Cambridge duo thrilled after Flemington jumpouts

Sofia Rosa and Michael Walker at today's Flemington jumpouts. (Photo: Darryl Shearer)

Sofia Rosa and Michael Walker at today’s Flemington jumpouts. (Photo: Darryl Shearer)

Cambridge trainers Tony Pike and Stephen Marsh were thrilled with the efforts of their Group One Oaks winners Provocative and Sofia Rosa at today’s Flemington jumpouts.

Damien Oliver was aboard Pike’s Queensland Oaks winner Provocative, while Melbourne-based Kiwi jockey Michael Walker rode Australian Oaks winner Sofia Rosa for Marsh.Both mares finished just in behind the winner, pleasing their trainers no end.

“I’m really pleased with her,” Pike said of Provocative’s effort. “It was just a quiet hitout. She settled third or fourth and she’s hit the line nicely just in behind a couple of Listed-class sprinters.

“She got on the wrong leg first time back left-handed for a while, but Damien was happy with her and she’s pulled up clean.”

Pike said Provocative was likely to resume in the Gr. 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 3 before tackling the Gr. 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 17.

The Gr. 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2 is likely to be the Zabeel mare’s leadup into the Gr. 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15.

“She looks fantastic,” said Pike. “She’s really muscled up, matured a lot and her coat looks fantastic. Having had the sun on her back up in Queensland, she’s already got her summer coat and she’s bulked up and is carrying a lot more condition.”

The feedback from Marsh was much the same in reaction to Sofia Rosa’s effort.

“She jumped out really well,” he said. “Her behaviour was really good for her. She flew the gates and travelled beautifully.

“She pulled up great and Michael was full of praise for her. Michael got on really well with her.”

Marsh confirmed Sofia Rosa would resume in the Gr. 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield tomorrow week with her possible Caulfield Cup leadup runs in the Gr. 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10 and the Turnbull Stakes, though he said he was prepared to change plans depending on what his mare was showing.

“I couldn’t be any happier,” he said. “She was straight into her tucker after the jumpout and she looks on top of the world. She’s developed a lot since last season and strengthened.

“She’s still got to strengthen more but temperament-wise she might have got slightly better. She’s not perfect by any means but she’s getting a little easier to deal with.”

– NZ Racing Desk