Prosecutor wears crown in Luca Valentina’s race

Crown Prosecutor (Jason Waddell) stretching his neck out to win the Gr.3 Lucia Valentina Wellington Stakes today.

Stephen Marsh gained a special thrill when his promising three-year-old Crown Prosecutor won the Gr.3 Luca Valentina Wellington Stakes at Otaki today.

The Cambridge trainer was quietly confident the son of Medaglia D’Oro could take the 1600m feature, despite being a maiden with a couple of placings from his first three starts.

Marsh was no doubt pleased his judgement was on the mark and making the occasion even more memorable was the fact the race was named in honour of Lucia Valentina, a filly who started in his stable before going on to be a Group One star in Australia for Kris Lees.

Lucia Valentina had won the same race back in 2013 when prepared by Marsh and her colours were worn today by Crown Prosecutor, who is part-owned by Lib Petagna.

Crown Prosecutor first attracted attention when an eye-catching third behind Phoenix Rising over 1400m at Te Awamutu on October 31 and the runner-up that day was subsequent winner Espresso Martini.

Marsh then lined Crown Prosecutor up at Te Rapa over 1600m on November 10 and wearing a tongue tie for the first time he flew home late for third to Sahar, although more than four lengths astern at the finish.

Crown Prosecutor again faced Sahar in today’s Wellington Stakes, but this time he rose to the occasion while Sahar had to settle for sixth, two lengths away.

Aided by a good ride from Jason Waddell, Crown Prosecutor was pushed along to lead in the early stages and once across onto the fence he was allowed to bowl along under his own steam.

Waddell urged him along on the home turn and he refused to yield over the final stages, going on to win by a neck from the Shaune Ritchie-trained Swords Drawn.

“It was a great ride to go straight to the front with the blinkers on today,” Marsh’s Racing Manager, Todd Pollard, said.

“He’s a lovely colt. He’s got a great physique.”

Crown Prosecutor was purchased by Bruce Perry, racing manager for Petagna who shares in the ownership with Harvey Green.

“He was a bit colty before the start,” Pollard said. “Bruce said we may have to geld him, but I don’t think we will now.”

Crown Prosecutor holds nominations for the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham on January 12 and the Gr.1 Vodafone NZ Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 2.