Deja Vu in Southern Belle Final

Deja Vu in Southern Belle Final

Bruce Stewart

20th March 2021

Today’s win in the Southern Belle Final, taken out by Plutonium Lady was very similar to that of Rocker Band in 2016.

Both horses were four year olds, both trained by Mark Jones and driven by Sam Ottley, and it doesn’t end there.

Sam Ottley with Speed Series winner Rocker Band in 2016

“She (Rocker Band) was in Auckland a week before and came south and won this race (too). Mark is a big supporter of the Southland races. They look after us really well down here,” Ottley said.

Plutonium Lady and Sam Ottley head to the birdcage prior to the Southern Belle

From barrier five Ottley pressed the turbo early to take the lead.

Plutonium Lady heads to the lead from the mobile release

“She got to the top comfortably, it was always the place to be. She just got to roll along and dictate and do what she wanted. She was happy there and ran up the straight nicely.”

At the end of the 1609 metre journey Plutonium Lady held on to win easily by three and three quarter lengths from second favourite Yankee Party who came home well from last.

Winning easily with her ears pricked from Yankee Party wide out

Sam Ottley with Plutonium Lady

Today’s win was the Bettor’s Delight mare’s ninth and it lifted her stake earnings to $157,159.

“Her ratings have probably shot through the roof and its gets so hard now at that sort of mark. You just have to weigh up the options.”

Both Ottley and Jones are big fans of this mare’s Series and have supported it over the thirteen years it’s been running.

“These sorts of races are awesome and what a quality field it was today. She’s been up and down the country. It doesn’t seem to worry her. When the good money is on you just have to chase them.”

It was Plutonium Lady’s third win in a row on the back of scoring a double in Auckland.

“She’s hit a real purple patch.”

Meanwhile Leer lived up to her reputation, when she won on debut for Charlton trainer Bruce Wallace and driver Brent Barclay.

Leer is out of the Jereme’s Jet mare Bay Jet and is a half-sister to Wildwest, the winner of nine of his fifteen starts in Australia including his first seven.

Leer with her ears pricked winning her maiden race

Forbury Park trainer Darryn Simpson trained the quinella in Race Three with Emdeegee driven by Sarah O’Reilly beating stablemate Zealous Spur.

Quinella for Darryn Simpson

Sarah O’Reilly returning with Emdeegee

Both horse are owned by Geoff Clarke.

Captain Pins capped off good place form by going one better in winning Race Four, his maiden race. The Captaintreacherous gelding unleashed a great burst of speed to hit the front and held on to beat With Grace by a half a length.

Captain Pins winning at Winton


RK Finn continued Wyndham trainer Craig Ferguson’s good season in the following race when he capitalised on a good trip behind pacemaker Calico Hill to win by half a head. It was the gelding’s second win in eight starts.

RK Finn getting up on the inside for Craig Ferguson


The much travelled Ivana Legacy won Race Six, her ninth win for Invercargill trainer Shannon Armour.

The seven year old American Ideal mare has been active at Addington recently, but has returned home to Southland and finished an unlucky fourth at the Northern Southland Meeting last weekend.

Ivana Legacy (3) winning her ninth race

Her win today was one of three for Brent Barclay.

Back to the winners circle

Quality trotter Chinese Whisper made a successful return to racing when he got up to win Race Nine. It was the Sundon gelding’s seventh win in just thirteen starts for trainer driver Nathan Williamson.

He last raced at Forbury Park in October.

Driven out Chinese Whisper (10) gets up to beat Willangus Lad (4)