Marsh following tried and true formula with 2YOs

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  • May 03, 2023
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Stephen Marsh has made a successful practice of targeting Saturday’s black-type feature at Te Rapa as a springboard to future success.

The Cambridge trainer has won the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1200m) four times and strength in numbers will give him a fine opportunity to add to his tally.

Debut placegetter Glamour Tycoon, last-start winner Tower Flypass and first starter and trials performer Moet Down will represent the stable.

“We’ve never been ones to have our two-year-olds really flying early on, we like to give them time in and out of the stable and with this race in the autumn they are a little bit more mature,” Marsh said.

“We can give them a run and then give them a break through the worst of the winter in the paddock and box at night and that sets them up for their three-year-old campaigns.

“I think it’s a great race for the three-year-old types, I just love the timing. It’s at Te Rapa, which is a great winter track and generally it’s on a decent enough surface and it sets them up really well.”

Marsh prepared No More Tears to win the race in 2015 and Ugo Foscolo, Ardrossan and Santa Catarina claimed the next three editions.

The quartet all went on to further stakes success, most noticeably Ugo Foscolo who triumphed in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) while Ardrossan later won at Group Three level and was a top-flight placegetter.

Marsh has high hopes of Saturday’s representatives following suit with the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) already a likely early target next season for Glamour Tycoon.

The daughter of Written Tycoon was a $220,000 purchase out of Highline Thoroughbreds’ draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale and was runner-up at the first time of asking.

“She had three trials and had that one race at Te Rapa, which is handy to have had a look around,” Marsh said.

“She ran second behind a very well-credentialed horse and wasn’t beaten far and has improved since then.”

Glamour Tycoon ran second behind Viva Vienna, who beat subsequent stakes winner Ethereal Star in the spring and then finished runner-up behind the Listed Karaka Million (1200m) winner Tokyo Tycoon.

Bred and raced by brothers Cam and Chas Stewart, U S Navy Flag youngster Tower Flypass is from a family Marsh knows well having trained the dam’s brother Barbaric to win eight races, including two at Listed level.

“Tower Flypass placed at Wellington and then won at Tauranga and was pretty green right-handed and going back left-handed on Saturday will be ideal for him, he’s going really well,” he said.

The third member of the Te Rapa party is Moet Down, who was a A$200,000 yearling purchase for Marsh.

She is a half-sister by Pierro to the Gr.1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) winner Madame Pommery and their dam is a sister to the former Australian Champion Two-Year-Old and Gr.1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) winner Earthquake.

“She’s had three trials for a second and two wins, it’s a big ask first-up in a stakes race but the timing is perfect for her as well,” Marsh said.

“She is obviously beautifully related and we bought her for a ladies only syndicate called Heels & Hooves and plenty of them will be there on Saturday.”

Marsh will also have black-type runners at Riccarton on Saturday in the Listed Daphne Bannan Memorial Great Easter Stakes (1400m).

“Divine Sava has enjoyed a freshen-up and she’s been going well down there. The old boy Five Princes is a stayer resuming and it’s short of his best and he’ll be better over further later on,” he said.

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