Stephen Marsh can’t split Sofia Rosa and Thee Auld Floozie in their chase for the stable’s 10th black-type success of the season on Saturday.
The Group One winners will clash in the Gr. 2 Travis Stakes at Te Rapa.
“The Travis looks a lovely race for my mares and I like them both,” Marsh said. “They will both be suited by the step up in distance.”
Sofia Rosa has had two runs at 2000 metres this season, both at Group One level in Australia, and she has progressed well since her fifth placing in the Gr. 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Te Rapa.
“She has gone ahead since the Breeders’ Stakes and is right where we want her now,” Marsh said.
Regular rider Danielle Johnson will partner Sofia Rosa, but Opie Bosson, who rode Thee Auld Floozie last start, is committed to Echezeaux on Saturday and has been replaced by Vinnie Colgan.
Thee Auld Floozie was second in the Gr. 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes and this season she broke through at the top level with victory in Gr. 1 Thorndon Mile.
“She’s had a big campaign and we have had to peak her a few times,” Marsh said. “She has done an incredible job and kept fronting up.”
The Travis will be her first run past 1600 metres since she finished fourth in the same race last year.
“She was unlucky last year,” Marsh said. “She got a long way back after being chopped out early and hit the line very well. It was an enormous run.”
Thee Auld Floozie will also race in side-winkers on Saturday.
“She’s become very laid-back and it might lift her a touch more at the end of her campaign.”