Focus now on Ardrossan

Ardrossan produced an encouraging trial at Warwick Farm last Friday to be on track for a Group Three mission on Saturday.

Stephen Marsh’s focus on the rich Sydney Autumn Carnival will now switch to a feature sprint after having no joy last weekend with his staying three-year-olds.

The Cambridge trainer is hoping to have better luck with Ardrossan in the Gr.3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday after Crown Prosecutor and Vernanme both failed to threaten in the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m).

Crown Prosecutor, a son of Medaglia D’Oro, was unable to reproduce the form that saw him score a major upset win in the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) and finished ninth, while Vernanme (by O’Reilly) wound up second-last of the 12 runners.

Marsh has pulled the pin on a tilt at the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 6 with both talented three-year-olds.

“They’re both coming home for a spell,’’ Marsh said. “They’ll have a good break and we’ll look at spring racing for them.

“In Crown Prosecutor’s case, you’ll not see a lot of him in New Zealand next season as he’ll go over to Australia early in his next campaign.

“He’s done a good job and we had a crack in Sydney, but he’s ready for a spell now, while Vernanme is a horse with a future, too. He’s growing a bit and he’ll end up a good horse.’’

While in Sydney, Marsh was able to cast his eye over Ardrossan, who missed a planned first-up run in the Gr.1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick after recording an elevated temperature upon on arrival from New Zealand.

The son of Redoute’s Choice showed he was back on track when second in an open 801m trial at Warwick Farm last Friday.

‘’He got crook on the way over and he missed a bit of work after that,’’ Marsh said.

‘’He’s a good-doing bugger and he needed a hit-out so we ran him in the trial last Friday. James (McDonald) rode him and he was happy with the way he felt and ran.

‘’This race on Saturday will tighten him up again and there’s the Queensland carnival just around the corner so we could look at that. But we’ll get through Saturday first before making any plans.

‘’He wants a good track to show his best and that’s a bit of a worry the way the weather has been in Sydney lately.’’

Ardrossan left New Zealand as a winner of the Gr.3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie and a last-start third behind Melody Belle in the Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa.

While Ardrossan will be chasing Gr.3 honours in Sydney on Saturday, stablemate Glinda Goodwitch is likely to represent Marsh in the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni the same day.

The Per Incanto filly has been placed in two of her three starts and between times finished seventh in her first black type assignment, the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders Stakes (1200m).

“She’s made it into the Sires’ field so we’re probably going to have a go,’’ Marsh said.

‘’She ran second to Equinox (who won again last start) first-up and was a good second last time. The only time she missed was when she struck a wet track in the Breeders Stakes. She desperately needs a good track.’’

Marsh plans to also have two starters, Decadence and Deels Done, in another of the Awapuni features, the  Gr.3 Higgins Concrete Manawatu Classic (2000m).

Decadence, a Sweet Orange filly, capped some useful form with a last-start win over 1600m at Te Aroha, while Deels Done, a three-year-old gelding by Dundeel, won two starts ago at Pukekohe over 1600m.