Kingsgrave plays his part for stable

Kingsgrave (Lisa Allpress) notching his second win at New Plymouth last Saturday.

Kingsgrave (Lisa Allpress) notching his second win at New Plymouth last Saturday.

Kingsgrave isn’t among the stars in Stephen Marsh’s stable, but he’s been doing his best to complete the season on a high note for the Cambridge trainer.

Marsh is currently lying ninth on the NZ Trainers’ Premiership with 46 wins and almost $1.05 million in New Zealand prizemoney. And included in those feats are seven black-type wins on the home front.

Spearheading Marsh’s highlights this season is the Gr. 1 ATC Oaks win in Sydney by Sofia Rosa, who also won at Group Two and Three level and was just beaten in the Gr. 1 NZ Oaks by Fanatic.

While Sofia Rosa is being readied for a Melbourne Spring campaign aimed at the Caulfield Cup, the pressure has been on the lesser lights in the Marsh stable to keep the team on a winning roll. That’s where Kingsgrave has stepped up to the mark, winning two of his last three starts.

Owned by Gerry Harvey’s NZ Thoroughbred Holdings Ltd, the Postponed three-year-old cleared maiden ranks in the mud at Te Aroha early last month when ridden by Troy Harris in a maiden highweight over 1600 metres.

He then finished on late for second to Nulla Creek at Avondale over the same trip 12 days later then successfully managed the climb up to 1800 metres at New Plymouth last Saturday when ridden by Lisa Allpress.

Settled fourth or fifth on the outer, Kingsgrave came into contention on the home turn and was doing his best work late when beating Hard To Be Jumble by a long neck.

“He’s still learning the game,” said Marsh’s foreman, Rhys Mildon. “He was a bit lazy round the turn, same as Avondale, but that’s him.

“Once into the clear Lisa really worked on him and he got home good.”

Allpress was quick to agree with Mildon’s assessment of Kingsgrave.

“He’s a real buff head,” she said. “He even started wandering all over the place in his preliminary. He’s got a lot to learn, but he’s got the ability.”

Kingsgrave has had three races in rather quick succession and handled it well so should be able to add to the stable’s winning tally this winter.

“We haven’t had to do a lot with him since his last race,” said Mildon. “Having the treadmill at home has been an advantage. He’s kept ticking over on it.”