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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Wednesday, May 10 2017

Stephen Marsh is attacking on three fronts over the next couple of days with Friday's Te Awamutu meeting being the kick-off.

Marsh will be in Queensland to finalise Chocante's preparation for Saturday's Gr.3 Chairman's Handicap (2000m) when his large representation steps out at Te Awamutu, then a day later at Rotorua he has four runners engaged, including Mystery Show in the Gr.3 ISCL Rotorua Stakes (1400m).

"It's going to be a busy couple of days," the Cambridge trainer said. "I've got some nice horses running around and it'll be really interesting to see how Raposa Rapida goes in the two-year-old race."

A full brother to Group Two winning filly Volpe Veloce, Raposa Rapida will make his debut in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series 1150 and has created a big impression at the trials. He has improved with each of his three trials, which included a victory over impressive debut winner Griffin.

"I really like him," Marsh said. "That was a smart win at the trials and I thought it was a very good field he beat.

"I can see him in the classics next season. He's a real three-year-old type."

An obstacle facing Raposa Rapida on Friday is his wide draw (14) and Marsh admits that does dampen his confidence.

"The draw doesn't help," he said. "We're not going to drive him out. As long as he hits the line well, I'll be happy."


Despite more rain forecast, Marsh plans to run most of his Te Awamutu acceptors, but the state of the track at Rotorua will determine how many of his four entrants start there.

"Mystery Show will go round in the fillies and mares' race and Wannabe Royale will love it," he said. "Mystery Show has drawn one and that won't be the best place to be at that time of day.

"I've added side winkers hoping that will help her find that bit extra."

Mystery Show won first-up for Marsh at Avondale last February, but has had to settle for placings in three further runs. Her last-start effort was a second to the unbeaten Deals In Heels at Ellerslie.

While the wet tracks are a concern on the home front, Marsh is pleased to see rain in Brisbane for Chocante's Australian debut in the Chairman's Handicap.

"It wouldn't matter if there was more rain for him," he said. "I just didn't want a hard track and we're definitely not going to get that."

Chocante was freshened after winning the Gr.3 Counties Cup and has had two shorter distance lead-ups for Brisbane.

"The main aim is the Brisbane Cup (2400m on June 10)," Marsh said. "Two weeks beforehand he can run in the Premier's Cup (2200m).

"I'm very happy with him, but he's going to be better for Saturday's run. Jim Byrne rode him in a good hit-out on the course proper at Doomben on Tuesday and he was very happy with the way he worked."



Posted by: Racing Desk AT 08:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email