Inter-island black-type missions

Ugo Foscolo (Danielle Johnson) living up to expectations at Rotorua.

Ugo Foscolo (Danielle Johnson) living up to expectations at Rotorua.

Stablemates Ugo Foscolo and Seize The Moment give Stephen Marsh a genuine shot at an inter-Island black-type double this weekend.

The talented two-year-old Ugo Foscolo will defend his unbeaten record at Te Rapa on Saturday while his more experienced stablemate will later step out over his favoured distance at Riccarton.

Listed Hamilton Vet Equine Stakes contender Ugo Foscolo won three trials before his Rotorua debut last month and, while he won as an odds-on chance would be expected to, Marsh had concerns.

“I rate him extremely highly and we went to the races thinking it was a dead track and it turned out it was heavy,” he said.

“He didn’t handle it, but he got the job done and I can’t fault the horse. He’ll have this run and then we’ll pull up stumps. I’d like to think we can set him for the 2000 Guineas next season.”

Ugo Foscolo will jump from gate six and he will be ridden by Michael Coleman, who is deputising for the injured Danielle Johnson.

The honest Seize The Moment will race over 1400 metres in the Listed Speights Mid Ale Great Easter Stakes after being narrowly defeated at Riccarton last start in the Listed Easter Cup by Tommy Tucker, whom he will meet better off in the handicap this time.

“He’s done very well since then and the key is him dropping back to 1400 metres,” said Marsh. “I’m sure he’s going to run very well again.

“He has won at a mile, but I think he’s at his best over the shorter trip.”

Seize The Moment, the mount of Michael McNab, has been a genuine customer throughout his career with six wins and 12 minor placings from his 22 starts.

Meanwhile, stablemate No More Tears returned home from Australia yesterday after a mixed three-start campaign.

The three-year-old was unplaced on debut before she finished runner-up in the Gr. 3 J.H.B. Carr Stakes at Randwick, but was then disappointing when unplaced in the Gr. 3 Hawkesbury Guineas.

“She’s arrived back in great order and will go for a spell and get ready for the late winter or early spring targets,” said Marsh. “We might even run her in the Foxbridge Plate fresh-up.”

– NZ Racing Desk.