Apprentice repays Marsh’s faith

Hairi Marzuki pushing out Rocanto to hold on from Go Nicholas at Tauranga yesterday.

Hairi Marzuki pushing out Rocanto to hold on from Go Nicholas at Tauranga yesterday.

Stephen Marsh was full of praise for his Singapore apprentice Hairi Marzuki after winning on Rocanto at Tauranga yesterday.

Marzuki found his way to his Cambridge stable courtesy of his Singapore based father, Bruce, and he speaks in glowing terms about the young rider.

“Dad said to me one day that he had found a young fella who could really ride but just needed a break to go his way,” said Marsh.

“He wasn’t getting the rides in Singapore so Dad asked whether we would be keen to give him a shot down here. He got everything organised and Hairi arrived about four months ago.

“He has fitted in at the stable exceptionally well. He is keen and eager and I definitely think he is reaping the benefit of having riders like Danielle (Johnson) as part of our stable to learn off.

“He does all the right things and he has come a long way already with his riding.”

That progress was evident in the way Marzuki handled Rocanto in the Dominator Garage Doors Tauranga 1200 yesterday, giving the four-year-old a saloon passage in the trail behind pacemaker Rich Billie Marsh before issuing a powerful challenge early in the run home.

Marzuki didn’t panic when race favourite Go Nicholas loomed on his outer as he made good use of his 4kg claim to drive the Per Incanto entire home by a bare nose before surviving a protest initiated by the connections of runner-up.

“That was a top ride. He had him the perfect spot and really kept his head at the finish,” said Marsh. “He stayed nicely balanced and we got a good win.

“It’s a big call by the owners of these horses to put a four kilogram claimer on so I’m delighted to get a result like this.”

The victory continued a successful run for Marsh, who collected his second New Zealand Group One win of his training career with Ugo Foscolo in the Sothys 2000 Guineas last weekend and won earlier at yesterday’s Tauranga meeting with Polar Secret.

“The stable has been on a roll of late and that win at Riccarton has put a bigger spring in our step,” said Marsh.

“The horse has come through the race in good shape although he was a pretty tired boy for a few days afterward. We gave him a couple of extra days down there but he is now home and enjoying a break in the paddock.

“At this stage we are looking at an autumn campaign in Australia with the Australian Guineas as a real possibility for him.”

NZ Racing Desk