Marsh all revved up

Stephen Marsh and partner Danielle Johnson with the Harley Davidson the Cambridge trainer won through the victory of Molto Veloce.

Stephen Marsh was a bit revved up before the sixth event at Ellerslie today, but nothing compared to how he was after he filled the quinella.

Getting quinellas in races is nothing new for the Cambridge trainer, but winning the rating 65 1200m event was a bit special, particularly with the trainer’s prize attached to the winning stake.

The race was the Wood For The Trees and Auckland Harley Davidson Bat Out Of Hell 1200 and up for grabs for the successful trainer was a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a prize which caused a bit of banter amongst the trainers, particularly with those with entrants in the event.

Marsh nominated five horses for the race and when acceptances closed he had two in the 14-horse field and a couple on the ballot. Scratchings allowed those emergencies, Molto Veloce and Raposa Rapida, into the field and the pair provided the quinella.

Marsh copped a fair bit of jovial ribbing as he made his way to the birdcage to greet Molto Veloce and rider Sam Spratt after their three-length win.

“I told the old man (his father Bruce) that I’d have to put a sidecar on it and take him for a Sunday drive,” Marsh said.

“It’s a great prize and going into the race there has been a bit of banter with the other trainers.

“I told my four jockeys I’d take them for a ride if I won it so now I suppose I’ll have to come up to Pukekohe to get Sam (Spratt).”

Molto Veloce (Sam Spratt), all revved up and on her way to winning the Harley Davidson motorcycle for her trainer Stephen Marsh at Ellerslie today.

While Marsh was receiving congratulatory slaps on the back, Spratt was all smiles and quick to have a joke about the prize with Marsh’s partner, injured fellow jockey Danielle Johnson, as she unsaddled Molto Veloce.

“I told Danielle I’d be the one straddling behind her partner on the bike,” Spratt quipped.

“It’s so good to have Harley Davidson get involved. I can’t wait for my ride.”

Spratt was almost as enthused with the effort of Molto Veloce, whom she rode for the first time.

“She travelled up really nicely and showed a good turn of foot,” she said. “She got there a bit soon and had a bit of a look around, but did it easily.”

Spratt had Molto Veloce handy from the outset and travelling nicely coming to the home turn, at which point she improved her up to challenge.

Molto Veloce led with 200m to run and, though she ran out over the final stages when left on her own, she was far too strong.

Stablemate Raposa Rapida ran on solidly for second ahead of the Tony Pike-trained Walkin’ By, who completed the Cambridge trifecta.

Owned by Tony Rider and Charles Whyte, Molto Veloce was having her fifth start and recording her second win.

The three-year-old Pins filly cleared maiden ranks comfortably over 1200m at Taupo on October 10 and ran on nicely for fourth at Trentham before being unlucky when sixth of nine runners at Ellerslie on December 1.

“She was stiff last time. She never got much room in the straight,” Marsh said.

“I was just a bit worried how she would handle the ground.”