Billy surprises for Marsh

Billy Mojo (outer) and Del Rios landing a Cambridge quinella at Rotorua. (Photo: Trish Dunell/NZ Racing Desk)

Billy Mojo (outer) and Del Rios landing a Cambridge quinella at Rotorua. (Photo: Trish Dunell/NZ Racing Desk)

Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh got more than he bargained for from Billy Mojo when the colt turned his form around at Rotorua yesterday.

While he was expecting an improved showing, he was pleasantly surprised by the three-year-old’s victory in the Mills Reef Winery & Restaurant 1200.

Marsh said pre-race he would have been satisfied with a placing behind the hot-pot The Justice League, who had won last month’s Listed Northland Breeders’ Stakes in which Billy Mojo was unplaced.

“He was a little bit disappointing, although he did blow afterwards and he took a lot of improvement out of it,” said Marsh. “I thought he would have to be running second to The Justice League to be going on to the better races.”

That will be the path Billy Mojo now takes after he put himself in the race early then fought doggedly in the straight to down Del Rios by a short head.

“He jumped well and he likes a bit of clear air so I was quite happy he was outside the leader,” said Mars. “We’ll probably push on to the Sarten Memorial and he is nominated for the 2000 Guineas. He’s not a big horse, but he is a gross sort of colt so the back-up would fit quite well for him.”

Rider Danielle Johnson said she was impressed by the fight Billy Mojo showed in the run home.

“He’s still racing like a little baby, but to his credit he fought really well and he will improve a lot,” said Johnson.

– NZ Racing Desk.