High trans-Tasman expectations

No More Tears (Michael Coleman) scoring her second stakes win at Ellerslie . (Photo: NZ Racing Desk).

Makfi Challenge Stakes candidate No More Tears (Michael Coleman) scoring her second stakes win at Ellerslie. (Photo: NZ Racing Desk).

Stephen Marsh’s Group One hopes will be spread on Saturday with top-flight contenders on both sides of the Tasman.

The Cambridge trainer will be at Caulfield where Sofia Rosa opens her spring campaign in the New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes, while he will be hoping No More Tears can draw first blood in the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown series in the Makfi Challenge Stakes.

Sofia Rosa will be making her first appearance since she won the Gr. 1 Australian Oaks and though 1400 metres will be well short of her best, Marsh is confident of a bold showing from the mare.

“She hasn’t quite turned in the coat yet, but she is doing really well and looks great,” he said.

Marsh also can’t fault the progress of No More Tears, who was runner-up when resuming in the Gr. 2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate.

“She just missed the kick at Te Rapa and got a fair way back,” he said. “Against the pattern of the day, she got home well and she’s done great since.”

Marsh will also be focussed on an undercard event at Hastings with a future Group One contender in Ugo Foscolo to return to action in the El Roca Sprint.

“He’s coming up a treat and, while he hasn’t had a trial, we believe we’ve got him pretty well up to the mark,” he said. “We think he’s got a very bright future and wouldn’t swap him for anything.”

Unbeaten in two runs last season, Ugo Foscolo will return to Hastings on October 1 for the Gr. 2 Sacred Falls Guineas as his final lead in to the Gr. 1 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton on November 5.

– NZ Racing Desk.