Marsh loves his fillies

Sofia Rosa (Danielle Johnson) sealing a trip to Sydney with a big win at Hastings today. (Photo: Race Images, PN)

Sofia Rosa (Danielle Johnson) sealing a trip to Sydney with a big win at Hastings today. (Photo: Race Images, PN)

Stephen Marsh has a way with the fillies, as he showed again at Hastings today.

The Cambridge trainer struck twice on the nine-race Premier programme and both wins were highly exciting three-year-old fillies ridden by his partner, Danielle Johnson.

Serious Satire, a More Than Ready daughter of dual Group Two winner Zarzuela, shaped impressively against a smart line-up of three-year-olds when storming to victory in the 1200, then two races later Sofia Rosa, a daughter of Makfi, produced a similar effort when beating several older rivals in the Hastings – Heart Of Hawke’s Bay 1200.

“I thought I had a good team of three-year-old fillies coming into this year and these two look pretty smart,” said Marsh.

“What Serious Satire did today was unbelievable. I thought it was a very good field and she hasn’t trialled and she’s still a bit soft in condition.

“We decided not to ride her upside down from her (wide) draw and I told Danielle just to ride her back and let her find her feet and she might get over the top of them.

“It was much the same with Sofia Rosa. She drew wide and I thought she would get back and hopefully find the line. They both won very well.”

Serious Satire was bred and is raced by David Paykel, who has enjoyed much success with the family including a Group One win with Star Satire, the grandam of today’s winner. And judging by Serious Satire’s performance she should add further black-type to her pedigree.

Marsh has been very patient with Serious Satire, giving her just one trial, which she won at Cambridge last May, and two races. She was an eye-catching second on debut over 800 metres at Avondale last June and was then freshened with a view to more testing assignments this season.

“I don’t know how good she could be,” said Marsh. “She’s got the best temperament ever and is a very progressive filly. She’s going to be better over more ground. She could be the real deal.”

Johnson was equally impressed with Serious Satire, describing her finishing burst as “explosive.”

Marsh has also taken his time with Sofia Rosa, owned by Lib Petagna who also races the promising Nahema from the Marsh stable. She trialled twice, for seconds at Rotorua and Avondale, and, like Serious Satire, was having just her second start today. She had looked very promising when finishing solidly for third on debut in the Listed Berkley Stud Champagne Stakes at Riccarton last May.

“It’s hard taking on the older horses,” said Marsh. “I’ve always had a lot of time for her and now she could be on a plane to Aussie.”

Sofia Rosa’s mission is the Gr. 2 Tea Rose Stakes at Randwick on September 19, while Serious Satire will return to Hastings for the Gr. 2 Hawke’s Bay Breeders’ Trail Stakes next month on route to the Gr. 1 NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas at Riccarton.