breeders Ken and Karen Breckon and the syndicate that races her on lease with them.
And Delishka, recently sold to American interests in a big-money deal, will be flying to her new home in Delaware at the end of next week.
A Group 1 placing in Sydney’s Ladyship Mile, won by Carlas Pixel in 1.49.5, highlights her career so far for trainer Brad Mowbray.