Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh is looking forward to his progressive filly Glinda Goodwitch stepping up to 1600m when she tackles Saturday’s Listed Buffalo & Co Champagne Stakes at Ellerslie.
The talented two-year-old closed well for sixth in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), recording the slickest last 600m of the race and has duly been installed the $2.60 favourite for Saturday’s contest.
“Her last start was phenomenal,” Marsh said. “From a wide draw she got back to last and was still last at the 300m, but stormed to the line, went through the line and the step up to a mile suits.
“She finally gets a good draw to sit in a nice position and we can just ride her where she lands and we certainly won’t have to go back to last.
“She looks very hard to beat. I didn’t think she’d be as short as $2.60, but I think she deserves to be towards the top end of the market.”
The Per Incanto filly has been placed in two of her four starts, including an impressive last-to-second performance at Matamata prior to her Group One sixth.
“I thought she’d go really well in the Group One, but she was better than I probably expected,” Marsh said.
“Her closing sectionals were pretty phenomenal. I didn’t expect that turn of foot, but I was pleasantly surprised.
“She will go straight to the paddock after Saturday.
“She doesn’t like rain-affected tracks, so we will be giving her a good break.
“When she comes back as a three-year-old, we will be looking at Hawke’s Bay and then getting her through to the New Zealand 1000 Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m), obviously depending on how she comes up.”
Marsh has two runners in the Gr.2 Valachi Downs Championship Stakes (2100m), including Decadence, who finished well for fifth to The Chosen One in the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) at her most recent appearance.
“It was a great run last start and her closing sectionals were very good as well,” Marsh said.
“We were desperate for a good barrier draw, but she has drawn very poorly in 16 and will need a fair bit of luck. If she gets that luck, she is still a player, but we are really disappointed with the barrier from what is a tricky start.”
Marsh also saddles last-start Pukekohe winner Trumpet, who sports the colours of the race sponsor, Valachi Downs principal Kevin Hickman.
“Trumpet’s win last start was good, but I think you’d have to favour Decadence as the pick of mine,” Marsh said.
Marsh will have a busy day at Ellerlsie with eight runners entered and he will be hoping to get off to a winning start with Santa Catarina in the opening event, the Marks Ewen (1400m).
“It looks a very good field and I’d say there will be some good horses come out of it,” Marsh said.
“Santa Catarina has drawn perfectly in barrier one, she is going to get the run of the race.
“She gets her chance, but whatever wins this race will be a good horse. There will be good form come out of it.” – NZ Racing Desk.